Alys Fowler: Soft Fruit And The Great British Garden Revival

Soft fruit was featured in a recent edition of the Great British Garden Revival and David Coton was impressed by Alys Fowler’s enthusiasm for all sorts of berries that can be grown in our gardens.

Created by David Coton on Thursday, 22nd of January, 2015.
Updated on Wednesday, 4th of April, 2018.


Blueberries

‘There’s no greater taste of the British summer than freshly picked berries from the garden’

This assertion underpinned a fascinating half hour in which the viewer was shown how easy soft fruit is to grow, it’s year round interest and the huge range that’s available.

Starting off at RHS Rosemoor in Devon, Alys explained that at one time every garden would have soft fruit but now we would rather buy it from the supermarket or pick your own farms.

This is probably because soft fruit has gained a reputation for being difficult to maintain, hard to grow and with a tendency to take up too much space. But this isn’t necessarily so.

Easy To Grow In Containers

Many types of soft fruit can be grown in containers, and they can be attractive plants with all year round interest. 

Blueberries for example will crop heavily if they are kept well watered in ericaceous compost. Chokeberries are a ‘super fruit’ packed full of anti-oxidents and Chilean Guava,are both easy to grow in moist well drained multi-purpose compost with the container in a sunny, sheltered position.

If you like using terracotta pots, Alys gave viewers some hints to stop the compost from drying out too quickly - either line the pot with cardboard or an old compost bag.

Alternatively, place the container in a saucer of water and, if you have more than one, group the containers together.

Unusual Varieties

Victoriana Nursery Gardens provided the setting for the viewer to see a huge variety of unusual soft fruit including the Honeyberry and the Boysenberry. 

The latter is a cross between a loganberry and a blackberry but, although delicious, there is no chance of finding it in a supermarket as it doesn’t travel well enough.

And if you’re worried about thorns, we saw a thornless Tayberry. ‘Buckingham’. Normally soft fruit with thorns taste better but this variety bucks the trend.

Building a cage to protect your berries can be relatively simple using dowels in the corners of a plot with flexible piping arched over and covered in netting. Make sure the netting is small enough to deter pigeons, other birds and mice but large enough to allow in pollinators.

However, some soft fruit such as gooseberries crop so well that there are more than enough berries to satisfy both the grower and the birds.

By the end of the programme I was convinced that soft fruit is worth growing. It is without doubt easy to grow, it’s hardy, perennial and with a little effort you’ll be rewarded with a lot of berries.

Related Articles

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 25th of May, 2018.

Take Your Own Plant Cuttings

Take Your Own Plant Cuttings

Propagating by taking cuttings, whether from your own plants or ones you admire in neighbouring gardens, is a fantastic way of increasing the variety of plants in your own garden free of charge, and all you need are a sharp knife and patience.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Monday, 14th of May, 2018.

How Can I Make Compost?

How Can I Make Compost?

Composting is an entirely natural way of recycling your garden and kitchen waste, transforming it into a nutrient rich material that your plants will love. Martyn Loach shows how easy and cheap it is to replicate nature and create the ideal conditions in which your flowers and shrubs will thrive.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Friday, 4th of May, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden In May

What To Do In The Garden In May

Although the weather is feeling decidedly chilly for the time of the year, during May the threat of frost will pass and, with spring well under way, David Coton is in no doubt that this is going to be a busy month in the garden.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Monday, 30th of April, 2018.

comments powered by Disqus

Author

David Coton

Partner at GardenSite

View Profile

RSS

View RSS Feed

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018

Dazzling with colourful interest in the brilliant sunshine, this year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will prove to be a tremendous attraction for everyone as it caters for both keen gardeners and families who just what a day out in magnificent surroundings.

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Monday, 2nd of July, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden In July

What To Do In The Garden In July

After all the dry hot weather that much of the country has experienced over the last few weeks, the lavender in David Coton's garden is at its most colourful and scented, he's cutting the flowerheads to make lavender biscuits or drying them for pot pourri. Here are more jobs you can do in the garden during July.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 29th of June, 2018.

What To Do In The Garden in June

What To Do In The Garden in June

At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our Garden Centre in Birmingham. David Coton will be planting the bedding in containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Sunday, 27th of May, 2018.

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

GardenSite Donates Prize To Grow Your Own Picnic

As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 25th of May, 2018.