Orchard in People’s Park

We’ve planted and orchard in People’s Park! With the help of the local community and Orchards East, we planted 19 apple, pear and plum trees in the north west corner of Bell’s Close, People’s Park. Orchards East are a collaborative project working with existing county orchard groups, other interested organisations and orchard owners, to stimulate interest and engage a wide range of new volunteers in all things orchard.

Jump to 2022 tree additions

Orchard map

Here’s a numbered photograph of what we planted, but the numbering is still provisional! The wonderfully evocative descriptions are from the plant labels of the University of East Anglia.

  1. Apple (Malus) St Edmund’s Russet
    Straight Lead M 25 2 year
    Mid season russet. Sweet, juicy, densely textured, pale cream flesh. Attractive golden-red russet and silvery sheen. 
  2. Apple (Malus) Egremont Russet
    Straight Lead M 25 2 year
    Flesh is cream, tinged yellow, sweet and firm with a rich nutty flavour, The usual russet to be found in shops. 
  3. Pear (Pyrus) Concorde
    Straight Lead Kirchensaller 2 year
    Pale green turning yellow, patches of gold/brown russet. Flesh sweet an juicy. Heavy cropping. Compact grower. 
  4. Pear (Pyrus) Humbug (Stripy)
    Straight Lead Kirchensaller 2 year
    Green, yellow and pink striped pear. Sweet and juicy texture with a thick skin. Even young shoots appear stripey in winter. 
  5. Plum (Prunus) Purple Pershore
    Maiden Brompton 1 year
    A very useful robust plum with good regular crops. Purple almost black and very large. Good dual purpose. Self fertile. 
  6. Plum (Prunus)  Marjories’ Seedling
    Blush VVA-1 2 year
    One of the latest picking plums for September. Large and good quality purple fruit. Dual purpose. Good cropper. 
  7. Gage Coes Golden Drop
    Maiden/12LSt Julien A
  8. Apple (Malus) Bramley ‘Original’
    Straight Lead M25 2 Year
    A cooking apple propagated from the Original Bramley tree in Southwell. Sharp and acidic flavours. 
  9. Apple (Malus) Worcester Pearmain
    Straight Lead M25 2 Year
    Reliable crop of delicious orange-red fruit. Firm, juicy flesh is very sweet with strong strawberry flavour. 
  10. Apple (Malus) Lady Henniker
    Straight Lead M25 2 Year
    Large, green-cream tinted flesh. Cooks to a strong flavoured puree. Stores well. 
  11. Pear (Pyrus) William’s Bon Chretien
    Straight Lead Kirchensaller 2 Year
    A good early eating variety, media-large, pale, green turning golden yellow. Juicy and sweet flesh, regular. 
  12. Damson (Prunus) Aylesbury Prune
    Maiden St. Julien A 1 Year
    Late picking variety which is round, sweet and can be eaten fresh or used for cooking. Self fertile. 
  13. Gage (Prunus) Cambridge Maiden Brompton 1 year
    Small, yellowish-green, juicy fruit, reliable. Good cropper and self-fertile, prefers a sheltered, warm site. 
  14. Damson (Prunus) Merryweather
    Maiden Brompton 1 year
    Unusually large damson both for dessert and culinary use. Reliable heavy crops of blue-black fruits, deliciously sweet. 
  15. Apple (Malus) King’s Acre Pippin
    Straight Lead M25 2 Year
    A large fruit, tree with brownish red flush and russet patches. Very rich flavour with a crisp, juicy texture. 
  16. Apple (Malus) Blenheim Orange
    Straight Lead M25 2 Year
    Yellow-gold with orange flush and red stripes. Nutty test, sweet and crumply texture. And old favourite!
  17. Pear (Pyrs) Conference
    Straight Lead Kirchensaller 2 Year
    Yellowish-green with brown russet areas, occasional pink flush on chalk soil. Sweet, juicy eater and a good cropper. 
  18. Apple (Malus) Laxton’s Superb
    Straight Lead M25 2 Year
    Sweet and aromatic, similar to Cox. Purple flush and red stripes give this an old fashioned appearance. [Laxton’s Superb was first bred in 1897 by the Laxton Brothers in Bedford]
  19. Apple Malus (James Grieve)
    Straight Lead M25 2 Year
    Red flush stripes over pale green. Excellent flavour and reliable cropper. Deservedly popular as an eater and cooker.

February 2022 tree additions

As part of the Luton Peace Garden initiative, the orchard was extended by the following varieties. The initiative supports bereaved families by helping them plant a tree in the memory of a loved one.

  1. Bedfordshire Foundling
  2. Beauty of Bedford
  3. Laxton’s Exquisite
  4. Pams Delight (Luton’s only very own variety…so far)
  5. Rushmore Embroidered
  6. Laxton’s Royalty and Court Pendu Plait (an ancient French variety needed to pollinate the Laxtons Royalty as it’s in a pollination group almost on its own)

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