Polish-bred ‘Polka’ is an autumn-cropping (primocane) raspberry. This is one of my favourite raspberries to grow; I adore these beautiful fruits and admire their attractive sheen. ‘Polka’ raspberries ripen a week or two earlier than ‘Autumn Bliss’ and most of the other autumn-fruiting raspberries. ‘Polka’ produces a large harvest of raspberries from late summer all the way through to late autumn.
Canadian bred Raspberry ‘Tulameen’ is a summer-fruiting (floricane) raspberry. This cultivar is a late-summer cropping variety with raspberries that start ripening in July and continue cropping until the end of August. ‘Tulameen’ raspberries have a delicious flavour. These raspberry plants are very productive, producing an abundance of sweet tasting fruit. I have found that ‘Tulameen’ is a naturally healthy and strong growing cultivar.
‘Glen Coe’ is a mid-season, summer-fruiting (floricane) raspberry hybrid that was raised by the Scottish Crop Research Institute. A hybrid bred from ‘Glen Prosen’ and an unnamed thornless black raspberry; ‘Glen Coe’ is raspberry with a fantastic flavour! My ‘Glen Coe’ raspberries usually fruit from June until the middle of August. This is my favourite raspberry, as it produces the best flavoured and most amazing tasting fruit!
Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ is a small tree with a slim and naturally upright habit that’s a popular choice for small gardens – thanks to this plant’s fastigiated, narrow vertical growth.
A number of years ago, I planted this lovely tree in my own garden; I’ve found Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’ is a pretty tree that’s easy to accommodate – it thrives in my garden’s well-drained, sandy soil.
In the UK, Prunus spinosa is usually known by its common name – Blackthorn. I am sure that Prunus spinosa has many common names, as this is a widespread plant that can be found growing in the wild across Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. Prunus spinosa can be grown as a shrub, a hedge, or a tree. These plants are very spiny and they often form thickets.
Although watermelons can be grown very successfully outdoors in the UK (once all risk of frost has passed); I must tell you straight away that watermelon seeds need to be started off inside a glasshouse, polytunnel, or consevatory. ‘Little Darling’ plants need to grow within the confines of a warm and protected environment until all risk of frost has passed (which is usually from late May to the middle of June, depending on where you garden – in the UK).
Alpine strawberries or wild strawberries (also known by their botanical name Fragaria vesca) are small, low growing, plants that trail along the ground, spreading via runners; these pretty little plants can grow up to around 15cm (6 inches) tall. I adore alpine strawberries! These dainty little plants are utterly charming, with attractive leaves, delightful white flowers, and the delicious red strawberries they produce.
Watermelons are great fun to grow! If you’re wondering whether we can grow these delicious fruits in the UK, the answer is yes we can grow watermelons! However, these plants will need to be started off in the protection and warmth of a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory, and in the north of the country, (and in exposed positions) it may be preferable for watermelons to spend their entire lives indoors.
Grapevines (also known by their botanical name Vitis vinifera) are decorative climbing plants that produce delicious grapes and handsome leaves. These wonderful plants can be very productive. Grapevines are versatile plants; a range of varieties are available, you’ll find grapevines that are suited to growing outdoors in gardens and allotments, or types that favour the improved growing conditions found inside conservatories, porches, glasshouses, and polytunnels.
Physalis peruviana is a tender, herbaceous perennial plant that produces absolutely delicious tasting orange berries, which are quite exquisitely wrapped in these gorgeous papery lanterns. Also known as Cape Gooseberries, Ground Cherries, or Inca Berries, Physalis peruviana is a lovely plant, with a slightly shrubby habit.
I find that Physalis peruviana plants don’t grow very tall. Physalis peruviana plants eventual height depends on the seed the plant was grown from, as well as the plant’s age, and the overall growing conditions the plant has enjoyed.
I love growing blueberries! Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum and Vaccinium angustifolium) are deciduous shrubs that produce sublime tasting berries. These handsome plants produce tasty fruit but they bring added interest to the garden with their intriguing white, bell-shaped flowers, which are adored by bees in springtime and their vibrant autumn leaves. In autumn, blueberries deliver stunning leaf colours, turning vivid shades of orange and red before falling.
Tomato ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’ (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’) is an intermediate (cordon) tomato that produces these wonderfully glossy red fruits. These tomatoes are a bright and cheerful, pillar box red; ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’ is a proper red tomato!
In the UK, from February to April, ‘Irish Gardener’s Delight’ tomato seeds can be sown inside a warm glasshouse, polytunnel, conservatory, or on a particularly bright and sunny windowsill.
Tomato ‘Flamingo’ (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Flamingo’) is an intermediate (cordon) tomato that produces these rather lovely mini plum tomatoes in a quaint cherry-red colour.
From February to April (in the UK), ‘Flamingo’ tomato seeds can be sown inside a warm glasshouse, polytunnel, conservatory, or on a particularly bright and sunny windowsill. When sowing tomato seeds and growing seedlings on, it’s important to be able to provide your plants with sufficient light (ideally from above), as bright light is needed to produce strong stocky plants and prevent your plants from becoming leggy.
Tomato ‘Rosella’ (Solanum lycopersicum ‘Rosella’) is an intermediate (cordon) tomato that produces these stunning burnished mahogany coloured, cherry tomatoes. Given sufficient warmth and light, ‘Rosella’ tomatoes are easily raised from seed. ‘Rosella’ tomato plants will thrive grown inside a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory.
Once all risk of frost has passed, (from the end of May until the middle of June – in the UK) ‘Rosella’ tomatoes can also be grown outside in gardens or allotments, where they grow happily planted beds and borders, or in raised beds or containers.
Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) are hardy deciduous shrubs that thrive in warm and sunny, sheltered sites. These naturally bushy plants will grow in almost any well-drained soil. Blackcurrants enjoy regular watering throughout the summer months; these fruits will tolerate a wetter soil through the growing season, providing the ground isn’t too wet during the winter months. These productive fruits can be grown in full sunshine or partial shade.
‘Golden Sunrise’ is a tomato cultivar that produces medium-sized, golden yellow salad (these are larger than cherry tomatoes, but smaller than beefsteaks) tomatoes. This variety is best grown as a cordon (intermediate) tomato, where the plant’s sideshoots are removed and the plant is strengthened by a strong and sturdy support system. When growing these types of tomatoes, it’s important that the cordon-trained tomato plant’s sideshoots are removed at regular intervals, so the plant’s energy is channeled towards producing more tomatoes and not just new stems and leaves.
‘Black Russian’ is a beefsteak tomato cultivar. Plants perform best when trained as a cordon (also known as an intermediate) tomato; this is easily achieved, simply by regularly removing the plant’s sideshoots and training the plant up a study support system.
Given its name, it won’t surprise you to know that ‘Black Russian’ originates from Russia, where this cultivar was reportedly grown by Russian monks.
Tomato ‘Veranda Red’ is a dwarf tomato variety, that’s perfectly suited to growing in containers. This is a really small tomato variety; it’s a tomato you could grow in small planters and hanging baskets.
Miniature tomato varieties of this size tend to produce fruits that are typically lacking in flavour; they’re often very bland and tasteless. I wouldn’t put Tomato ‘Veranda Red’ on my list of best tasting tomatoes, but I can tell you that Tomato ‘Veranda Red’ has a nice tomatoey flavour.
I’m such a fan of Rhubarb; this is such a great plant to grow in your garden, or at your allotment! Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that dies back over winter but plants grow new stems and leaves every springtime. This is a hardy plant that thrives in areas that are blessed with cold but drier winters and enjoy wetter weather, during the spring and summertime.
Melons (also known by their botanical name Cucumis melo) are tender, sweet tasting fruits that can be successfully grown from seeds, in the UK. Sow melon seeds in springtime – from March to the middle of May. If you’re too late to sow seeds (or if you don’t have access to a glasshouse), you don’t have to miss out, as young melon plants can be purchased from many nurseries and garden centres.