Of unknown parentage, Garden Royal originated in Sudbury, MA about 1790. The apple was introduced by a Mr. Bowker , and there is still a “Bowker Drive” in Sudbury. In 2010 John gave a talk about the apple to a group of Sudbury residents, and they are currently on the look- out for old trees in that area.
Garden Royal was one of the more famous dessert apples of the past. A.J. Downing, in the 1860 edition of his Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, calls it “very tender, juicy, rich, vinous, aromatic, a beautiful and excellent fruit.” The tree grows slowly in the nursery and rarely produces large crops. Thus Garden Royal fell out of favor as commercial nurseries and commercial orcharding became popular.
We suggest that you eat Garden Royals fresh, alone or with cheese.