"Fruit From My Garden" Personal Page by zizkov
A few months ago, I exchanged some comments with VTer FruitLover and said I'd post some pics of the fruit from my garden when it was in season. Of course, I then completely forgot about this, until I reread some old comments a few days ago. So here, belatedly, is my fruit gallery. As most things are coming to the end of the season, you'll have to take my word for what a magnificent display it was (especially the raspberries) ;-)
And speaking of raspberries... I 'm quite proud of this picture (although it is far from the biggest of the crop). And then I ate it, heh. Scotland has actually an ideal climate for growing raspberries (they thrive on damp summers, with a bit of sun), so much so that wild raspberries are fairly common, and garden plants, if untended, can run riot. Some of my raspberries are on quite old roots (unknown variety supermarket plants) and quality was dipping, so this year I invested in some new canes of different varieties (Glen Moy, Glen Magna, Glen Ample, and Fallgold). Results so far are mixed, with several canes falling foul of the spring drought, though I won't know for sure until the survivors crop next year.
Tayberries are a Scottish hybrid berry, a cross between a raspberry and a bramble. As the name suggests, they were developed by the River Tay (where is found Scotland's premier berry development site, the Scottish Crop Research Institute). I have at least two varieties in the garden, thorny and thornless. The plants develop long (sometimes menacing) semi-upright canes. There are five plants in the stand shown: some over-enthusiastic landscapers cut the original (thorny) plants right down, and they appeared to be goners. So a couple of thornless ones were bought as replacements. But the originals grew back stronger than ever!
The berries, when fully ripe, will be a deep, deep purple and have a sweet, perfumed flavour (but are somewhat fragile). Mostly therefore they are picked a little underripe, when they are tarter. They are very rarely seen commercially. Some reports state they are not fully frost hardy (though mine have survived about minus 10C), so a hardier (but less flavoursome) variety, the tummelberry, has been developed.
I also have some old blackcurrant bushes (variety uncertain, probably Ben Lomond). These have a disease affecting the leaves, which affects the vigour of the bush somewhat (though fruit quality is still pretty good). So this year I have invested in two new bushes, a Ben Tirran (pictured) and a Ben Connan. Again these are Scottish developed varieties, though I bought them (over the net) as organic bushes from Welsh Fruit Stocks in the Welsh Radnorshire Hills. At the moment they are in pots, and, although I should really have cut bushes down more, I let them crop this year, and most tasty they are.
Now, however, I have a dilemma. They were meant to replace the old bushes, but the fruit of the old bushes is sufficently different that I want to keep them. They are so well established that digging them out would be a major task. But I don't want to infect the new bushes, and I don't really have an alternative space for them. I'm leaning towards cutting the old bushes to a rump, and being ruthless in pruning the bushes to size in future.
Another new addition, Fallgold yellow raspberries. These are really Autumn raspberries, thought it is stated that Autumn raspberries may produce a secondary spring crop. Which these have done, except it was actually summer.
Most raspberries fruit for about 3-4 weeks from June to August (depending on weather, variety, and location). Summer raspberries fruit on canes produced the previous year (biennial canes) whilst Autumn rasps are primocanes, ie they produce fruit on canes grown that same year, August to possibly October. If those canes are left, they may produce a secondary crop the following year.
Although generally Autumn rasps are held to be trickier to grow (yellow ones more so, a previous attempt was a complete failure), these are definitely the happiest of the new canes I bought, and the primocanes are looking good.
This is a family apple tree, and it originally came in a poly bag from Woolworths. Commercial fruit trees come in the form of a fruiting variety grafted onto a rootstock: family trees are when more than one variety is grafted onto a single rootstock. The main advantage is that it saves a lot of space, as you need more than one apple tree for pollenation. The varieties are, I think, James Grieve, Cox's Orange, and Tyndeman's Early Worcester; though the labels have long since gone.
The tree started as a stick with four branches, but is now a substantial tree of about 4 metres (after pruning). There will be quite a large crop this year, though as the tree is never chemically treated, a lot of the fruit is blemished (or eaten by wasps or birds). Recently, we only seem to have two varieties crop each year (different each year), due to the weather for pollenation probably, as the flowering periods are not together, but overlapping.
The reason for different rootstocks is to control the size of the tree, as few people have room for full sized trees (apples, pears and plums can be enormous). So most garden trees are on a dwarfing or semi-dwarfing rootstock. Also, many trees are not grown as standards, but may be trained as fans or espaliers, grown as columns (often in pots), or I have seen advertised apples which are grown as stepovers (a low hedge about two feet high).
Whitecurrants are very similar to redcurrants, but , well, white. Actually the ripe fruits are a translucent very pale yellow, with the seeds visible through the skin. Like redcurrants, they normally have a sharp taste. Berries are numerous, but small: I don't think I have ever seen them sold commercially, except in the farm shop at a fruit farm.
In fact, because they are inconspicious, our crop tends to get left on the bush. And whilst the birds will strip a redcurrant bush, they largely ignore the whites. The currants really are in the picture! Look towards the top right for most of them.
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