A sudden reduction in price leads to an inspirational purchase. This is how the winter cherry, blooming so well at present, came to the garden years ago.
Planted in the cold greenhouse border, it has been a joy ever since. The large pink flowers emerge in March and daily hand pollinating with a fine brush is a pleasure rather than chore. When frost threatens, it is draped in lightweight fleece and the juicy fruits ripen in midsummer.
Redlove apple arrived here in similar fashion. I’ve always enjoyed growing apples and love the consistency of tried and tested varieties that also taste good. Summer in this garden would not be the same without trees laden with Discovery and James Grieve, to be picked and enjoyed when passing. Add two culinary varieties, Howgate Wonder and Lord Derby for good measure and you can’t fail. All four are self-fertile. Given these thoughts, imagine seeing a new apple variety with deep pink spring flowers and fruits red to the core, advertised by a leading seed firm for less than £20. Something inside said ‘you’ve been waiting years for this one’ and it has lived up to expectation. Further temptation has arrived in a recent Garden News advert for a similar apple Tickled Pink and a first step on the road to seduction has come in reading the descriptive blurb: ‘Fabulous old-fashioned flavour like rosy apple sweets. Delicious eaten fresh and perfect for cooking. Incredible fragrant spring blossom and stunning deep red foliage. Grow in the ground or patio pot.’
There’s a number to call (0844 6 569 569), delivery is late January and the cost is just £19.99 so I’m teetering on the brink. Ah! But the small print asks £8.99 for PP&I. This sounds like a lovely fruit tree but the extra cost is a deal breaker for me. Besides, I’ve already got a Truelove.