Spent an afternoon at an apple day event at Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens in Birmingham. A very entertaining couple of hours, especially as our weather has been so bad recently and the day was bright and sunny.
Disappointed that there was little real autumn foliage on view but took a couple of photos of some colourful shrubbery. Disappointed because there was plenty of colour on trees along the road on the way to the event, will have to take a hike or visit one of the aboreta (is that the correct plural of arboretum?) in the vicinity; there is a great example is Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds at Moreton-in-the-Marsh. from there you will find lots of links to similar facilities nearby. Including Bodenham Arboretum and of course Westonbirt Arboretum. My own poor images of autumn colour include the following two photographs:-
A very sparce show of colour, but this is in the centre of the second largest city in the UK, may get more colourful in the next few weeks, see the official website.
So what is an apple day event? They appear to have been started by an organisation called Common Ground which was concerned with conservation of the countryside and country skills / crafts. The first apple day was held in 1990, the loss of apple varieties being used to signify the loss of these skills and the need for conservation. The idea took off and many are held throughout the UK, proving very popular with visitors to all sorts of properties.
One of the entertainments held at the event was Molly Dancing. The Brummie Gems (brummagem is the local dialect for the name of the city of Birmingham) are a sort of female morris dance troup. Dressing up in "traditional" gear and performing folk dances along the lines of Morris dancing. here is a quick shot of the ladies:-
Great fun and in fact my wife was so enthusiatic she wanted to find out about the group and even have a go herself as they meet locally in the city. For a better idea of what it is all about try this video from You tube.
Or this one from an event at Sudely Castle.
Finally, A shot of the Hall itself, although this is now run as an hotel and is not run in connection with the gardens.
PS The event was all about apples and so here are a couple of examples of some almost forgotten varieties. We took these photos because we bought a selection of some of the apples from the Hall Gardens. You wouldn't find them on the shelves of the local supermarkets but they had a lovely taste.
There is another local apple day event at Blakesley Hall next week, I am very tempted to make sure that we attend.