Our house is named after a certain type of apple tree that grows in the garden. When we first moved here eleven and a half years ago there were five of them out there. We’ve since lost two of them to storms and ivy strangulation, but between them they have kept us in apple products year-round for the whole of that time. Being able to make a crumble or pie in the depths of winter from apples that came from your own land is a wonderful pleasure. This is a photo of the biggest and most productive tree; as well as providing abundant fruit it has been our sun shade, climbing frame and kids’ reading perch. Worryingly, last autumn, our friendly tree surgeon told us it was no longer economically sensible to pay to have it pruned as it was very near the end of its life. I’ve no idea how old it actually is; 50? 60? The house is 90 years old – could the trees have been planted then? Anyway, it is just about to come into blossom and we are hoping for at least one more bumper crop from our old friend – we will miss it when it is gone.