I estimate that two thirds of my allotment is currently covered in fruit bushes – there’s two or three massive rhubarb plants, a Hinnomaki Green gooseberry bush, several blackcurrants, a hybrid berry of some description (which is thornless, but rampant) and raspberry bushes cropping up in odd places.
Some of those may have to go, if only to make room for some of the things I want to bring from the garden. I have a frightening number of fruit trees and plants. My three kiwis are already in my parents’ Malvern garden (and in fact they’ve planted out the two ‘Jenny’ – too close together, sigh – at the end of the garden), as is my baby yellow plum I grew from seed. They’re happy to have the medlar (which is in a container) when it has to relocate.
But they don’t have space for everything, and I’m left with a fair few things. In terms of soft fruit there are autumn-fruiting raspberries and strawberries (wild, alpine, beach and some regular ones as well). I have a blackthorn (sloe), and two aronia bushes. The Japanese wineberry is an easy one to take with me, as it has created several offspring and I have just potted one up. (It’s an easy plant to propagate, as it layers, but it has also self-seeded in the garden.) The blueberries are in pots, and can travel; I have taken cuttings from the honeyberries. And there are two little Chilean guavas that are in small pots and are no problem.
The fruit trees are more problematic. I can have them on my allotment if they don’t shade someone else’s plot, but some are mature and can’t be moved; I will be sad to say goodbye to the Saturn apple, but it falls into that category. It has lived up to its disease-resistant marketing, and has been easy to grow organically. The apples are big, red and tasty, so it’s definitely a variety I would consider growing again in the future. Its pear tree companion is less of a loss, as it rarely grows pears and I don’t like them anyway.
The patio nectarine’s only redeeming feature is that is has lovely blossom in spring. It has never ripened an edible fruit, and succumbs to peach leaf curl. I don’t think it will be making the trip. I don’t think anyone would thank me for planting either of the figs on the allotment, but dad might like one. I might send the crab apple ‘John Downie’ his way, too. It’s in a container, and happy enough for the time being, and it can help to pollinate his apple trees until I get another of my own.
And that just leaves me with a pair of cobnuts, although they hardly qualify as fruit. They might be fun to have on the allotment, if it’s not overrun with squirrels, and they can be kept at a reasonable size. The only problem is where it’s all going to fit. I really need to crack on with that design!