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A gooseberry bush will set you back $20–25, but did you know they grow very easily from cuttings – starting to fruit after a couple of years. Bushes get better and better, especially if each bush is given a mulch of organic material and a handful of potash in autumn or spring. Flowers appear late September or early October and 8–12 weeks later, the fruit is ready to pick.
Rich soil that is not allowed to dry out in summer or become a bog in winter is ideal for gooseberries. Grow them 2m apart in full sun or part shade. If space is limited, espalier the bushes against a fence, or train them on a couple of wires at the edge of a vegetable bed. They also work well as standards.
Gooseberries fruit on the stems they grew the previous summer. Some writers recommend winter pruning, presumably because it’s easier to see what you’re doing when the leaves fall. Our expert contributor Gillian Vine sticks to the time-honoured Kiwi method of pruning as she picks, letting the new growth come through, then doing a little tidying up over winter.
Inspiration for our garden beds might come from a page in a magazine, maybe from a visit to a friend's. Jane, now 50,, was inspired to create this special place to sit in her Horowhenua garden by a childhood memory of a yellow banksia rose in its full blown glory.
We show you how to get Jane's look, plant-by-plant, in our latest Design Inspiration feature: Every issue we present a garden bed that's taken our eye, number the features and plants and id the plants used. Here 1 is Rosa banksiae 'Lutea', 2 is an oversized apple box, 3 is Nasturtium, 5 is Salvia rosmarinus 'Tuscan Blue' and 6 is Laurus nobilis. (4 is Dwarf stock in the lower left corner, number cropped out)
It's just like painting by numbers (speaking of childhood memories!)
If you have a suggestion for us of a favourite spot or planting combo, please send a DM ... See MoreSee Less