Thursday, January 27

And now for something different.

Our interest was pricked when watching a TV gardening programme a while ago. Someone mentioned that they had grown a Japanese Wineberry and had commented on how delicious the berries were and how prolific the plant was. We quite like growing fruits that are a bit different and so we decided to look out for one and recently found one on the Victoriana Nursery Gardens website.

Regular visitors to this blog will also know that last year our early excitement when our kiwis produced flowers turned to disappointment when we didn't get a single fruit. We think the problem was that only the male or the female plant flowered (not sure which is which) so the flowers weren't pollinated. Anyway there sitting in the same section as the wineberry was a self fertile kiwi plant called Issai. This is supposed to bear a large crop of small smooth skinned kiwis so that was added to our list. Unfortunately it won't pollinate our other kiwis so the only hope for fruit from those is if the male and female plants get their act together!

Martyn noticed that Victoriana also sold nut trees and so fancied trying a cobnut as well and who am I to say no so a Webbs Prize Cobnut tree was added to the list. We already have a couple of hazel bushes on the plot but they only produce nuts fit for the squirrels. They originally were contorted hazels that have lost their contortions and so were produced for decorative rather than productive purposes. Must admit I never really found the tangle of stems to be attractive which is why the bushes ended up on the plot. The RHS also reckon that cobnuts are a good source of nectar for bees so we will be doing a bit to help them too.

This week the plants arrived but will be potted up and left in our cold greenhouse until the conditions improve - this has worked well with fruit trees and bushes in the past. The photo album shows how the plants arrived - they were well packaged and the plants looked in good condition so I guess it is now up to us to look after them. I'll keep you posted.

Victoriana Nurseries are offering a 10% discount to anyone ordering from them using any of their links on any of our blogs or websites.

I also have to admit that I acted completely out of character when I visited the supermarket this week. Out of character as I don't usually impulse but - well not from a supermarket anyway! There sitting flaunting its flowers was a hellebore niger. It looked beuatiful and as I had considered buying one before i didn't consider it to be a total impulse. I know it is maybe further on than it naturally would be but if I keep it in the cold greenhouse for a while I hope it will be fairly happy until I can plant it out. I'm not sure whether it will go in the new bed at the front of the house (I've already ordered a batch of plants for there which I'll write about later) or for the shady area under the crab apple (I've ordered some plants for there too but no sign of finding a statue yet). I'm leaning towards the shady area at the moment - what do you think?


  1. I don't know whether I remember it correctly or not. But I heard that its better to plant 2 different variety of kiwi to help with pollination. I am also in a fine mood because I found which company I can buy purple and green cauliflower.

  2. I always wondered how it is possible that someone sends you a live plant via post office. Now I know. interesting.

  3. You're correct Diana the two we have at the allotment already are male and female but they just didn't flower at the same time last year. In fact one just didn't flower at all. The one we have just received is self fertile and so doesn't need a friend! Glad that you've found your green cauliflower!

    This parcel was really well packaged Ana.

  4. They look like very healthy plants you have their...I'm interested to find out hoe the wineberry gets on...I love growing something a little less ordinary too.

    I had a kiwi which I bought a couple of years ago but it was nothing compared to the standard of your plants and died off very quickly...I may try again next year. I have been thinking about nut trees but i am at a loss on which would be beneficial so I would love some tips.

    The plant looks lovely...If it were me I'd go for under the crab apple tree but it will look great whatever you decide!!

  5. I'm not expert on nut trees tanya but many seem to grow too large or take too long to produce nuts. We chose the cobnut as it can be kept small and also can be used as a hedge. If it is anything like taking cuttings form wild hazel then then they should root easily.

    Victoriana have some advice on this page

  6. I don't grow anything unusual. Maybe I should take a leaf out of your book and have a go. The parcels certainly arrived well packaged and the plants look in good condition. I would go for the shady area for your Hellebore.

  7. Interesting comment about not normally buying plants from supermarkets. Who on earth buys the tatty, disshevelled (dead?) specimens I so often see on their shelves?
    Re Cobnut tree: don't get me started on coppicing again! I would see a tree like that as a source of wood as well as nuts.

  8. Its good fun Jo, Lasy year we were over the moon when the medlar had a flower even though the resulting fruit wasn't really very big. It gives you something to aim for!

    That's three of us for the shady area.

    I must admit our Morrisons does have some good quality plants Mark but I worry that they have been 'brought on' but I had to have that one. I'm hoping the ordinary hazel that we coppiced last year will pollinate the cobnut.

  9. So cool getting new plants for the garden! Also I had no idea you needed two kiwis for fruit, is the good thing about having such great online garden neighbors, you learn so much everyday

  10. It is a good way to learn Fer from one another's experiences.

    At least the new kiwi should be able to produce fruit without a partner. I'm a bit concerned about whether our other hazels will pollinate the cobnut as we don't want them to be too close together so I wonder how close do they have to be for a successful pollination

  11. Good luck with your new trees!

  12. Impulse buy? Not me!

    Just a blackberry, a blackcurrant, some red onion sets, 10 Nicola, 10 Estima and some Dahlia tubors. Funny thing is only I popped into the poundshop because I heard they currently have cheap (£5.99)fruit trees, but were too big to take on the bus in the rush hour. (The fruit bushes were 2 for £4 - I couldn't help myself!!!)

  13. Thanks Damo.

    Now I feel much better Mal _ I feel that I was very restrained!

  14. What a great selection of new plants - and I include the hellebore in that, despite it coming from the supermarket! Re the hellebore, I always like to plant mine in shady spots because so little gives good colour in such places and they work really well there. Will be fascinated to see how you fare with the new trees, any idea how long before the wineberry will bear fruit?

  15. I'm hoping for fruit next year, Janet. It's a biennial plant related to the rapsberry so canes that grow this year should fruit next year like blackberries do.


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