Britain’s largest grower of fruit and ornamental trees for garden centres, Frank P Matthews Limited of Worcestershire, is set to take a very special collection of apples on a mini tour of the county this autumn. Starting at the 2017 Malvern Autumn Show, the company will be displaying more than 300 different varieties, together with crab apples and the pears that this area is also famous for.
Included in the collection will be the newly bred ‘Apple Paradise Gold’, as chosen by the London Paralympic Legacy for planting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; to recognise the importance of this organisation to UK sport. In addition, the new-for-2017 variety ‘Apple Surprize’, with its brilliantly glossy orange skin and pink flesh, will join others from as far away as New Zealand and the USA and as close by as the Teme Valley. All of the apples in this international collection were grown in a single field and hand-picked for the display.
To help keep apples at the top of the league table for Britain’s favourite fruit, every variety will be labelled with its name, place of origin and a description to encourage show goers to find out more and maybe even plant a new variety of apple tree at home this autumn.
Stephanie Dunn-James, who represents the fourth generation within this family-run business, explained the tour in more detail: “After attending the Malvern Autumn Show, every apple will be carefully packed and stored until we repeat the display at the annual Applefest in Tenbury Wells on Saturday 7 October. Then they will travel the short distance back to our own dedicated Tree Shop at Berrington Court for a final, free-to-view display, for the remainder of October.”
The Malvern Autumn Show will be held at the Three Counties Showground on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September and the apple display will be situated in the Malvern Autumn Pavilion.