Stepover apple advice
I have a small unused border next to the path to my front door. I would like to plant some James Grieve 1 year old M27rootstock 'stepover' apple trees there. I wondered if I could ask two questions for your opinion:
1. What is a good cross-pollinator to grow next to this? I live in cold Scotland. I know that there are long lists available online but if anyone has advice then I would love to hear it!
2. Will this bed have to be free of any other plants? I had planned on planting lots of tulip and crocus bulbs too (you know, so that there is something pretty there while the trees are getting going). I read that the ground should be 'grass and weed free' next to new stopover trees, and so I am now thinking that perhaps the bulbs will suck out all the goodness from the ground and leave nothing for the trees....
Would appreciate your thoughts and help!