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Roses, raspberries and the native/foreign plants divide

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In the last Facebook video show before the summer break, Markus talks about native v foreign plants, and about how some of our traditional and favourite fruits are actually immigrants. And we get to see a tiny bit of the Lubera greenhouse, as he explains what we need to be doing in our fruit gardens this summer. If you missed the show, you can watch it here.

We start off with the deal of the week, which you can access via the Lubera UK home page. This week’s special offer is on two of the smallest possible fruit plants - rhubarb ‘Lilibarber’ and Blackberry ‘Little Prince’. These two Lowberries are great for small gardens and for growing in containers. The mini rhubarb is Ideal for cooking, for baking and curries, sweet and sour. And the compact blackberry is very prolific, and fruits over four months.

And don’t forget that roses are still 20% off. There are 250-300 varieties on offer, grown in 6 litre containers.

Markus is very keen to hear your honest feedback on the FB shows, so let him know what you think! Do you want the shows to continue? Have you got suggestions to improve them?

Native plants v foreign plants

Many of the plants we think are native, are actually foreign. We have to have foreign plants/immigrants, it gives us a wider range of plants to choose from.

Even the fruits we think of as being British tend to rely on foreign genes. Markus talks about how the garden blackberry benefits from genes from East Coast America, which are included in the Navaho varieties. There are also varieties from the West Coast that have valuable qualities, so they are being included in Lubera’s ongoing breeding efforts.

And although we have wild crab apples in the UK, and have been using apples for a long time, our garden apples have developed from wild apples in Kazakhstan, and were probably brought here by the Romans, or the Celts.

Garden roses are bred with genes from Asian roses from China and Japan, which makes yellow and orange flowers possible – we didn’t have them in the Middle Ages! The modern garden rose is at least 50% an immigrant.

And whilst rhubarb has a long history in the UK, it’s history starts in the Himalayas. Markus tells some of the story (you can read more about it in my rhubarb blog post). Once the modern edible rhubarb had developed, it became incredibly popular - what other fruit is abundant in late winter/early spring?

Only wild/alpine strawberries are native to the British Isles. They’ve been cultivated for a long time, but it wasn’t until two American strawberry species (Fragaria virginiana from North America, and Fragaria chiloensis from South America) came together on European soil that the modern hybrid garden strawberry developed. There’s some wild strawberries in some of Lubera’s everbearing varieties (Eternal Love, Fraisonette and Fraisibelle), but most garden strawberries are entirely foreign!

Summer work in the garden

Markus details what needs doing in the garden over the next few weeks: pruning roses, pruning stone fruits, pruning apples and pears, tidying up June-bearing strawberries and getting them ready for next year’s harvest.

Forthcoming deals of the week:

Next week: Agapanthus, South African lilies, the ‘flowers of love’.

And the following week: hydrangeas.

So keep checking the Lubera UK home page to make sure you don’t miss out on those!

Planting raspberries

If you plant raspberries in spring then you have to really break up their rootball to encourage healthy rooting. They’re much easier to plant in the summer, when the warm and dry conditions help them to thrive.

Markus will talk more about raspberries if the Facebook shows continue after the break – so let him know you enjoy them, by leaving a comment on the Lubera UK Facebook page.

That’s it for now, fruit fans!

Emma Cooper

 

 
 
 
 

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