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It hasn’t been the best of growing seasons……..potato blight, tomato blight, garlic rust, bumper slugs, poor fruit crops – you name it; some gardener is talking about it. Now’s the time of year to look back over the successes and failures of the past year and to plan for the next one – in growing terms at least.

One of my long term plans has been to grow more fruit. Gradually we have filled the boundaries of the garden with espalliered apples and pears and found space for a small orchardy-type thing with quince, greengages and plums.In view of the wierd weather I am keen to plant local varieties which do well on our heavy clay soils or late flowering varieties which, by all accounts, have done much better than others this year.

So I’m on the hunt for two apple trees to swell the numbers. One is *Celt* which was popular during the forties and is reputed to have been developed in Melksham, about 5 miles away from here. The other pictured above (thanks to Nick at Habitat Aid)  is the lovely ancient *Court Pendu Plat* whichI first came across at the Weald and Downland Museum and has been their best cropper by far this year. It’s a late flowerer and dates from at least the early seventeeth century and possibly much earlier than that. (Think Romans).

I’m hoping both will do well for me and will provide me with a good crop to take with me when running my *Dig for Victory* and *Romans at Home* school workshops next year.