If you’ve been following us over the last month you may well be aware we have been raising money through Crowdfunder towards the canopy layer of our forest garden.
I’m glad to say with minutes to go we made it to our total and are now starting to get physical with the forest garden and preparing for the 40 trees that will go into the canopy.
As a taster of things to come I thought over the next few weeks I’d talk about individual trees chosen and why we’ve selected them.
One of the first trees you reach as you enter the forest garden is Amelanchier.
Amelanchier is a really interesting family of trees and shrubs that work hard in anyone’s garden for sheer ornamentation. It is smothered in beautiful white flowers in spring followed by thousands of red, purple or blue berries in summer. The leaves appear in spring in a bronze colour turning green in the summer and then becoming a showy display of orange and red leaves in the autumn.
We have not included it for just for its looks, though it could merit its position just on this and bird interest. We’ve chosen it for its delicious berries. This is a native of America and is often referred to by the very dull names of Serviceberry, or Juneberry. They do come with a warning though – it’s important to pick these fruit, rich in iron and copper, as soon as you find them, for birds love them too, and the berries don’t linger for more than a couple of weeks in a year. Think apple and cinnamon.
It is also a star when it comes to ease of growth – it is tolerant of many conditions and some are happy to tolerate wind (great from our perspective).
We’re making the most of this early berry and planting 3 different types in our woodland – can’t wait for our first harvest.
If someone had given it a more imaginative name then I’m sure this would be a better known berry – forming an essential part of our super food diet!! Any suggestions?