BBC crew film in Leitholm garden

Border Organic Gardeners member Alec West of Antons Hill, Leitholm inspects some of the apples from his large variety of trees prior to apple Day.
Border Organic Gardeners member Alec West of Antons Hill, Leitholm inspects some of the apples from his large variety of trees prior to apple Day.

This week’s episode of The Beechgrove Garden will contain a special feature on the work being done introducing new breeds of apple to Scotland.

George Anderson and his camera crew were in Leitholm, earlier this week, visiting the walled garden at Anton’s Hill.

The walled garden there has a traditional 65 foot long greenhouse, as well as a solardome housing a cacti collection, and has previously featured on the Great British Garden Revival.

But the Beechgrove Garden programme makers were more interested this time in Alec’s work with over 200 apple species.

“They were curious about growing in cordons and the way we do things here,” he said.

“That’s the way we do things here so we were able to have a bit of a chat. The whole point is to try out new species to see whether these varieties can grow well in Scotland.”

He joked: “With global warming, when Kent is a desert, I’m sure we’ll see a growth in fruit up here! But seriously, I think the area can become a fruit growing area again.

“When we had the railway, years ago, Jedburgh pears were sent down to be sold down in Covent Garden, in London. We could go back to that. When you look at the old country houses around here, they all have nice gardens and orchards attached to them.”

As well as apples, Alec grows pears and plums in what is said to be the largest collection in Scotland.