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Celebrating national Apple Day in Inverness (19/10/11)
Preparations for Inverness’s first Apple Day are almost complete. It will take place from 1-4pm at the Floral Hall, Bught Park, on Saturday (22 October), which is national Apple Day. Entry to the event and the Floral Hall is free.
Awaiting those attending will be the opportunity to sample some apple recipes, see over 70 different varieties of apples as well as consulting apple experts on unknown varieties of apple.
The apple map will also be at the event. The map currently has over 70 sites of orchards or apple trees with more than 50 different varieties represented. The trees can be found all over the Highlands from Tongue to Wick over to Skye and down to Morven and all round Easter Ross and Inverness-shire.
Jonathan Willet, the Council’s biodiversity officer, has been advised of a number of orchards in the Highlands with large varieties of apples. One orchard at Dunlichity, Nairnshire, boasts 67 varieties.
He said: “Just about all the big houses in the Highlands that still have a walled garden have some fruit trees there. So work on the apple map will continue after Apple Day and on for a while yet.”
He reported that the mystery of the status of the Coul Blush has partly been solved.
He reported: “There are several young specimens that have been planted round the Highlands. There is no surprise as this variety is still available to buy. However, Sir George MacKenzie, Coul House, Contin, did not create just one Highland variety but 5. The true lost Highland apples are the Tarvey Codlin, Contin Reinette, Sweet Topaz and the Kinellan. Sir George won a silver medal from the Caledonian Horticultural Society in 1827 for these varieties that he raised at Coul House. The Tarvey Codlin and Contin Reinette were very highly thought of "as two of the finest seedlings that have yet been submitted to them" (the CHS). They were new varieties created by cross pollination of other varieties and Sir George, or rather his gardeners, grew them from seed. It would be quite something to find these varieties. Part of the problem may be finding their descriptions. So far we have found one, for the Tarvey Codlin, “a large conical apple dull green and yellow with rows of blood red dots. Late Nov / Dec apple.”
Anyone who has an apple that they would like identified should bring it along to Saturday’s event.