It is a very happy coincidence that apple trees are as beautiful as they are productive. Thinking about it for a moment, it is difficult to think of a plant that is as productive and has such lovely flowers. Apples are relatively easy to grow, as long as winters are cold enough to allow flower buds to form and there is good variation in the fruit. They are long lived and easy to train and the flowers are, frequently, spectacular. Gooseberries are easy to grow too but the flowers are not exactly showy. The same goes for currants. Plums have attractive blossom but neither they, nor pears are as pretty. The mango, king of fruits, has pathetic flowers in comparison. You get the drift!
Crab apples are often recommended as garden ornamentals and they do have lovely flowers and small fruits. I even planted two ‘Gorgeous’ to help pollinate my apples and I have two red-leaved Malus toringo ‘Freja’ (below) for the same purpose – the former is just about over and the latter, which are becoming much-admired plants, are just starting to bloom.
But the real apples have been open for a week or so while some are just opening. They are as pretty as anything in the garden and, now that this is their third year and they have been pruned for bushiness, I will let most of them carry a crop this year – I think I deserve something for my patience if the wildlife leave them alone.
Oh, and Happy Star Wars Day