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Apples are among our best-loved fruit, steeped in history and still an integral part of British life. I say ‘British’, as many artisan gardeners, now long forgotten, made innumerable selections to meet local climatic and social needs. Distinctive names provide clues to their origins: ‘Beauty of Kent’ ‘Carlisle Codlin’, ‘Cornish Aromatic’ and ‘Yorkshire Greening’ are examples. Many cultivars were recorded in possibly the most comprehensive fruit encyclopedia ever produced, The Fruit Manual by Robert Hogg. First published in 1860, it celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. In this month’s issue, RHS historian Brent Elliott and RHS fruit specialist Jim Arbury take a retrospective look at the man and his legacy, while fruit experts Matthew Ordidge and Tim Biddlecombe examine the future of British apples. You can see an exhibit about Hogg at the RHS Autumn Harvest Show on 5–6 October, while fruit of all kinds can be enjoyed at the A Taste of Autumn events held this month in all RHS gardens.
Ian Hodgson, Editor
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© The Royal Horticultural Society 2013 RHS Registered Charity № 222879/SC038262