Nothing beats walking into your own garden and picking fresh fruit straight off the plant.
Summer mornings… juicy, fresh-picked berries in some natural yoghurt… it’s a heavenly start to the day.
Here are a few of my favourite selections that are easy to get going in your own garden.
You can find fruit plants at most garden centres for a round £10. If that sounds too pricey, then stop and consider that they should produce fruit for a decade, and they get bigger and better each year. You’ll soon see that they are a worthy investment.
Strawberries are easy to grow, and we all love them. Unfortunately, the birds especially love them too. I use old VHS tape and CDs to distract them, and put down strawberry mats – little squares with holes cut in the middle – to keep the slugs at bay.
Currants are brilliant too. They produce a massive yield early on and are very low maintenance. You can go for redcurrents, blackcurrants or whitecurrants – the choice is yours. Personally, I like to plant all three together. Not only do they taste incredible, but together they also create a stunning garden feature.
Gooseberries are admittedly an acquired taste, but are becoming very popular for chutneys and jams for cheeses, and make a lovely accompaniment.
Blueberries are so good for you that they are often labelled a ‘superfood’ these days. They do prefer an acidic soil so they’re best grown in containers with ericaceous compost.
Cranberries are another one that have incredible health benefits. They’re rambling bushes so in my garden I’ve created a tent with bamboo canes which the cranberry will grow through.
With all berrying fruit, it’s best to have suitable bird deterrents around. Otherwise, it’s much too tempting for our feathered friends to resist.
But it’s not all about fruits. Some stems are worth a punt, too.
Rhubarb is another plant that’s easy to grow. The stems are marvellous, either baked into a pie or crumble, or raw and dipped in sugar.
Rhubarb comes in containers all year round. Plant in the summer to get established. For an early crop, cover it with a dustbin lid or tarpaulin – known as ‘forcing’ – to promote bigger plants and an earlier harvest.
Plant now for a tasty summer!