Thursday, June 1

Garden fruit

Last week I posted about the fruit growing on our allotment. We also have some fruit growing in the garden mostly in containers.

Let's start in the greenhouse where the oldest resident is a grapevine - Himrod - that we planted almost as long ago as the greenhouse has been standing and I can't remember how long ago that was. It's planted inside the greenhouse in soil. Since planting the floor of the greenhouse has been paved but an opening was left for the vine. I understand why rampant vines feature in horror stories as if you were to fall asleep in the greenhouse during the vine's growing season you could very easily be trapped for ever. Each year the vine vies for greenhouse domination and each year it is cut back brutally but each year it produces lots of bunches of small, sweet, seedless grapes. The immature grapes are beginning to develop.
Regular readers will know that we also have three stone fruit trees growing in large pots in the greenhouse.

Last year the apricot - Flavourcot - produced a good harvest. This year having produced only a few flowers we knew that this year we couldn't expect a repeat performance, however the two clusters of flowers have set fruit.
If these fruits ripen we will be more than satisfied.

The peach - Avalon Pride - and the nectarine - Fantasia - both had lots of flowers many of which set fruit. The peach has the most fruits and I think the time has come for me to bite the bullet and remove some.
The nectarine also has set quite a few fruits. I'm quite surprised by the shape of the young fruitlets.
Although both these trees have plenty of fruit, the trees themselves don't seem to be particularly happy so are in need of some tender, loving care.

Behind the greenhouse we have a Conference pear and at least a couple of apple trees. They started life as cordons along a boundary fence. The cordons were cut back but the stumps left in the ground. These tenaciously and in the privacy of the space behind the greenhouse regrew into trees and continue to produce fruit,
We are not really sure which varieties the apples are but one is very similar to a Bramley.

Around the front of the greenhouse is a cherry tree - Stella - also in a large pot. Stella has set fruit but this will need netting if we are to stand any chance of harvesting the cherries rather than them becoming bird food. Interestingly although we have wood pigeons in our garden, they don't devastate the tree by eating the leaves as happens to the cherry tree on the plot.
The picture above left is of the flower buds on the kiwi - Issai - otherwise known as a kiwi berry. Luckily unlike the plot kiwi this plant is self fertile and produces small, grape-sized, smooth-skinned kiwis. In the past the plant has fallen victim to red spider mite so it is something that I watch out for.

Issai lives in the cold frame area at the top of the garden. Living in the same area also in a large pot is a Brown Turkey fig. Last year, Martyn replanted it in a larger pot with fresh compost and I must admit having read about how figs liked to be pot-bound and in poor soil, I did think maybe it was being coddled too much. However, maybe our fig hasn't read the instruction manual as it has more fruit than it has ever had before.
Our final garden fruit, if you don't count the fruitless John Downie crab apple, is a medlar which is at present in flower.
We don't like eating medlars so the tree is kept for purely ornamental purposes. It has lovely autumn colour.

So that completes our fruit collection - that is for now.


  1. I have been toying with the idea of acquiring a medlar or a quince, and reading through this and your historic posts I think quince is the winning candidate. Also I have twice as many recipes for it: two!

    1. Quince rather than medlar every time if you want to eat the fruit. Having said that not everyone likes the taste of quince as the taste is unique. You can really use quince wherever you would use apples and you can mix with apples if the flavour of quince on its own is too strong a taste for you. We really like them - it's a pity you can't buy one to test out the taste.

  2. I'm surprised Sue, you have many fruit trees potted in a greenhouse. How they can grow in such small volume of soil? I think their roots are big enough for a pot. Love your peach and nectarine!

    1. The trees that we chose are supposed to be suitable for growing in pots, Nadezda. I just hope we manage to harvest some peaches and nectarines.

  3. The birds get through mountains of cherries here. I thought it was going to be a good year for peaches, but alas they have mostly disappeared. The peach leaf curl is bad this year which no doubt hasn't helped. It's not a lovely tree to look out at at the moment. In fact I even thought about replacing it with something else earlier. But the quest for a perfect homegrown peach is hard to abandon!

    1. Peach leaf curl is an absolute menace, CJ. Our cherries haven't grown enough to interest the birds yet but they were beating us to the nearly ripe strawberries. They are now netted.

  4. Your fig tree looks great - mine is still recovering from battering winds. Hopefully it recovers enough to give us a few fruits this year.

  5. Your nectarine and peach has set lots of fruit, which is very exciting to see. It's amazing you have a grapevine growing in your greenhouse, it sounds like it does very well in there.

  6. Oh what riches Sue! I'm particularly envious of your grapevine. Mine was inherited at the allotment where it grew planted in soil at the greenhouse. It mysteriously didn't produce any growth whatsoever last year and again this year so has now had the order of the chop :(


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