Raspberries and other fruits
For the price of one punnet of raspberries you can buy a plant that will give you raspberries for ever. I will admit that this is in one of the supermarket chains and that is not the ideal place to buy plants, however if it was a choice between the plant or the punnet – you can see what makes sense.
I had just popped in to our local Morrisons store for a couple of bits and pieces, but being a bit of a plant geek I could not walk past the display without taking a look. I came out of the shop with two autumn fruiting raspberries (Autumn Bliss), one Darwin’s barberry (Berberis Darwinii), one goji berry (Lycium Barbarium), and one Abutilon Megapotamicum. I knew the first four were edible but had to check the abutilon when I got home which I now know has edible flowers. The plants were £2 each and cost £10 altogether.
The abutilon will be going in a new bed alongside a new fence. As the fence is being finished today I have not planted it yet. I have just planted the raspberries, goji berry and berberis (above) in the boundary hedge to increase its edibility.
This is the first year I have tasted autumn raspberries, they are lovely and so welcome, I just had to have more!
I don’t know how long these will continue to ripen but we are enjoying them while they last.
The goji (above) and barberry (below) are on the outside of the hedge. It looks very dark in these photos, but it is an overcast day. They will get plenty of light.
I am looking forward to tasting the barberry berries, they sound very nice on Plants for a Future.
These plants are all small and I did not make any special provision for any of them, just popped them in where there is a space. I will make sure they have room to grow, cutting back the hazel, blackthorn, hawthorn, etc that they grow amongst if necessary. Let’s see how many raspberries I have to harvest come next October.
All these plants add to the already considerable number of edibles in the hedge. At some point in the winter when there is less to do I will make a list.
….. and what of cowslips?
Our neighbours have told us of a time when the bank opposite our houses (which is now a wood) was a field with masses of cowslips flowering in spring. It was, by all accounts, a beautiful site. The site of our house and garden was likewise once a field which faced the cowslips across a very narrow valley. The neighbours had a plant nursery here for some years before building on the land. My partner and I have removed some of the lawn round the house to make space for flowers (and some edibles squeezed in). It has been sown with all sorts of things, “weeded” only minimally when something was in the way and otherwise just left to nature to get on how she wishes. And look what she has given us:
One sweet little cowslip which thinks it’s spring! The seeds must have been dormant in the ground for many years and now having the opportunity to grow they have done so. If I had been a regular weeder the small plant would not have had the chance to grow. In time I will be able to divide the plant and sow its’ seeds. Then the baby cowslips can join the raspberry, goji, barberry and everything else in and around the hedge.