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Scott Smith: Fruit galore as all that hard work gardening pays off

Scott is reminded of the joys of being a gardener as he brings in some of his summer fruit crops - some even make it into the basket!

Carrying home a basket of strawberries - never too young to start enjoying gardening.
Carrying home a basket of strawberries - never too young to start enjoying gardening.

Well it’s the best time of the year. Let’s not kid ourselves. We are gardeners and now comes the fruits of our labours. Literally.

I am in utter bliss. Freshly-picked blackcurrants from the bush. So much sweeter and more flavourful than those bought in the supermarket.

The smell alone lets you know it is the real deal. Brushing past some blackcurrant leaves probably creates more flavour in the back of the throat than the actual blackcurrants abundantly available in the supermarket.

Best of all, the variety of fruit extends way beyond just the bloomin’ delicious blackcurrants.

Redcurrants all packaged up and ready to go.

What are we picking?

At the moment we have a real glut of fruit at Beechgrove Garden and also at my house!

Redcurrants (Ribes rubrum), blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum), gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa), strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) and summer raspberries (Rubus idaeus).

In addition we have those closely related to the gorgeous raspberry in the form of tayberries (Rubus fruticosus x R. ideaus) and loganberries (Rubus x loganobaccus).

Raspberries straight from the bush and into the basket, mostly.

That’s not to say anything for those other fruits you may not think about like tomatoes (Solanium lycopersium), cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) and cucamelons (Melothria scabra).

It’s easy to forget labouring away earlier in the year what all the hard work is for.

Come this time of year though and suddenly you remember. It’s like that surreal feeling you get when hopping on the plane for that dream holiday you’d always been promising yourself would come around one day.


Standing picking the fruit while the sun beats down on my neck and the hot summer breeze ruffles where my hair should be, I remember how lucky I am.

Picking fruit of all shapes and sizes. All manners of colours, textures and fragrances. One for me, one for the basket.

The sweet herbaceous tang of the sun warmed fruit, bursting across my tongue in a symphony of flavour. Life is sweet.

Delicious cherry tomatoes.

I get lost in my thoughts whilst picking away. Birdsong from sparrows, tits, finches form my backing track along with the constant din of the sweet yet relentless cuckoo.

I can understand where the phrase driven cuckoo comes from!

It is another busy day here. So much to do and so much to think about. Just now though I am simply lost in the moment. I am content, happy and fulfilled.

It’s something people spend their whole lives pursuing. I have achieved it simply by simply planting some fruit in autumn and winter.

A glut of tomatoes in all different sizes.

Grow at home!

If there is one thing I constantly harp on about it is: try it at home. I go on and on about it.

There is a reason though. It’s been my mission for a long time to inspire and encourage you, yes you, reading this very article to have a go!

I would love nothing more than for you go out and plant a wee summer raspberry cane this autumn or load of strawberry crowns, even if it’s just in a pot.

Come this time next year, you’ll witness yourself smiling as harvest that sweet reward.

Cute cucamelons (Melothria scabra).

You’ll feel pleased that past you has invested in future you which present you is revelling in.

Like all things in life we strive to work hard now so that we can reap the rewards in the future.

At this very moment though I’m splitting that fine line. I’m not working for the future or remembering the past.

I am simply living in the present, loving life, thanking past me for all my work and yet promising future me that I will relive another glorious moment like this again.

Go on then let’s just have one more raspberry. Yum! I love gardening so much.

Fruit galore, that’s what you call a top crop.

More to come

Well if that wasn’t enough to make me a happy boy, how about knowing there is more to come?

We still have a while before we pick the even more delicious autumn raspberries (my favourite of all fruit) and blackberries (Rubus fruticosus) , pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo) and more.

Autumn is without a doubt my favourite gardening time of year. So much colour, scents and flavours. I am getting ahead of myself though.

Always embrace the moment. Remember that tomorrow is never a guarantee. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

Regardless of all your planning though, live in the moment. This moment here is everything. Put down this article and head out into the garden for me.

Plant that fruit you’ve always wanted and make sure you leave our unique, beautiful world with no regrets.

Take care and happy gardening

A selection of berries – just picked.