My parents have a host of apple trees, old varieties and new. Not in any kind of ordered, orchard sense but plants dotted here and there. 3 of the columnar ballerina varieties stand tall in ornamental beds festooned with fruit.
The idea of these fastigate fruit trees (you can get pears, gages, plums and cherries too) is a good one - you can fit a number of different varieties in the space one sprawling apple would take up, you can also dot them in and about the garden with no shade issues which is tremendously helpful from an aesthetic point of view as is their refined shape which the shot below shows better.
Here's a cluster of fruit on a different ballerina apple.
Which isn't to say there isn't a place for delightful old spreading apples too. Below is the giant cooking apple Howgate Wonder which my dad persists with because he likes the idea that one day it will push a crop of enormous apples. Perhaps one day it might, for now there's this to be filling pies with.
I don't know what the fruit below is. It's an old plant but not that old so probably somehthing fairly common.
Meanwhile some truly ancient local varieties have been busy putting on leaf and wood this year instead of fruiting. Oh well. We are still knee-deep in fruit. Speaking of which - what to share next? Pears or weirder stuff. I think perhaps weirder stuff.