Probably originating in the Caucasus region, the species Medlar grows
in S.E.Europe and Asia, and was probably brought to Britain by the Romans,
who enjoyed the fruit and dedicated the tree to Saturn. The Medlar can
still be found growing wild in south-east Britain. The trees have an attractive
crooked habit, and showy white flowers in early summer. These are followed
by yellow-brown fruits, which should be ‘bletted’, or allowed
to go soft, almost but not quite to the point of decay, before they are
eaten or made into jelly. For centuries they were believed to be a valuable
herbal cure, and were used to treat kidney stones and digestive disorders.
Grafted on quince and self fertile.
Peaches and Nectarines
Nectarines are the same as peaches, but with a smooth skin. They are all
self fertile, but tend to flower early when there are few pollinating
insects, so hand pollination can be beneficial. They can also be prone
to frost damage and icy winds, so growing against a wall is advisable.
They flower and fruit on the previous year's growth, so prune out fruited
wood immediately after fruiting to produce new wood for flowering the
Most grapevines will ripen outside in southern England, although many
will do better if given the heat of a warm wall. Some are extremely decorative
and grown for their striking foliage, but any grapevine will make an attractive
climber and provide grapes for wine, dessert or for birds. Many varieties
traditionally grown for wine-making are also delicious for dessert, having
a very rich flavour. They are sufficiently vigorous to climb up a small
tree or along a hedge. Grapes are self fertile, although some varieties
do better if given some assistance with pollination - e.g. by rubbing
the hands over flowers to release pollen. This may be necessary if the
vine is grown in a greenhouse. All vines need a sunny position. Our vines
are grown on their own roots, not grafted.
Red, White and Blackcurrants require similar cultivation. They flower
and fruit on the growth of the year before, so they should have all the
fruited old wood cut out after picking the fruit, so all the plant's vigour
will go into producing strong new shoots that will fruit the next year.
They prefer soil that stays moist over the summer, but fruit better in