I first heard about these apricots from Canada with names that ended in the suffix ‘cot’, from fruit specialist Will Sibley at a Thompson & Morgan Press Day some years ago. I thought then that it would be wonderful to have one of these apricots growing in my garden…
Well, I moved to a house with a smaller garden where the only rule for plants is: be productive or beautiful or both, if at all possible! So I purchased Prunus armeniaca ‘Tomcot’ in 2012 from Mr Darcy’s Heritage Fruit Trees (www.mrdarcysheritagefruittrees.com) at the last of the renowned Cottesbrooke Plant Fairs. I was there with two friends and car space was at a premium, but as it was my car I could pull rank about bringing back a tree – although it was relatively small at the time.
It was duly planted, lovingly maintained and so on for several years… but no fruit … “And you know the rules”, I told it one morning in spring 2015… “I have my eyes on you and maybe this is the last year we will share”!
Well, they say you should be careful what you wish for – only, in this case, I am delighted with the results.
This spring the tree flowered profusely, the flowers missed the frosts and the masses and masses of little apricots grew and grew and grew…
In July I harvested 4.5kg of wonderful fruit from a groaning tree. I have made jam – kilos of it; poached apricots with vanilla pods and star anise (and frozen quantities of poached apricots), as well as eaten fruit fresh from the tree and served it in desserts.
My apricot ‘Tomcot’ has earned its keep and is here to stay… I am dreaming of next year’s crop already.
There are three of these self-fertile Canadian apricots available: ‘Tomcot’, ‘Flavorcot’ and ‘Goldcot’. They take several years to mature to a fruiting state, but ‘Tomcot’ does fruit earlier than the other two, in my case at three years after planting.