Sibley’s Patio Trees – A Range of Fruits for Small Gardens

It’s more than fifty years and over three million grafts since I first held a grafting knife in my hands and was captivated by clonal propagation techniques. I marvelled at how a plant with roots would accept what is no more than a small shoot cut from another tree and that in a very short space in time, that shoot would grow and flourish and bear fruits attached to its newly adopted parent. Continue reading

Two New Raspberry Varieties for 2018

With a year-on-year sales increase in the shops of over 20%, the popularity of raspberries has never been greater. This increase in berry sales may be due to several reasons, not least of which are the health benefits. Raspberries contain a high level of anti-oxidants, fibre and vitamin C and are linked to reducing heart disease, maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels and contributing to a strong immune system. They also taste fantastic and with sweeter varieties being bred that are increasingly appealing to the British palate. Continue reading

Renovating & Restoring Neglected Fruit Trees

Many people move to new homes where the previous owners or even the builders had planted fruit trees. In pre-war years there was often an emphasis on providing new homeowners with two fruit trees – an eating apple and a cooking apple. The reality is that these trees usually get left unpruned or get hacked about as the garden owners have no time or knowledge to manage the trees. Continue reading

Exhibiting Fruit at Your Local Show

On this occasion I am not writing about growing fruit but asking you the following question – have you ever taken part in your allotment show or local horticultural society show? If you haven’t I am hoping that during the next few paragraphs I am going to be able to persuade you to have a try and at the same time I will suggest a few tips on how to best show off your produce and win a first prize. I’m writing this both as a regular exhibitor and judge. Continue reading

'Black Hamburgh' is one of the easiest vines to grow in a cold greenhouse

Growing Fruit Under Glass

Many gardeners that I come across have a greenhouse of some type and generally it seems that it is used for growing plants such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and maybe melons. Indeed, one of my two greenhouses does just that! But there are alternative, fruity uses to consider which, if simple rules are followed, can be very productive. Continue reading