Good enough to eat

I FELT I should just remark on the passing this week of a special tree in Weston's Boulevard. Along with some yew trees, it stood in the front garden of number 25 adjoining

I FELT I should just remark on the passing this week of a special tree in Weston's Boulevard. Along with some yew trees, it stood in the front garden of number 25 adjoining John Hodge (formerly the Smyth Piggot, Lord of the Manor, estate offices) and must have been planted way before the Second World War. It was a flowering crab apple and I believe it was the variety John Downie. I remember it from my earliest childhood as I made my way to Christ Church School from Queens Road. In the Spring, it was covered in pink buds which opened to the loveliest white. This was at the time when the Boulevard was planted with magnificent London planes and elms. During the summer the small crab apples would develop, and by early autumn they would decorate the tree yellow and red. They were good enough to eat (or make jelly from) but they were rarely picked, it seemed. Eventually the apples would fall onto the pavement, often covering it, and quietly ferment.That area of the Boulevard, at its junction with Victoria Quadrant, would then smell a little like a brew house with the sharp smell of cider. And it did it again last year. I just didn't realise it was going to be for the last time! Perhaps the present owners could plant a new John Downie in memory of the old - it would be a seemly thing to do.DR HOWARD SMITH - Stafford Place, Weston


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