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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.
Apples with the best flavour
Cox is the quintessential English dessert apple, highly regarded for its complex aromatic flavours - and at its best when when home-grown.
Relatively unknown, but this remarkable apple has perhaps the best sweet-sharp balance of all. An essential variety for anyone with an interest in the flavour of apples.
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.
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.
The best plum trees
Victoria is by far the most popular English plum variety, well known for producing heavy crops of attractive plums. Few other varieties can match it in the kitchen, where it lends a golden-orange hue to jams and crumbles and a distinctive sweet-sharp plummy flavour with a hint of almond to jams and preserves. When fully ripe it is also great for eating fresh.
This classic yellow plum has a distinctive sweet flavour, typical of the green and yellow gages. Plant in full sun and eat straight from the tree on a summer afternoon - home-grown plums don't get better than this.
Unusual plums for the cookery enthusiast
These specialist German plums have a sweet flavour. The flesh is unusually dry, useful for central European plum cakes, and any recipe where the liquid content of the fruit should be kept to a minimum.
Mirabelles are small plum-like fruits, rarely available in the UK, but versatile in the kitchen for preserves and baking - and of course the essential ingredient for the classic French 'tarte aux mirabelles'.
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. Great flavour when eaten straight from the tree. Plant in a sunny spot.
A beautiful self-fertile white-fleshed cherry, which tastes as good as it looks. Plant in a sunny spot, and eat the cherries straight from the tree.
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.