Body, Soul and Gardening - Black Fruit and Berries for Super Health

Inky dark purple fruit have masses of nutritional benefits and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.  Now is a good time to plant fruit bushes and trees, many of which are sold bare rooted, and by growing your own you’ll both save money and a have a much wider choice of healthy fruit to enjoy.

Blackberries.  Though these tangy berries are easy to find in the wild, growing cultivated thornless varieties means you don’t need to get scratched harvesting them.  Blackberry ‘Loch Ness’ is a short, almost shrubby variety, while the more vigorous ‘Merton Thornless’ is tasty and heavy cropping.  The early ripening ‘Helen’ and late ‘Chester’ are also good varieties.

Blackcurrants.  Strong and tart, blackcurrants are delicious raw or cooked and they freeze well too.  Blackcurrant ‘Ben Lomond’ is a popular frost resistant variety and Blackcurrant ‘Ebony’ is a good disease resistant variety with large sweet berries.

Black cherry.  Firm, juicy cherries are delicious and expensive and black cherries with darker skin are particularly tasty and good for you.  Try 'Kordia', a heavy-cropping black dessert cherry with large sweet fruit. ‘Black Oliver’ is a traditional English mid-season black cherry.  Black cherries prefer full sun, although they can tolerate some shade.

Black plums.  These more unusual plums have blue-black skin and orange toned interiors.  Plum 'Black Amber' is a patio plum producing plenty of rounded, firm purple fruits with a sweet taste and juicy texture.  Plum ‘Black Prince’ is another delicious sweet dessert plum, available in a range of root stock sizes.  

Black raspberries.  These may look like a blackberries but they’re much sweeter and make an interesting change from traditional red raspberries.  Raspberry ‘Glen Coe' is a vigorous variety that produces high yields of sweet fruit with a beautiful deep purple colour

Black mulberries.  These exquisite berries, Morus nigra, are almost black when fully ripe.  Mulberries also make great ornamental trees and mulberry 'Mojo Berry' is a new dwarf mulberry which fruits at a young age and is suitable for smaller of gardens.