A Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) garden has revealed that it is enjoying a bumper crop of apples from its orchards, despite the year's wet weather and concerns over pollinating insects.
Rebecca Bevan, team leader for fruit and vegetables at RHS Wisley, told the Express and Star almost 700 varieties are grown there and explained their success has been down to planting with bees in mind.
Apple flowers cannot be fertilised by pollen from the same tree and need that from another variety if they are to bear fruit. Having so many species in close proximity meant the bumbling insects were easily able to dodge the wind and rain to get to the different blooms.
"Even though the weather was awful, we had more bees around which were covered in a lot more compatible pollen," Ms Bevan commented.
The garden will be showcasing its harvest at the RHS Taste of Autumn Festival from October 17th and gardeners are sure to be eager to take a look at all the produce.
If you find yourself inspired by the orchards, why not pick up your garden equipment and plant yourself a miniature one in your own green space?
Clearly, it's too late for fruit this year, but you could be making apple pies galore by autumn 2013 if you get cracking in the next few weeks.
Ms Bevan had some tips for would-be fruit growers.
"We advise home gardeners to choose at least one pollination partner for each tree, but often in suburban areas that's going to happen anyway because different people have different apple trees and the bees will travel from one garden to another to exchange the pollen," she said.
The expert also recommended growing wild flowers to encourage bees and to provide bamboo canes for them to overwinter inside ready for next year.
You can plant bare-root trees in late autumn up until early winter as long as you avoid frost. Use your garden equipment to dig a hold a third wider than the roots and the same depth plus five centimetres.
Choosing a sunny, sheltered position, watering regularly and protecting the tree from pests should ensure there is plenty of fruit to enjoy this time next year.