October plant of the month: quince

Quince makes an unusual but decorative addition to the fruit garden
 

Quince 'Serbian Gold'Upon entering the fruit and vegetable garden at Rosemoor you could easily be fooled by the tree that greets you as being some interesting form of apple, but it is actually an edible Cydonia, better known as a quince; originating from the Middle East and Asia.

Here, they are often seen as a symbol of love, marriage and fertility, but as the name suggests this particular variety comes from Serbia. Cydonia oblonga ‘Serbian Gold’ AGM makes a beautiful ornamental tree that would easily fit into almost any garden.

However, it has a second trick up its sleeve, as it produces a mass of fruit, ideal for making into a marvellous array of autumnal recipes. But it doesn’t stop there, the fruit has a tremendously heady scent, especially if picked and brought into the house and allowed to rest; the fragrance it releases will perfume a room in your home beautifully. This fragrance will waft throughout the garden whilst the fruit is on the tree and it may be worth considering planting near a doorway to get full benefit from the scent.

C. oblonga ‘Serbian Gold’ has many attractive features and makes a fine addition to the garden. In spring it is covered in attractive light pink blossom that is self-fertile, the leaves are mid green and turn to a good display of autumn colour and later into the summer the fruits begin to show through, covering the tree like Christmas tree baubles.

Regular pruning helps increase airflow in what can become quite a congested crown, this in turn helps to reduce a build-up of fungal disease such as quince blight that can sometimes affect poorly maintained trees. ‘Serbian Gold’ can also make an attractive subject to grow as a fan trained tree against a south facing wall, but careful and considered pruning is needed as they are tip bearing fruit trees. Start harvesting fruit in early October, and allow it a couple of weeks to rest and ripen before cooking, the fruit should easily store for two months.

Discuss this

for the site or to share your experiences on this topic and seek advice from our community of gardeners.

Get involved

We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.