Buds hint at such delights in the future

The delightful, large, pink peach blossom. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
The delightful, large, pink peach blossom. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Bare branches of edible fruit-bearing plants might appear boring, but they hold interest for this fellow in deep midwinter.

Look closely at the plump, healthy buds. One day, when temperature and light co-operate, they’ll open, some before others.

So now’s the time for any necessary late pruning of all but the cherry and plum.

The flowering of each is a highlight. First, the large, pink blooms of a greenhouse peach that spring a surprise in February. Pollinating them each day with a small brush to secure fruit is a labour of love.

The Victoria plum can be as unpredictable as the weather, flowering between late February and early April, sometimes in the face of a gale. But when the first ripened fruits are tasted – wow!

The flowers of soft fruits are generally less spectacular, but what delights they lead to.

We’ve a few strawberry plants potted up from the garden and now on the greenhouse bench. Plant some over the next fortnight and anticipate picking yours, home-grown, in tune with Wimbledon tennis.