Apple heritage

Over many years, Pluscarden Abbey has been building up a collection of apple-tree varieties, which might otherwise be lost and die out.  "We have about 120 varieties of apple", says Br. Michael de Klerk, the Abbey's apple expert, "and of course they are enjoyed by the monks and their guests.  We make some into juice, too."

Br. Michael and Br. Joseph, the Abbey's gardener, are seen examining the blossom of a local variety, Beauty of Moray.  "It's a very good apple", says Br. Michael, "it comes in about a month before the Bramleys, and it's a good cooking apple with a superb flavour."

It is the blossom which is beautiful: the fruit is rather plain! It is compact in growth, very prolific in fruiting, never has scab and grows blossom on first-year (maiden) wood. It has never failed to crop.