Novelty berries for the garden

Firstberry 'Blue Velvet'.
Firstberry 'Blue Velvet'.

We are being encouraged to become much more adventurous in deciding which fruit types to grow in our gardens.

There was a time when the sight of a loganberry (raspberry x blackberry) laden with large fruits was one of the few novelties around.

Pointilla 'Amoroso'.

Pointilla 'Amoroso'.

Now we are spoiled for choice with the likes of jostaberry, a gooseberry x blackcurrant hybrid, and the ugli, a tangerine-grapefruit cross.

The Ken Muir fruit catalogue is always a welcome sight because it has such a wide range of choice but Lubera (www.lubera.co.uk) really excites with its recent introductions. They were behind the Redlove apple series, and the latest offerings from them include a shrubby Pointilla Amoroso with clusters of red edible fruits in October, Firstberry Blue Velvet and the Canadian Saskatoon Berry. The Arctic Blackberry Arom arctic Systrar is very different.

It’s a perennial ground covering plant with pink-violet flowers in May and red fruits from July to August. They suggest that it’s ideal for hanging baskets and I can just imagine it as part of a trio dangling alongside strawberries and Tumbling Tom tomatoes.