The RHS Show Tatton Park is going soft on fruit this year as summer berries take centre stage reflecting the UK's passion for growing sweet sensations such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Garden designers at Tatton are reaffirming the move from ‘purchasing punnets' to planting then picking' with Show Gardens such as ‘Be Fruitful' by Sharon
Hockenhall and ‘Home Grown' by Bridgemere Garden World, both brimming with bountiful berries.
It's a great reflection of a recent online survey carried out by the RHS that revealed 37% of respondents plan to grow their own fruit for next year.
The timing of the summer Tatton Park Flower Show lends itself to showcasing fruit in all its guises. Many other gardens at this year's show are also taking the trend on board with strawberries and rhubarb set to make an ppearance in Australian-inspired ‘Down Under' by Jennifer Cox and several fruit
bushes in Hugh Thomas' ‘The Dark Horse Venture Garden' to name a few.
A speaker in Tatton's Gardening in Action marquee and leading authority on soft fruits from Reaseheath College in Cheshire, Harry Delaney, explains, "An increase in the price of shop bought produce, the trend for grow your own and a realisation of the ealth benefits associated with soft fruits have all converged to place soft fruits in the spotlight. And rightly so, we have such a wonderful array of British varieties, that eople can grow with ease and enjoy an abundance of homegrown produce."
At this year's show Harry Delaney is working on shattering some of the myths about growing fruit and is sharing his tips to help the nation get the best
the results from soft fruit fever!
Fruit myth: The British strawberry harvest is so short planting is more effort than it is worth.
Harry says: It's possible to harvest strawberries from June right through to early August, and by planting the right varieties and using tunnels, glass and cold frames, fruits can be gathered either side of the season.
Fruit Myth: Gooseberries have a bitter taste and are too sour to eat raw.
Harry says: Gooseberries must be white ripe (excepted red gooseberries which must be red ripe) before they are picked to eat otherwise they will taste off - when properly ripe hey are a tasty juicy fruit. When ‘white ripe' you will eat gooseberries like sweets and wonder what all the fuss was about!