Get fruity this autumn with Apple Day

An apple a day keeps the doctor away or so the saying goes. October 21 sees the annual UK Apple Day take place with HTA member garden centres and nurseries across the country will be holding events to celebrate the versatile fruit.

Like the Perrywood Garden Centre in Tiptree, Essex, who will be running a series of events from October 21 to 23. There will be a ‘Try before you buy’ tasting & Match-making service, and visitors will have the chance to taste some of the old fashioned and modern apples available from the nursery with expert advice to help visitors find the best apple varieties for their garden.

An Ipsos Mori poll of 1,000 GB adults conducted in May 2011 for the HTA revealed that 31% of garden and allotment owners claim to be growing their own fruit or veg. Sales of fruit trees have been increasing, which is thought to be down to a healthy eating push and the rising cost of purchasing fruit.

HTA Ornamental Committee member Frank P Matthews Nursery based in Worcestershire, has already despatched nearly 12,000 apple trees to over 200 garden centres in the past couple of months covering about 60 different varieties from popular favourites, such as “Cox”, to more unusual ‘heritage’ varieties such as “Ashmead’s Kernel”.

The bestselling apple each year has been “Scrumptious”, a tasty self-fertile variety that is very disease resistant and easy to grow. Frank P Matthews is also having great success with two new apples that have been introduced this season: “Rosette” which has a pink-tinged flesh and “Christmas Pippin” which has a taste to rival Cox but produces a much cleaner apple which keeps well until Christmas.

Matthew Thomas of Frank P Matthews commented: “Apple Days provide a great opportunity to celebrate this important fruit and with hundreds of varieties to choose from every garden should have an apple tree!”

Apple Day was first founded in 1990 by Common Ground who were dismayed by the loss of so many traditional orchards. It is now seen as an annual celebration of the 3000 different varieties of apple, orchards and local distinctiveness and is an integral event in the calendars of many garden centres.

Finally, don’t worry if you can’t make it to your local garden centre to buy a fruit tree, you can also purchase trees online and get them delivered straight to your door. To find out more, take a look here.

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