Saturday, 17 July 2010


Today I went to the garden centre and ogled some apple trees. I've suddenly developed the urge to plant one somewhere in my garden - never mind that I already have 2 ballerinas in pots and a potted feijoa that I bought a couple of months ago and still need to find a home for. I'm sure I can squeeze in a couple more trees at least.

The dilemma is - which one to get? I've decided on the M26 rootstock, which is semi-dwarf. The trees only grow to 3 m tall (less if you prune them) which means you can fit more in, hooray! The three varieties I've managed to narrow it down to are:

Baujade - a new variety, like Granny Smith. It's got green apples which store well and is supposed to be resistant to diseases. I read somewhere that Granny Smith isn't good for growing in the south island, can't remember why though! But I haven't come across mention of that for Baujade.

Mother - an heirloom variety. It has red apples, late cropping, and is "highly recommended for every fruit connoisseur's garden! The flavor is excellent: sweet, perfumed and distinctive." It is a heavy cropper but doesn't crop every year apparently.

Monty's Surprise - the great cancer fighting apple. Large red apples, late cropping, good for eating and cooking.

Which one should I get though? I like the sound of Mother but I don't think I want a tree that doesn't crop reliably. Maybe I should get Monty's Surprise and see if I can graft Mother onto it. Hmm, decisions. What is everyone else growing in their back yards? Any recommendations?

The photo at the top of the post is of my ballerina apple "Waltz". It had a decent crop two years ago, but last year both my ballerinas blossomed, but didn't set any fruit. I thought perhaps a frost got them. I'll be lying in wait with a roll of frost cloth this spring!


  1. Tough choice as there are lots of apple varieties to chose from. We have about 20 but they haven't all starting producing yet. Last year we put in a Monty's Surprise, which sounds quite exciting. We did get quite a few off a young Freyburg tree, nice crisp yellowish green apples, but I'm not sure how well it would go in the S. Island.
    Good luck choosing!

  2. Thank you so much for these glimpses into your gentle and peaceful world. It's a pleasure to join you.
    We don't have an apple as the one we did have had terrible problems, whatever we tried, with codling moth, as did the pear, so we gave those away.

    I may well try again though, with your fab-sounding 'Mother'.

    I do have two figs, a Kiwi, a plum, a cherry and an Olive, which all thrive, even here in England.

  3. ....I forgot to metion an addition to our veg this year.
    As well as potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, courgettes, mange-tout, beans and chard, we have just started cropping beetroot, which is wonderful! So different from shop-bought.

  4. Ugh, codling moth, that's something I haven't thought much about. Still, I haven't had it on the ballerinas so hopefully it won't be a major problem.

    Homegrown fruit and veg always taste so much better, don't they?

  5. I've got both Braeburn and I'm sure it is a Granny smith, in our back yard. The granny Smith crops heavily every other year. If it can grow here, I'm sure it will in Christchurch.
    I'm on the look out for an old variey called Bramley..or something like that. It's a very good one for cooking.

  6. Yes my ballerina apple fruited first year but not the next so am hopefull for flowers and fruit this year



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