It has been a poor year for apples and the few baubles that adorn our young trees are scarce and small.
This is the first year that we have seen any fruit on our young Beauty of Bath espalier. While we have three fruits, one is tiny and the other two would be more in keeping for plums than apples, barely a couple of inches across. This should be one of the earliest apples to fruit, reputedly from the end of July in a good year, though we have stepped into October and still the fruits cling on stubbornly. We will have to chance it, and pick them soon, while there is still a hope that their flesh may be crisp rather than woolly.
There is only one fruit on our small Spartan tree, and while we were not paying attention, something else has made inroads into this.
On a happier note, the Kidds Orange Red espalier which lost two tiers to a neighbour’s flying trampoline in the spring still managed to produce one perfectly formed apple, and this fell into my hand this week as I gently cupped and twisted it speculatively. This apple at least seems to be ‘on schedule’, reaching a decent size and ripening in October: not much of a harvest, perhaps, but in such a topsy-turvy year, we shall enjoy it all the more.