Apples in the Playground

'Laxton's Fortune' apples near Boxworth Grove

It may not be an orchard, but the playground in Barnard Park has a tree with lovely apples. Next to a wild yellow plum, the apple tree sits near the entrance of the playground on the corner of the Boxworth Grove path. With its spreading branches, the tree produces apples, red striped over green, which are crisp and sweet. It is not known how the fruit tree came to be in the park. One guess is that the tree may have been planted outside prefab houses built after the WWII bombing of the site before the park was built. Or maybe the tree grew from an apple core. The Royal Horticultural Society believes the apple is most likely ‘Laxton’s Fortune’, an English Cox-style apple introduced in 1904 by the famous Laxton’s Bros. nursery in Bedford.  Whatever the variety, Alan, who runs the garage in Boxworth Grove, thinks the apples are tasty and picks some every year.

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