Blossom time and fruit finishing (Juliet’s Blog, May)

Apple blossom

The first week in May has been peak blossom time in my orchard of Gloucestershire apple varieties. They started to bloom in the first week in April, and there are still several trees showing no pink as yet. I have been keeping a record this year, so will be able to put them into various pollination groups at the end of the season. However, some trees are having a year off with insufficient blossom to say where they will fit into the scheme.

At the same time, I am still eating last year’s fruit, which have been stored in a cool outhouse. I’ve only two varieties remaining. The Elmore Pippin are now rather shrivelled, but the Green 2Yr Old (aka French Crab ) are fine.

They are a useful size (up to 3 inches diameter) and make a good apple pie. They are not the most exciting dessert fruit but perfectly pleasant even if the skin is thick and coarse – probably why they keep so well.