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I have received several replies about my commandment "You shall not prune!" For example this letter:

"I pruned and have started to cut my plums and damsons this morning. Do I have to stop until next spring? Or can I at least still cut out the suckers? Even my cherry tree is out of shape. Please help me out."


1. You shall not prune roses! The early cutting of roses in the autumn months is really a crime against this wonderful plant: one removes reserve substances which the rose could still need. And one prevents the last leaves from continuing to assimilate and create more reserves.

2. You shall not cut back autumn raspberries! The early cutting of autumn raspberries is related to the first sin. The harvest is coming to an end and the gardener already has nothing else to think about other than…work. He/she cuts the autumn raspberries like crazy and removes not only the reserve substances, but also beneficial insects, which could do a good job in the spring for the newly growing canes. In addition, another shelter and retreat is taken from the animals and insects in the garden.


I’ll admit it: my favourite season is spring. No you do not misunderstand me. In the spring, I am more attracted to the garden, especially when it comes to getting things done. Why is it that in the spring, with the longer days, one has more energy than in autumn? Autumn is the time for harvesting and autumn is also generally a time for gardening.

Would You Like a Bit of Caviar?

A few weeks ago I cut off a still immature lime from a finger lime tree and tried it. Finger limes are still so rare here in Central Europe and on the internet I have so often read about the exciting fruit content of these really very unusual, cucumber-shaped citrus fruits that come from the Australian jungle, that I couldn’t wait to try it any longer!


You are, I hope, accustomed to some madness at Lubera. But this news needs a little bit of time to get used to: we are starting to produce citrus trees at Lubera and have therefore become the probably most northern citrus tree nursery in the world!

How did we come to this decision? Don’t citrus plants grow better in the south? As always, there are of course several reasons for producing citrus plants at Lubera in Buchs, Switzerland:

Blurring the edible/ornamental divide with The Garden Forager

British gardens have long had a divide between edibles and ornamentals. The veg patch tends to be further from the house, shrouded from view by the pretty things. There’s always a sense that you can’t combine the two, but there is a different way to eat your garden, and that’s what Adele Nozedar explores in her book, The Garden Forager.

The History and Biology of the Fig: Man as a Fig Slave

I would now like to talk about "cultivation". Cultivation as what man does with nature and perhaps also only means to do. The fig has almost forced itself upon man; it has infiltrated his religious and sexual symbolism, yes, it has indeed superimposed human sexuality in the truest sense of the word: as a fig leaf.

It is not too far to a phallic meaning that the fig and the fig wood with its milky juice also have. And the fig: the fig is divided longitudinally into two halves, broken, then the mouth and mostly the nose are immersed in the moist, reddish, fibrous fruit pulp in order to absorb all of its deliciousness.

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A Fig Scandal in California

A Fig Scandal in California

In the course of its long history, the fig has often been amusing amidst all the confusion that it caused with its different types of fruit and its complicated pollination biology. The most extreme case is the total failure of Californian fig cultivation in the 80s and 90s of the 19th century.

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Fruity Secrets of the Stone Age

Fruity Secrets of the Stone Age

I went back in time this summer, to learn a little about what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. Britain was a very different place back then. It was cooler and damper, and a lot of the land was covered in forest. Like us, our Paleolithic (stone age) ancestors had a sweet tooth, and would have made as much use as possible of the available fruits.

Blueberries and Huckleberries in the Western United States

Berry season in Europe is well underway, also in the Western United States, where I vacationed for the past few weeks. Driving around in Oregon and Washington, it was hard not to notice the fresh fruit stands and I started focusing on the blueberries there. Most common in Oregon are the Highbush blueberries, which are perennial and long-living deciduous shrubs. They are self-fertile, however cross-pollination produces larger berries, which means if two or more cultivars are planted that ripen at different times the harvest season can be lengthened. Blueberries can be grown in beds, rows, hedges or individually. The dwarf varieties can be grown in containers. Oregon is number two in the United States for the production blueberries and there are even streets named after the fruit!

What Can Go Wrong With Raspberries?

A customer asked what he had done that was so wrong with his raspberries to make them die five weeks after he had planted them. This was our answer, with a wink: almost everything! The customer took it with good humour, especially, of course, because we sent him some more raspberry plants a second time for free.

Here is what you cannot do with raspberries:

More Diversity Among Our Raspberries!

There are two types of raspberries that are important for horticulture: the famous European garden raspberry Rubus idaeus and the black American raspberry Rubus occidentalis (the variety Black Jewel).

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