Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alternative fruits in the garden 2.

Alternative fruits in our garden A - F:
Some pages put in this class the various berries and rhubarb, while others not. As they in fact offer alternatives to our more usual fruits, therefore I include them in my list.

Rheum rhabarbarum- Aronia prunifolia 'Viking': (the same plant also comes with the name Aronia melanocarpa 'Viking'). Black chokeberry comes from Northern America. It is written to be very hardy (as its basic variant is in our garden in fact), produces abundant fruit, and its berry has a high content of vitamin C. It has a wonderful autumn color.
- Amelanchier laevis 'Balerina': It tolerates dryness, has a beautiful color in the autumn, and its berries are edible.
- Amelanchier rotundifolia: Allegheny serviceberry, tolerates both dryness and shadow, has a beautiful autumn color and edible berries.
- Berberis vulgaris: Barberry tolerates both dryness and part-shadow. It produces tasty sourish berries that are much appreciated in Persian kitchen. When in last autumn we were in Iran, it was sold everywhere.

Aronia Viking- Chaenomeles 'Cido': Flowering quince, produced for its fruit. It is harsh when raw, but very tasty when preserved. In the spring it has beautiful salmon-colored flowers. Those reading in German can read a detailed description here.
- Cornus mas: A good entry on cornels can be read in the Wikipedia in English, and on the page of the Terra Alapítvány in Hungarian. In our garden it was one of the first plants. It tolerates well dry part-shadow and has a very tasty fruit.
- Corylus avellana: Our backward fence is made of hazel. In the year they started to produce hazelnuts, the squirrels appeared, and since then they have stayed in our garden, to our great pleasure.
- Corylus avellana 'Anny's Red Dwarf': We found in the Praskac this small hazel that in the spring has wine red leaves. As it will only grow one and half meter, it fits to much more gardens than the basic variant or any other hazels with colored leaves that all grow at least three meters high. However, I do not know whether it produces nuts.
- ! Corylus avellana 'Contorta': Corkscrew hazel is an exceptionally beautiful plant. In winter and early spring it is one of the main ornaments of our garden. It has been growing at us for twelve years. Before buying it, we asked a very renowned gardener whether it produces fruit. Oh yes, of course, just like normal hazel. Nevertheless, I have never seen any nuts on it. All right, I thought, perhaps it tooks to produce a bit longer than to the normal version. Now, as I was looking for links for this post, on a number of reliable sites I found that although it blooms, it does not produce fruit at all.

Corylus avellana Contorta- Corylus colurna: Turkish hazel likes light, warm soil, where it grows quickly after the first few years. At us it even grew one and half meter in a year. It is a very beautiful tree, with nice catkins in the spring and appealing color in the autumn. It produces very tasty nuts, but unfortunately not as much as one would like: our twenty years old tree for example only two or three kilos a year. I recommend it only for natural gardens, because otherwise you have to continuously sweep its catkins in the spring and the shells of its fruits in the autumn.
- Crataegus monogyna: When I was a child, we often went to excursions. I especially liked to go in the autumn, and one of the main reasons was hawthorn. After its fruit softened a bit, I fould it very appealing. On the advice of a gardener we have planted a looong hawthorn fence all along our forest border. This belonged to those advices that fundamentally shaked my confidence in Hungarian gardeners (my respect to the extremely few and honest exceptions). In that cool and shady place hawthorn just manages to survive, but is rare and ugly. And it only bears fruit at those few points where it gets a bit more sunshine than usual.

Crategus monogyna- Fragaria ananassa 'Ostara': A strawberry that has stood the test in Germany for a long time. I will test it only now, hoping that every good thing they write about it is true.
- Fragaria vesca: In 2005 we have planted some woodland strawberries from the nearby forest. They cover the soil very well, but have not produced fruits this far, I don’t know why. Now I have seen some buds on them, so perhaps in this year.
- Fragaria vesca 'Mignonette': This plant, however, is a complete success story. I brought its seeds in 2005 from Britain, of which a gardener friend of us made seedligs in 2006. (He also sells them now, see among my links under the name Etnoflora.) It bears fruits from the beginning of the summer till the end of autumn. It does not spread. It tolerates well part-shadow, bad soil and dryness. Naturally, the better the conditions, the better it produces as well.

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