This morning we undertook some serious horticultural research at Marwood Hill Gardens. I can confirm that, as this visit was in work time, no fun whatsoever was had as we wandered around the spectacular grounds packed full of unusual specimens, champion trees and beautiful autumn colour. The experience was purely scientific and educational. Spock would have been proud.
This crab apple from the province of Hupeh, Malus hupehensis, was dripping with scarlet hip-like fruit. The leaves of this tree are used in its native China to make tea, hence the alternative common name of tea crab apple and synonym M. theifera. In spring pink buds burst into white blossom. A tree that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional; any Vulcan worth his salt would approve.