When we bought our house about 5 years ago I convinced my husband that I would look after our 1.2 acres as he is not into gardening (and I knew this would clinch the deal :)). What I really wanted was 5+ acres where I could really grow things on a larger scale and raise some chickens and pigs but we realized that unless we wanted to live in the middle of nowhere I needed to change the brief. So although I would not be able to grow masses of onions, potatoes, winter squash etc. I would be able to grow a lot of things I was interested in...it was a temporary compromise (until 2020 at least).
I made quite a few changes to our plot, admittedly most additions have been edibles :) One thing I was keen to do was add more fruit and I decided on currants and gooseberries mainly because they are quite attractive from the perspective that they are bush-like and even when not fruiting they don't look bad. Additionally, these plants can handle some shade which gave me more options.
I decided to plant 10 currants/gooseberries in the borders. I selected the following:
They are all three years old now and I am shocked by the crop I get from these prolific plants! The black currants produce SO much and the smell you get from the plant, even when not flowering, is amazing!
I have had some trouble with the plants which are located near some large evergreens as this is where the birds hang out as they wait their turn at the bird feeders. I love birds but last year they pretty much ate ALL the berries from these 6 plants - I was not impressed at all.
This year I decided to throw some bird netting over these plants. Due to my growing dislike for plastic I used large branches from a dead tree we removed as the stakes to hold it up. I am super excited as these bushes are covered with flowers right now! I am already dreaming of gooseberry fool, blackcurrant jelly, red currant muffins, red currant scones….I need to stop thinking about this now as I am drooling!