London (change)
Today 16°C / 13°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 10°C

Monty's favourite fruit

Feeling fruity

I've hand-picked a few favourites that will certainly whet the appetite - they're all tried and tested for flavour and reliability.

When it comes to fruit, I'm passionate about eating and growing as much as possible in its proper season. Gooseberry fool in June, summer pudding in July, made from freshly picked blackcurrants and raspberries, pears in September dripping honeysweet on your fingers - you get my drift. Nothing is more delicious than ripe fruit at the right time and place. I've listed some of my favourite fruits below.

Good soft fruit varieties

Blackcurrant 'Boskoop Giant'

Plants grow up to 1.8m and bear sweet berries from July. Best suited to large, sheltered plots.

Gooseberry 'Whinham's Industry'

Grows well in shade and on heavy soil. It forms red berries that are ready to pick in late-July.

Raspberry 'Malling Jewel'

An early-fruiting raspberry that crops from the beginning of July, this variety bears firm, luscious, dark-red berries in small clusters. It also has good tolerance to virus infections.

Redcurrant 'Laxton's Number One'

Strong growing, good flavoured and high yielding. The strings of currants usually ripen in mid-July and are a glossy red.

Strawberry 'Mara des Bois'

A cross between modern and wild strawberries, it has the advantage of fruiting from July to October, rather than just June and July. Berries are small, but tasty.

Whitecurrant 'Versailles Blanche'

Differing from redcurrants only in colour, this very reliable white version has pleasantly sweet, clear juice. It makes a vigorous, upright bush, and is a heavy cropper.

Great fruit varieties

Apple 'Jupiter'

Tastes like 'Cox's Orange Pippin', but crops more reliably. It needs two pollinators, such as 'Spartan' and 'James Grieve' to produce fruit.

Apricot 'Moorpark'

Large juicy fruits ripen in late August.

Cherry 'Morello'

A sour or acid cherry with dark juice. Use for cooking or for jam.

Crab apple Malus x zumi var. calocarpa 'Golden Hornet'

The decorative yellow fruits can be cooked to make jelly.

Nectarine 'Early Rivers'

The yellow fruits are streaked with red. Grow on a sunny, south-facing wall, and start harvesting in late July.

Peach 'Peregrine'

A reliable variety, and produces a high yield of white-fleshed, juicy, crimson-skinned fruit.

Pear 'Doyenne du Comice'

The best tasting dessert pear. Grow near 'Beth' or 'Concorde' to ensure pollination and cropping.

Plum 'Victoria'

Heavy crops of the large pink and yellow fruit ripen in late August. This variety is self-fertile, so can be grown on its own.

Unusual fruit varieties

Banana 'Dwarf Cavendish'

This variety has short, tasty fruits, and is well suited for growing in the greenhouse. Plant in large containers and water well.

Fig 'Brown Turkey'

This is the hardiest, most reliable and heaviest cropping fig in northern Europe.

Grape 'Brant'

A high yielding outdoor variety that also has some mildew resistance.

Japanese quince

Chaenomeles x superba 'Jet Trail' has flowers in spring, followed by fruits in autumn, which can be stewed or turned into tasty jellies.

Quince 'Leskovac'

This fruit has a unique, subtle fragrance that will perfume the garden before it's eaten. It can be made into jellies and, when combined with apples, used as a pie-filling. Quince trees will grow up to 3.7m tall.

Discuss this plant feature

Talkback: Monty's favourite fruit
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

jrsniece 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I would like to grow gooseberries but don't have the room to grow them in the ground. Do they grow well in pots and if so what is the best variety?

skip 24/11/2011 at 15:27

hi monty i would really like a good self pollinating apple and a cherry as well as your plum victoria thankyou skip.

latestarter 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Is Monty Don better and working again?