There’s a stunning tree in the back garden of this grand house in Puglia in the south of Italy. The Lady of the Manor tells me it is an apple tree. “Large apples,” she says. They’re apparently yellow and only suitable for cooking. It’s a “Mela cotogna” she says.
I’m studying it closely when I suddenly have a revelation: the flowers look just like roses.
They’ve got the familiar five petals. It’s a tree, though, and it doesn’t have thorns, but those flowers are unmistakable.
I search through my phone for the quick snaps I took earlier:
It’s a Quince tree, not an apple tree. Quinces are part of the Rose family, just like apples, pears, cherries and almonds. They would explain their rosebud flowers.
I’d love to be here when they are ripe and use them to make some Quince jelly or Quince leather. Maybe I’ll just have to visit again.