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Your first apple tree
Completely reliable even in a less than perfect summer, Red Windsor is a fool-proof self-fertile apple, with excellent flavour and easy to grow. It makes a great introduction to growing your own apples, and is a good choice for any garden - including northern ones with shorter summers.
Best apple tree to give as a gift
Easy to grow, self-fertile, and rewards the gardener with heavy crops of attractive red-flushed apples with little effort required. This apple is popular with everyone, its excellent sweet/sharp flavour tastes exactly like an apple should, and means you won't have trouble giving away any surplus. A perfect gift.
Apples with the best flavour
Flavour is a very personal thing, but Cox is generally considered as having the best flavour of any apple variety - but in our experience the depth of flavour is only revealed when home-grown.
If you want to grow the best-tasting apple in the world, this is probably it. Rubinette is not widely known, but consistently comes top in taste tests, and for flavour is in a league of its own.
Gets very close to the true Cox flavour, but is much easier to grow. Fiesta can also be kept in a fridge for several months - much longer than Cox - and makes an excellent choice if you are looking for a high quality late-season dessert apple.
Disease-resistant apple varieties
Developed specifically for scab-resistance, Honeycrisp is a reliable and heavy cropper and the apples have a good sweet flavour.
The best cooking apple
England's most famous cooking apple, its overflowing juicy acidity transforms into the richest of tangy purees in the kitchen. No cook should be without a Bramley tree! Make sure you read our advice on pollination though. Have a look at Bramley 20 as well - identical in every respect except the tree is a bit smaller.
Best varieties to pollinate a Bramley apple tree
Produces lots of attractive white blossom to pollinate a Bramley (and most other apple varieties), and very easy to grow. Katy is a good early-season apple in its own right, eat straight from the tree or use the pretty apples for juicing.
Lots of blossom, and a good pollinator for many apple varieties including Bramley. Spartan produces heavy crops of sweet crimson apples at the end of the apple season. Easy and reliable to grow in most situations.
Best English plum tree to give as a gift
Victoria is by far the most popular English plum variety, well known for producing heavy crops of attractive plums. It is undoubtedly one of the best cooking plums, lending a golden-orange hue to jams and crumbles and a distinctive sweet-sharp plummy flavour with a hint of almond. Victoria is also good for eating fresh when fully ripe.
The easiest Gage variety
Gages are a type of plum, and are capable of attaining perhaps the greatest flavour of any temperate fruit. However they can be a tricky to grow. Not so Oullins Gage - it has the classic gage flavour with none of the drawbacks. Plant in full sun and eat straight from the tree on a summer afternoon - home-grown plums don't get better than this.
If you want to grow just one Cherry tree
Pollination can be a problem with cherries, but Stella is self-fertile, so can be grown on its own with no pollination worries. As a bonus it will also pollinate most other cherries. Excellent flavour when eaten straight from the tree. Plant in a sunny spot.
If you want to grow just one Pear tree
A cross-Channel marriage of the reliable heavy-cropping English Conference pear and the exquisitely refined Doyenne du Comice from France. Partially self-fertile, easy to grow, and a superb luscious pear flavour. Pick just before fully ripe and leave for a couple of days in a fruit bowl to let them reach pear perfection.
The best fruit trees for a north-facing wall
An excellent cooking plum with a good robust plum flavour, which can also be eaten fresh when fully ripe. Grows quite happily in partial shade or on a north-facing wall.
One of the most reliable of all cherries, happy in any situation, and self-fertile. Plentiful crops of sharp-flavoured cherries, perfect for cherry pies and jams. Works well if trained as a fan on a north or east-facing wall.
What to grow in wet and windy climates?
One of the hardiest of all fruit trees, will tolerate difficult conditions and still produce a crop. Damsons are one of the most versatile culinary fruits, with a distinctive rich flavour, ideal for jams, cakes, and tarts.
A very hardy apple tree, first discovered growing in the challenging climate of the English Lake District. Keswick Codlin is an early season cooking apple with an excellent sharp flavour.
Red and pink-fleshed apples
An apple with a surprise inside - Tickled Pink has a striking pink-red flesh. The apples can be eaten fresh, and are also useful for cooking or juicing.
A bright red early-season dessert apple with attractive pink-marbled flesh. Useful for juicing as well, and has much better disease-resistance than some of the crab-apple-derived red-fleshed apples.
Something for the nut enthusiast?
It's best to plant 2 hazel trees together for pollination, and you can't go wrong if you make one of them Gunslebert - a modern German variety with heavy crops of large hazel nuts.
Hall's Giant gets its name from the size of the nuts, the tree itself is relatively compact.
Looking for an all-round crab apple?
Pink Glow is named for its dusky red elongated fruits, which are attractive on the tree and can also be used to make a pink-coloured crab-apple jelly. The profuse delicate white blossom is a real feature in early spring, and as a bonus is an excellent pollinator for most early and mid-season apple varieties.
Masses of pretty butter-coloured fruits, which are also useful for crab-apple jelly. Also an excellent pollinator for most mid-season apple varieties.
Distinctive dark leaves, attractive blossom, and a uniquely-scented fruit which adds an extra dimension to jams and pies. Quinces make an unusual addition to any orchard. Plant in a sunny spot.
Starting a new orchard?
Our orchard packs contain several different fruit trees, carefully selected to be compatible with each other so you won't have to worry about pollination. They are an easy way to start your own orchard, or an ideal gift for a new fruit tree enthusiast.