Fruit trees have got to be the most gratifying plants to have in the garden. There is nothing more satisfying than picking and eating the homegrown fruit off your own trees – definitely one of the tastiest ways to get your ‘5 a day’! Whether your garden is big or small there is a fruit bearing tree to suit - apples, pears, apricots and cherries in all shapes and sizes, potted or planted – they are a ‘must have’ for the modern garden!
Are you tempted by abundance?!
Throughout the world different fruits have their own symbolisms in the traditions of different cultures. In art and history fruit is often portrayed as a symbol of abundance and has associations with goddesses of fruitfulness, plenty, and the harvest. On the other hand fruit can also represent the more earthly pleasures of gluttony, and temptation!
Succulent fruit was the downfall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden – who can resist the temptation of a big, juicy apple?! Although rumour has it that the fruit was actually from the apricot tree but became an apple due to Renaissance artists adding elements of Greek mythology into their biblical scenes, transforming the apple into a symbol of temptation, knowledge and immortality.
Or Beauty and youth?!
In China apples represent peace, and apple blossoms are a symbol of women's beauty. In other traditions, they can signify wisdom, joy, fertility, and youthfulness.
Growing fruit is a great way of getting children involved with the garden. Get them planting, picking and cooking - homemade jams and chutneys make excellent gifts (as does damson gin!) and what could be better than a fresh apple pie or crumble made from the fruits of the garden. And as an added bonus, anything you don’t eat provides an excellent source of food and shelter for your garden wildlife.
With so much choice, where do you start? Pears, apples or damsons (often referred to as ‘top fruit’) are all possibilities. You don’t need acres of space, a balcony or patio can be home to a variety of fruit trees in an attractive pot. Modern varieties don’t take up a lot of space and can be very attractive too with fantastic blossom.
- ‘John Downie’ Crab Apple Tree (Malus)
- ‘Sweetheart’ Cherry Tree (Prunus)
- ‘Merryweather’ Damson Plum Tree (Prunus)
- ‘Conference’ Pear Tree (Pyrus)
Did you know?
In Latin, the words for 'apple' (malum) and for 'evil' (malum) are almost indistinguishable which may have influenced the fruit of the apple tree being branded as the biblical 'forbidden fruit'.Read more on The joy of plants »