Quince produce wonderfully scented fruit which ripen to a golden colour and can be picked in September and October. Their decorative blossom,appears as single on short shoots in May and is seldom bothered by late frost.Their downy leaves turn a gorgeous yellow in autumn A native of Iranian mountainsides it is extremely hardy but, like all quinces need sun to fruit well. As it is planted further north, Vranja needs an increasingly warm spot, and by the time it gets to Yorkshire, a sunny wall is necessary for reliable crops. Quince will benefit from a monthly spray of seaweed solution, in spring and summer weed and mulch well. In autumn store the best fruit in a cool dry airy place and remove any excisting rotten fruit from the tree. Prune should be restricted to dead, diseased and crossing wood after the leaves have fallen in the winter and will thank you for a good feed of compost.
Quince need a moist preferably fertile soil in a sunny warm aspect. They can also flourish as waterside specimens. The flowers feed beneficial insects and bees while the birds and wildlife will relish the fruit long after apples and pears have gone. Quinces make an excellent specimen tree as the flowers, fruit, autumn colour and then its knotted branches give year round interest. .
A bon mot. In the old days the fruit was used to scent rooms with their wonderful fragrance. It is still used as a base for pomanders. Try it, it works and better than some of those nasty artificial smells one can buy.
History: An old fruit, originally from Persia and Turkestan, it is still grown in many parts of Europe. Dedicated by the ancients to the Goddess of Love, the Quince was promulagated by the Roman Empire as one of their favoured crops. In 812 AD Charlemange encouraged the French to grow Quince and Chaucer referred to them by their French name ‘coines’.
The ancient Greeks called the quince ‘chrysomelon meaning golden apple’ The mythological apples of Hesperides were Golden Quinces as was the apple given by Paris on Mount Olympus to Aphrodite, the goddess of love.