Pip pip hooray... Autumn Flower Show set to have the apple at its very core

PLANS ARE in hand to celebrate the humble apple at a flower show next month.

Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, which runs from September 12 to 14, is planning a frenzy of fruit this year.

Taking visitors on the journey from Pip to Press, the show’s new autumn festival will offer the opportunity to learn more about the Malus, the species including the orchard apple, including a long-forgotten Yorkshire link to what is arguably the world’s most famous variety of the fruit.

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One of the oldest surviving varieties of eating apple, the Ribston Pippin, was raised 300 years ago at Ribston Hall, near Knaresborough, by the dedicated arboriculturalist Sir Henry Goodricke.

Sir Henry grew the first Ribston Pippin from the only survivor of three pips sent from Normandy in 1709. It was from this variety that Richard Cox raised his famous Cox’s Orange Pippin a century later.

The grandchild of the original Ribston tree still stands proudly in the grounds of the hall and, with the permission of the current owner Charles Dent, autumn flower show visitors will have the chance to step back three centuries to the days when apples were simply known as ‘pippins’.

Television chef Stephanie Moon and fellow cookery 
theatre host Gilly Robinson
 will be offering a slice of history each day as they demonstrate 
an original 18th century 
recipe for ‘A fraze with pippins’.

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Meanwhile visitors to the show’s festival marquee, The Core, also have the chance to sample some Ribston Pippin in a taste test to find out whether they can tell the difference between heritage varieties and their modern successors.

A pop-up orchard will be on hand for demonstrations and other attractions include cider presses, willow apple weaving and fruit wood carving.

Show director Nick Smith said: “Our love of the humble apple stretches back thousands of years and the vast range of varieties now available means that even small gardens can sustain apple trees.” For more details about the show or to book online visit www.flowershow.org.uk or call 01423 546157.