Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 476

Bramley’s Seedling


Hello Everyone



lt is now the last chance you have to plant bare-rooted trees this winter; and as we know the world needs more trees.


The growing season is upon us and it will soon be too late to plant any more trees that are sold out of their pots.


ln fact spring has come very early this year, you might have noticed, and there has been lots of blossom around for a long while now.


So l thought this week, l would tell you the very famous story of how we got one of our favourite trees – the Bramley apple tree – we couldn’t make the best apple pies without them.


The story starts in about 1809, when a young woman called Mary Ann Brailsford planted some apple pips over by her garden wall.


One tree that grew from the pips produced large, green apples with a rosy tint that cooked up into a very soft, sharp, white froth.


Apple pips do not produce a plant that is exactly the same as their parents. 


You can plant pips that will turn into a tree that will produce small, misshapen fruits with a bad taste.  You can never tell what result you will get – but Mary got really lucky with her pips.


The story then goes, that in about 1857, a local man called Henry Merryweather came across the vicar of the parish carrying a basket of these apples.


Henry owned a plant nursery and was interested to know where the vicar has got the fine apples from.


He was taken to see Mary’s tree.


Henry took some twigs from the tree and grafted them onto rootstock.


He named the new trees after the man who now lived in the house where Mary had lived.  His name was Matthew Bramley.


More trees were produced and achieved fame in Royal Horticultural Shows throughout the last part of the century.


They became very popular, and by the 1920s hundreds of acres of land were being planted up as Bramley orchards. 


They are heavy croppers and the harvest is ready to pick in early October. 


My Auntie Alice has Bramley apples in her garden.  She wouldn’t be without them. 


She has lots of apple trees in her garden which means the Bramleys will be pollinated every year.  They need other apple trees to pollinate them. 


Without pollination of the blossom flowers in the spring you won’t get a crop of apples.


We live in a warmer part of the country, but Bramleys have good frost resistance which means they are a suitable fruit tree to grow in the north of the country too.


The way the flesh softens into a superb, fluffy puree has huge appeal to English cooks.  The apples have a sharp juice that can be mixed in with sweeter apples for drinking.


lt is now the biggest selling cooking apple by far and one of the biggest selling apples in the country.  The other very popular apple is Cox’s Orange Pippin.


Bramley apples are hardly known in other countries.  They don’t know what they are missing! 



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Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  Why did the apple cry?


Bob:  Because his peelings were hurt!




Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

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The original!







This week, l thought you would like to hear about how well our Rocky Bay Community Orchard is doing.

All the fruit trees we are caring for are doing really well with all the TLC (tender loving care) they are getting.



My best friend Captain Jack spends quite a lot of time there because his landlady Mrs Miggins only has a little back yard behind her cottage overlooking the Rocky Bay Harbour.

He does grow a few vegetables there including his Rocky Bay-wide famous monster pumpkins.  (He won’t tell anyone what his growing secrets are.)

So it is really nice for him to be out in the fresh air in the large orchard – and because it is towards the back of the town it is more protected from sea winds.

It is a lovely place to be.



The Vicar Rev Green who lives in the vicarage next to the orchard keeps a calendar of all the jobs to be done and who is volunteering to come and do them.

He also keeps an eye on what is ripening and when harvest time comes round for cherries or pears or apples, etc.

He calls on everyone to come and help with the harvest – there is fair shares for all.

A lot of people like Captain Jack come to work in the orchard and feel like they have a vested interest in that beautiful place.  It feels like it is a bit like having it as their garden.

The wonderful news is that a couple of people are working on building a very large strawberry bed in a sunny patch over by the far fence opposite the entrance!

I think that is going to be very popular.









Hobby Time


lf you want to plant up some hanging baskets this year, you could add some herbs to them to make them especially pretty.

Then you will have things to eat in them that look really colourful too – maybe much more colourful than you would imagine!

Purple sage has beautiful, coloured leaves and likes a sunny position.

Golden-leaved marjoram prefers a little shade.  lt has pretty flowers and is loved by butterflies and bees.

Chives have very pretty purple flowers.  You can snip off the leaves to put in omelets.   These plants like moist soil so remember to water your baskets often.







lt’s the Weekend!




This bag is really easy for a knitting newbie to make.

The bag is made with garter stitch knitting which makes it really robust.

This project shows how if you use really nice materials, even a simple pattern made up can look really effective.

When you use rainbow yarn, you never really know how your project will end up looking – but it is interesting to find out!



Using 4mm knitting needles and rainbow dk yarn cast on 40 stitches

Knit 40 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



  1. Sew up the bottom seam and side seam using over-sew stitching with right sides together then turn the bag the right way out
  2. Crochet 60 chains into a length of yarn and thread along the top of the bag
  3. Tie the ends of the cord together and add a decorative bead to make the bag look really special



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand




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