As the leaves start to take on their golden tones and pumpkins get plumper in the vegetable patch, attention turns to the harvest in Beningbrough Hall walled garden this weekend.
Packed with bite-sized tips, talks and demonstrations – the week is full of appley goodness for visitors to enjoy. It’s a popular event on the seasonal calendar, celebrating the large varieties of apple and other fruit grown. For many, a special way to mark the beginning of autumn.
Taking place within Beningbrough’s walled garden, National Trust gardeners will be on hand to answer all your questions.
Each day expect short talks, with a chance to pick the perfect apple straight from the tree and sample different varieties to see if you can find a new favourite.
There will be the popular apple display showcasing some of the different varieties grown in the garden. From big, luscious reds to mellow golden and crunchy green varieties, this is a veritable who’s who of the apple kingdom.
Many of the varieties on display are grown in the walled garden where trees are trained into pyramids, cordons, and espaliers to optimise production in a small space – and look attractive at the same time.
The orchard adds to this nature haven with a dozen more full-size trees growing, most of which are old Yorkshire varieties.
Fruit trees are susceptible to climate variations and the heat of 2022 led to stress for the trees and overproduction of fruit. Conversely this season’s alternating humid, hot, and cold weather means more tree rot, with the fruit going bad quickly.
Earlier fruit picking has been necessary, which in turn means there is a smaller harvest for 2023. Birds and other wildlife are also eating the fruit earlier in the season, sensing this propensity for it to go off in the humid weather.
Speaking of weather, it looks like it will offer the chance for an autumn walk around the gardens and dogs are welcome, including in the walled garden. See what else is growing from rows of leeks, pumpkins of all shapes and sizes and bright colours from chard and beets.
Some paths will be temporarily closed as the Mediterranean Garden is being built. See how things are progressing during your visit as this new climate proof garden, designed by multiple RHS Chelsea Gold Award winner Andy Sturgeon, takes shape.
Both the shop and the restaurant will be getting involved with harvest, offering tasty treats to tempt you. The hall and art galleries are open, and with the wilderness play area and wider parkland beyond, there are plenty of choices to make the most of your day out in the Yorkshire countryside.
Beningbrough’s harvest runs 11 – 15 October 2023, 10am – 5pm with free entry for National Trust and RHS members and under-fives. Plan your visit through the Beningbrough Hall website – no booking required.