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Is that a fruit?

Nature can be so fascinating. If you take the time everyday to look at the daily growth of your plants you will be amazed at how much is actually happening in your garden. Just a month ago we were stacked with trees with no leaves and today we have apples, peaches and figs forming on numerous trees.

What is a drupe?

Certain fruit trees, as we know them, are actually classified as drupes. In botany a drupe is a fleshy fruit with a thin skin and a central stone containing the seed. Interestingly the plum, cherry, almond and olive are all part of this classification, called drupes.

As a fruit, a drupe is derived from a single ovary of an individual flower. The outer layer of the ovary wall is a thin skin, with the middle layer being thick and usually fleshy. The inner layer, known as the pit or “putamen” is hard and stony. The pit is often mistaken for the seed which is actually contained inside the pit.

We have a huge variety of drupes available to order online or choose your own in the nursery.

 

Plums

Interestingly plums can range from the size of a baseball to the size of a cherry, all on the same tree. This is just another mysterious way nature works. Another great feature of plums is that they can be grown on any continent in the world, except for Antarctica, but I don’t think anyone is planning to move there soon.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

In California,1905, there was a labour shortage especially on farms. So in lieu of this, a farmer decided to turn to nature and got 500 monkeys to harvest the prune plums. At first glance this seemed like such a great idea as the monkeys were organised into gangs of 50 with a human foreman for each gang. Need I say more. The monkeys were great at picking the plums, but were just as good at eating them all. I guess nature was not meant to be labourers, as machines are currently doing the picking today without eating any fruit.

Plant and pick your favourite plum trees in your own garden.

Harry Pickstone Plum

The Harry Pickstone plum is harvested in early January, when the skin colour is green with a touch of red. After being in cold storage it gets a dark red colour.

The flesh is yellow with a melting texture. Biting into the fruit will release a reasonable sweet flavour into your mouth showing a clingstone.

This variety is self compatible whereas the Laetitia plum can also be used as a pollinator for this variety.

Laetitia Plum

The Laetitia plum is harvested in late January. The outer skin is a bright red colour with a yellowish background.

The Laetitia plum is harvested in late January. The outer skin is a bright red colour with a yellowish background.

The flesh is a dark yellow to light orange. When biting into the fruit it has a melting, juicy texture with a very sweet flavour and a refreshing aroma.

The Songold plum is the best pollinator for this variety.

Methley Plum

The Methley plum ripens in mid December. The outer skin is a red to purple colour.

The flesh is a red colour slightly lighter than the outer skin. This is a juicy plum and biting into the firm texture will release a sweet yet pleasant taste in your mouth.

It is self fertile but is a good pollinator for other Japanese varieties.

Santa Rosa Plum

The Santa Rosa plum ripens in early December. The outer skin is a red colour.

The flesh is a orange to red colour. Biting into this juicy plum releases a very sweet flavour which is complemented by a bit of tartness produced by the skin, making a perfect balance of flavour.

It is self fertile as it will bear fruit on its own.

Songold Plum

The Songold plum ripens in February. The outer skin is a yellow-green colour but turns light red, similar to a sunset, when ripe.

The flesh is yellow with a cling stone inside. Biting into the semi-melting and firm fruit will give you a sweet taste in your mouth.

Laetitia plum is a good cross pollinator for this variety, as it will not bear on it’s own.

Olive Trees

Having an olive tree in your garden will certainly give great shade as it is an evergreen tree. Unfortunately olives cannot be eaten straight off the tree as they are extremely bitter and astringent. Harvested olives are normally processed with brine before they are fully edible.

Interestingly, about 90% of all harvested olives are used to make olive oil. This leaves only 10% available to be used as table olives for eating. The average life of an olive tree is considered to be between 300 and 600 years.

If you plan to plant some olive trees you can expect that they will be there to stay for a very long time. If the olive tree is what you have been looking for then we have the perfect varieties available for you.

Frantoio Olive Tree

The Frantoio olive is mainly grown for olive oil. The fruit is small to medium in size. They have an oval shape with a deep purple black colour. When pickled they have a pleasant nutty flavour.

This tree will grow to a size of between 7 to 9 metres but can be grown in pots. Growing in pots will keep it smaller and more manageable.

Frantoio variety performs best together with the Mission olive tree as a pollinator, but is also considered as self compatible.

Mission Olive Tree

The mission olive is the most popular variety in South Africa. It is considered a dual purpose variety as it is used for green and black olive pickling as well as oil production.

The Mission olive tree is also considered self fruitful but will produce better yields when grown with another variety like the Frantoio olive tree.

This tree is considered a great addition in any garden. It provides a classic Tuscan look and adapts well to most soil types.

If you plan to expand your garden with some great additions then these trees will provide some much needed appeal to your ever growing range. From the sweet and juicy flavours of the plums to the salty nutty flavours from olives, we will certainly have something available for your garden.

Yellow Raspberry

f you have tasted red raspberries then you will definitely enjoy the yellow raspberries. These raspberries are considered rare gems for any garden. The berries have a sweeter, milder taste compared to the red raspberry. The taste of these berries has been described as extremely sweet with honeyed apricot tones.

If you already have your red raspberries growing then these berries will add a unique colour to the existing crop. The yellow to golden coloured berries will stand out against the green leaves, glistening uniquely in the morning sun.

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