Fruit is such a necessary ingredient to one’s diet, yet it is expensive and that which you buy in the shops and supermarkets is rarely ripe and more often than not quite tasteless!

Fitting suitable varieties into your garden or allotment space may take a little planning and re-organisation, yet it is perfectly possible. Obviously, you need to consider available space – including the use of walls, trellises and fences; but also types of fruit. Soft fruits grow on the ground (strawberries and rhubarb) or bushes (gooseberries and currants), on canes (raspberries) or ‘vines’ (grapes and blackberries) and trees on dwarfing stock – hard fruit (apples and pears) and stone fruits (cherries, peaches, apricots and plums). Then there are the ‘exotics’ (figs, lemons, and even oranges). Doesn’t it make your mouth water?

Everyone can grow strawberries! If not in beds, then in pots on the patio, even in hanging baskets; so try all our other varieties like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries too.

Exotica: Dobies are supplying a variety of early-maturing fig, ‘Peretta’ , ideal for the UK climate and claimed to withstand the coldest winter once established. Best planted against a wall or fence. Also available are hardy citrus plants – lemon, lime, orange, mandarin and grapefruit; perfect for a conservatory though also suited to being grown in a pot in a sheltered spot outdoors (hardy in most parts of the UK down to -5°C).

Soft fruit will need PROTECTION, from pesky birds! We encourage them into the garden to consume pests (at which they do a brilliant job), but expect them to lay off the fruit! You can use fleece, or netting, make your own frame, or buy an off-the-peg fruit cage. If you are starting from scratch, fit your planting to available frame sizes – but do check that netting is taut and cannot entangle birds’ feet and claws. The ‘Steel Fruit Cage’ is particularly conducive to small gardens.

And now an enormous ‘thank you’ to our readers: we now have fifty ‘followers’ of this blog! We know many more read it than follow it officially, for the statistics show that you do, and indicate your favourite posts. But it’s lovely to become better acquainted and actually see you in the ‘followers’ side-bar. We truly appreciate your support.

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