Backyard vegetable gardening has been taken on by many residential customers in the last few years. As the people realize the benefits and joy that comes with growing their own food, it has now gone from a fad to a more perennial way of gardening.
What is often over-looked by the profession, be it retail nurseries, landscapers or designers, is fruit production.
Those blessed with large blocks have a near unlimited choice of fruit trees. For the small gardens there are many dwarf cultivars that can be used and could be better promoted by nurseries to their clients.
Dwarf citruses have been a feature of container growing for many years already and are well-known and appreciated by residential clients.
Dwarf pears such as Trixzie® or Dwarf apples such as the Ballerina which are very narrow and will grow to 2.5m high have been around for a while now and are reliable plants for cool climate.
Dwarf quinces such as Dwarf Smyrna will give very aromatic fruits late in the season and will grow from the cool areas of southern Australia to the hills of the subtropics.
Ceylon Hill Gooseberry (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa), an attractive shrub to 1.5m with very ornamental flowers, has edible berries and will grow from the tropics to Melbourne.
Away from the trees, we can also incorporate into smaller gardens fruits such as Gooseberry, Black currant, Red currant, White currant bushes or climbers such as Boysenberry, Loganberry or Youngberry or if you have the space Kiwi fruits or grapes.
For the more adventurous and capable gardeners espalier trees are another way to grow fruit within a limited space.
Finally, remember to give your clients maintenance and feeding schedules as this will ensure a satisfactory result for all concerned.
About Patrick Regnault
I have worked in the horticultural and landscaping industry for over 35 years in three different countries.I am a member and Registered Horticulturist with the Australian Institute of Horticulture and member of the Housing Industry Association. I am the owner of Interactive Landscapes, a successful structural landscaping and landscape design business. I believe that what gardens and gardening do is to reconnect people with the fundamental elements of nature. A good gardener will try and acquire a profound understanding of the balance of nature and endeavour to do the best to improve the environment in which the garden is situated. At Interactive Landscapes it is a philosophy that we put into practice when designing and creating a garden, no matter the size. Our name reflects this as we understand that gardens are a place of interaction. View all posts by this author »