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, 14th of December, 2016.


‘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

What To Do In The Garden In October

What To Do In The Garden In October

In October, David Coton is getting the garden prepared for the onset of colder weather but, at the same time, the arrival of spring bulbs in the garden centre is a reminder that you should also now be planning ahead for next year.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Monday, 2nd of October, 2017.

VegTrug - The Easy Way To Grow Your Own Vegetables

VegTrug - The Easy Way To Grow Your Own Vegetables

At GLEE this year David Coton visited the VegTrug stand to find out how their specially designed space saving planters can encourage us to grow more of our own food without the use of pesticides.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 14th of September, 2017.

What To Do In The Garden In September

What To Do In The Garden In September

The record breaking temperatures over August bank holiday will have got many people out into the garden and, although autumn is only just around the corner, David Coton can suggest these September jobs.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Tuesday, 29th of August, 2017.

What To Do In The Garden In August

What To Do In The Garden In August

After the recent spell of hot weather, David Coton was glad to see the recent rain freshening up the Garden Centre and he has these suggestions for some of the jobs that need to be done during August.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 27th of July, 2017.

comments powered by Disqus

RSS

View RSS Feed

Author

David Coton

Partner at GardenSite

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Grange Launch Their New Products For 2018

Grange Launch Their New Products For 2018

David Coton was recently invited to the exclusive launch of Grange's new products for 2018, the result of significant investment that the garden structures and fencing firm have received from their Polish parent company.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Monday, 30th of October, 2017.

What To Do In The Garden In November

What To Do In The Garden In November

David Coton suggests that there are plenty of gardening jobs that need to be done in November, from why you shouldn't throw away your fallen leaves to how to take care of your vegetable patch.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Friday, 27th of October, 2017.

What To Do In The Garden In October

What To Do In The Garden In October

In October, David Coton is getting the garden prepared for the onset of colder weather but, at the same time, the arrival of spring bulbs in the garden centre is a reminder that you should also now be planning ahead for next year.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Monday, 2nd of October, 2017.

VegTrug - The Easy Way To Grow Your Own Vegetables

VegTrug - The Easy Way To Grow Your Own Vegetables

At GLEE this year David Coton visited the VegTrug stand to find out how their specially designed space saving planters can encourage us to grow more of our own food without the use of pesticides.

Author: David Coton

Written by David Coton.
Published on Thursday, 14th of September, 2017.