Apple Day at Houghton Lodge Gardens

Houghton Lodge Gardens near Stockbridge will be hosting another celebration of their heritage apples on Sunday 30th September, with a bushel of activities the whole family will enjoy.

‘Heritage Apples’ are varieties not available across today’s supermarkets and shops. They were in abundance around 80 years ago when apple orchards were on every corner and in most gardens, but sadly with the lack of manpower after both world wars, new farming techniques and more profitable uses of the land, the orchards were lost.

Join Mr. Chris Bird, M.Hort (RHS) of Sparsholt College when he returns with some of his colleagues and former students for a day of historic apple wisdom! There will be plenty of opportunity to ‘ask the experts’ on fruit tree growing, cultivating and pruning along with the chance to view and taste the many varieties.

New for this year there will an exciting addition to the annual Apple Day for children to enjoy, Mike O’Leary will be visiting to tell a few stories…

Mike has written several books of folk tales from Hampshire and Sussex, and in ‘Hampshire Folk tales for Children’ he tells of his terrible experience at the hands (branches) of the Apple Tree Man – from a time when he worked in Hampshire’s Meon Valley. However Mike has always been a storyteller, he tells his stories – he doesn’t read them. He tells them with the aid of various musical instruments, and is always fun and engaging. He also tells us that all his stories are true, except for those that aren’t. For Apple day; they will be very appley!

Children can also take part in the ‘Apple Trail’ around the gardens to see who has stolen the golden apple!

Visitors may also like to visit Houghton Lodge Gardens to see over 32 varieties of apple trees, as well as pear, plum, fig and kiwi trees in the kitchen garden and the great espalier pear tree with a span of over fifty feet – possibly the longest in the country.

Honesty at Houghton Lodge Gardens will be open for light lunches – and yes, Heritage Apple Cake will be on the menu along with other treats on the day and fresh bread for sale.

Houghton Lodge Gardens and Sparsholt College Apple Day.
Sunday 30th September 11am -4pm
Adults £6.50, children over 3 £3.00, under 3’s free



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