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Make a fruity date for your diary

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Gilly Brennan Gilly Brennan | 13:12 UK time, Thursday, 23 July 2009

Fruit is always a big thing at Tatton, more so than at other shows because, of course, now is the time when the berries are ripening and looking luscious and tempting. So I was looking forward to meeting Sharon Hockenhull on her garden, 'Be Fruitful'.

It's a back to back designed to show how a small space can be productive and child friendly yet still look modern and stylish. As Sharon points out, a fruit garden was the obvious choice - growing veg is hard work if you are a working mother. Her children are three and five and she runs her own gardening business.

For children, having things like strawberries and apples ready to pick and eat in their own garden is wonderful. No boring digging and cooking involved, it's instant food. Sharon has some great ideas for fun ways to grow fruit ( I particularly like the idea of making a wigwam of poles and growing thornless raspberries and/or blackberries over it, a few strawberry plants round the outside and the kids have a fruity den.

Fruit growing involves much less day to day management than most vegetables and the rewards are high. You plant the trees or bushes and they will crop year after year, with increasing yields.

It's these increasing yields that bother Sharon, so much goes to waste, particularly apples and pears. She has had the bright idea to initiate Fruitshare the aim being, to make surplus fruit available to others.

She has nominated the 24th/25th October as Fruitshare weekend. People who want to take part can register their address and those who want fruit can come round and get it. You could either put your excess fruit in bags outside your house or have an open day and have a bit of a party. Sounds like a fruity date for the diary!


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