Buds hint at such delights in the future

Bare branches of edible fruit-bearing plants might appear boring, but they hold interest for this fellow in deep midwinter.

Sunday, 27th January 2019, 3:10 pm
The delightful, large, pink peach blossom. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Look closely at the plump, healthy buds. One day, when temperature and light co-operate, they’ll open, some before others.

So now’s the time for any necessary late pruning of all but the cherry and plum.

The flowering of each is a highlight. First, the large, pink blooms of a greenhouse peach that spring a surprise in February. Pollinating them each day with a small brush to secure fruit is a labour of love.

The Victoria plum can be as unpredictable as the weather, flowering between late February and early April, sometimes in the face of a gale. But when the first ripened fruits are tasted – wow!

The flowers of soft fruits are generally less spectacular, but what delights they lead to.

We’ve a few strawberry plants potted up from the garden and now on the greenhouse bench. Plant some over the next fortnight and anticipate picking yours, home-grown, in tune with Wimbledon tennis.