Half acre orchard in West Cork, Ireland

Thanks! Do you have any recommendations for outdoor figs in Ireland?

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Outdoors it would be anything that produces a good breba crop. Brown Turkey, Desert King, Negronne, Violette De Bordeaux. Lot more options if your growing under cover.

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Where did you get your Goumi Berry? They’re hard to come by.


I ordered first from pflanzmich.de but they sent autumn olive instead.

Then I tried arborealis.nl and they sent nice quality plants about 1ft tall. They put on another foot last year, no flowers yet. I got Sweet Scarlet and Uroz Hayraya Varilova (can’t find any info about the 2nd one).


I went to update the Bud Break and Flowering Times table above but it seems there’s an edit timeout. So more buds breaking:

  • Quince Krymsk was first tree fruit to break bud by far.
  • All the plums (and mirabelle and damson) are right about to break bud, except Marjorie’s Seedling which is supposed to flower late and is still fully dormant. Old Green Gage started showing signs earliest but is being cautious. Denniston’s Superb started weeks later but is further along now.
  • Medlars are close.
  • Morello sour cherries are very close.
  • Gooseberries Leveller and Careless have broken bud. And Redcurrant Jonkheer van Tet also, it’s supposed to be an early flowerer. All the other Ribes asleep.
  • Malus Trilobata has broken bud very early but supposed to be quite hardy. Hopefully won’t flower til June.
  • Malus Sieversii (drzewa.com.pl version) is showing signs of buds swelling, will break soon. Earlier than I’d like. The Malus Sieversii (pflanzmich.de version) is still fully dormant, as are all the Malus Domestica.
  • Sweet Chestnut Marigoule is close.
  • Pears, Persimmons, Mulberries, Goumi all still fully dormant.

I’m still waiting on 18 M9 roostocks for breeding purposes next year supposed to be here in Feb. I’ve been spending my time learning to concrete and shuttering kerbs around all my paths so I can let the grass grow, making the most of this fine spring weather so far. I’m happy with how it’s turning out!


Mrs Perry is the first Malus Domestica to break bud. A local Irish variety, here’s the description:

A star of the Heritage Irish catalogue, this variety is popular among all visitors to ISSA who admire its generous crop. Large, juicy and tasty fruit. Best eaten fresh from the tree. A good choice for juicing as they do not keep in storage. Very productive tree with strong resistance to scab. Collected in Donegal in the early 1990s by ISSA supporter Tony Murray.
Flowering: Mid Season
Picking: Mid (September)

A hardy dual-purpose apple found in Glenties, Co Donegal, Apple Mrs Perry is thought to have been grown from a pip by Mrs Perry’s daughter. The fruit is large, round-to-conical and slightly irregular, pale greenish-yellow with an orange-red blush on the side that catches the sun. The flesh is pale cream, crisp and very juicy, with a lovely, well-balanced, refreshing taste. Not a keeper, losing flavour very quickly once picked, but the fruit holds well on the tree until early November; any excess can be juiced. Very vigorous, hardy tree, very resistant to scab, and a heavy cropper. Spur-bearer. A ‘pitcher’, i.e. it will root from cuttings.
Pick: From early- to mid-September
Keep: Does not keep once picked
Pollination: Pollination Group 3 (pollinates with Groups 2, 3 and 4)
Uses: Eating apple; cooking apple; juicer

Attractive points for me - early apple that will hang on the tree to extend season, roots from cuttings, disease resistant and resilient (Donegal much harder growing conditions than Cork).


Mrs Perry, Bardsey, and Katy/Katja are the first apples to flower but petals aren’t out yet.

Both pears are flowering but holding petals in for now. Durondeau likely to be caught by frost, but Invincible should have a second flush of flowers in a couple of weeks as insurance. Quite a few fruiting spurs so should hope I’ll get a first taste.

The gooseberries, autumn olives, goumis, and amelanchier ‘smokey’ are in full bloom. Beautiful delicate flowers on the amelanchier. Could have a nice amount of berries on my hands this year.

The grape and hybrid persimmon in the unheated tunnel have had all tender new growth fucked by frost a couple times already so far. Hopefully there are some still dormant buds there.

Starting to think fruit in an unheated tunnel is even more at risk of frost due to waking up early. Thought it would be more of a positive to shave a couple of degrees off the frost, but I’m doubtful it will work out now.

Shame to see Nikita x Taishu damaged like that! I’m so curious about that cross.


Well done, impressed by the mulching and use of wall anchors.

I hope to raise chickens and build a hoop house one day as well.


Lovely Irish rainbow.

Hey there, I was wondering what’s your opinion on suitable persimmon varieties to grow outdoors in Ireland? I see you are growing one under cover. From my reading on it, it seems suitable varieties could be: Diospyros kaki x virginiana ‘Nikita’s Gift’ or ‘Russian Beauty’ aka ‘Rosseyanka’ or Diospyros kaki ‘Fuyu’ and some Diospyros virginiana varieties that I could not find for sale. My go-to would be Future Forests, but they don’t stock persimmons. Where did you source your persimmon tree from? I would be interested in learning more about your variety as I’m not familiar with it. I would say for me the priority would be that they are self-fertile (for space saving purposes) as I don’t mind whether they are astringent or not. Many thanks!

P.S. Our garden is 0.5 acre as well in Co. Meath😊

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Carya nursery in Poland has interesting stuff! cornusmas.eu


Thank you, I’ll check it out! :smiley:


It is a very very long shot that persimmons will fruit in Ireland. I’m doing it just for fun to find out. The trees themselves will grow fine as they’re very hardy, but even then they could have issues with damage to branches from a late hard frost (which we get much more than US). I have seen video of them fruiting in south UK, and I’m 25km from south coast here, but it’s still a very long shot with our cool summers. So I’d recommend only doing it for fun.

There are french nurseries with persimmons for sale that will ship to Ireland. And there’s a really cool small scale nursery in Belguim that stocks all the interesting hybrids and even breeds his own. I currently have:

  • Nikshoo (Probably NBT, Nikitas Gift x Taishu) on D Virginiana
    – Inside a polytunnel under cover.
    – From agroforestry research trust UK. Impossible now due to brexit stupidity (they voluntarily opted out of the plant passport scheme in the exit agreement. Why like? Pure self destructive shit.)

  • Russian Beauty aka Rosseyanka on D Lotus
    – Up against a low south facing wall, fairly exposed.
    – From Pepiniere Jardin Foret FR

  • Kassandra on D Virginiana and

  • Sunrise on D Lotus (hybrid with very good late frost resistance - though it’s already opening first buds in late Feb! :grimacing:)
    – Both up against a south facing kitchen wall, more sheltered.
    – From De Moerbeiboom BE (this guy is super cool but he only ships bareroot in winter)


I’m planning on updating with a lot of pictures again this year. There’s been a lot of work done and progress since I first posted this. I need to update my fruit map too before I forget what I changed and added!


If you are looking for early ripening to trial, you should consider Prok and Journey. Looking forward to your updates!


I have been looking at Prok, and I think De Moerbeiboom has it, but I’m packed to the gills with trees and no idea where to put anything new! A good candidate for topworking in when the others are tested.


Pleasant surprise, some apple seeds I left in the fridge crisper back in October germinated! I’d totally written them off as the wet tissue I had them in was totally mouldy and I’d checked back in January with no sprouting. Just potted them now!

They’re from Bardsey apples which were nice blemish free, tasty, and crisp last year. Likely pollinators were Katy, Lane’s Prince Albert, Cornish Aromatic, or the closest proximity was Grenadier (but likely mislabeled, an amazing late blemish free apple with firm flesh and weird very dark but greenish skin).

Will be my first practice at breeding, have some M9 rootstock in the ground to graft to later to speed things up.

Eventually I plan to breed late leafing/flowering apples with known crosses based off Court Pendu Plat.


Some apples are showing they’re going to flower for the first time this year, including Sam Young (Irish Russet), Rosemary Russet, and very excitingly one of my Malus Sieversii Kazakh apples!

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Sounds like you’re about to reap some good results of your labors.

I should have several trees fruit first-time this year myself. (Including a May Queen on B10 not yet 2 years old.)

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Thanks for your reply! It’ll be interesting to see how your persimmons get on, I think you have the best chance of all being so far South :smile:

I have been in touch with the Belgium nursery and here are the varieties he recommemded for cool Irish summers (he emphasised that early varieties would do best):

Nikitskay Bordovaya (literally meaning “Nikita’s purple one”, I think, not sure if it is the same as Nikita’s Gift)
Sosnovskaya (related to Rosseyanka)
Early Jewel
Geneva Red

I was also going to say, I admire the map of your orchard! I’m finding it difficult to draw a map of my garden to scale. I note you have Goumi berry, I was wondering where you purchased it from and if you have ever tasted the fruit before?

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