Saturday, 26 July 2014

Berries

I am able to catch up on my blog at last as my exhibition with Sheena Quayle at the Hodgson loom Gallery is now open for the next two weeks. Pictures from that to follow in the next post.
I have been busy for the last month picking berries from my Forest Garden and have some new additions this year. The biggest crop has been summer fruiting raspberries which have been very well flavoured this year; the autumn fruiting raspberries will be ready in a couple of weeks. Sadly our strawberry crop has been a failure as I didn't renew the plants to replace the ones that have been hugely productive over the past 4 years. A job for next season.
The redcurrants mostly were eaten by 6 blackbirds but as my garden is mainly for wildlife I don't mind too much. The blackcurrants and gooseberries have done well though. My favourite berry is blackcurrant which I prefer to eat straight from the bush. As I made 50 pots of jam last year, thankfully, I don't have to make any this year so the fruit is going in the freezer to be used in the winter with yogurt for my breakfast. I  make a lovely desert by crushing digestive biscuits in a ramekin dish, cover them with my raspberry puree with a teaspoonful of whisky and then put Creme Fraiche on top....yummy.
I also grow loganberries which are now forming strong canes, Tayberries, Blueberries and Salmonberries, the latter unfortunately are taking over my garden.
The latest additions are Japanese Wineberries, a beautiful plant, pictured below and Balloon berries which grow on canes with nasty spikes and the berries are a strange black with white which gives the appearance of mould but isn't. My Nepalese raspberry plant grows rampantly over the ground but as it has been there for 4 years and produced no fruit I threatened to dig it out. The next day one flower appeared but no berry yet so it lives for another year!

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