It’s no secret that this year has been rubbish for growing just about everything due to the poor Spring and Summer weather. Therefore it came as no surprise to me when the apple harvest was poor compared to previous years. And yet.

In April 2003 we had bought 10 young apple trees. Two each of ‘Fiesta’, ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’, ‘Discovery’, ‘James Grieve’, and ‘Charles Ross’. We planted them in a sort of avenue across the field and once established they all provided a good crop of apples, until this year’s cold wet Spring and rotten Summer stopped them in their tracks.

That is with the exception of ‘Charles Ross’. Where the other trees are bare and fruitless, or their fruits are  only the size of a plum, old Charlie Ross is weighed down with lovely large apples.

I don’t pretend to know why this is so, I’m just grateful that it is. Something this year has suited Charlie, but has upset the rest.

In truth the wasps, squirrels, hedgehogs and blackbirds will probably eat more than we do, but that’s OK. Hope next year is a bit better.