#homeetc · fruit growing · garden · grow your own

My German Garden

There are many downsides to being an emigrant but I am the kind of person who finds it easier to look on the bright side. One of the things I enjoy most about my life abroad is that it allows me to have a garden full of fruit without an awful lot of effort. 

The part of Germany I live in is very humid, making it ideal for growing figs, and the mixture of sun and rain means that I don’t need a glasshouse for my tomatoes and peppers. My pears and various berries sweeten nicely and we can even grow kiwis. 

To be honest, my only problem fruit is the humble apple. Our apple tree, like most of our garden, was planted by the previous owners of our house and they managed to prune it into a highly peculiar shape. It is very tall and slim and quite unlike a fruit tree. It is so leafy that you can hardly see the apples at all, but we know they are there because from June onwards a few fall to the ground every day or two. In fact our neighbour got quite a shock when one dropped as she was standing by the tree today, narrowly missing her head. 
Last year’s bumper crop. The apples were visible for once!

As the seasons move on and Summer becomes Autumn, the windfall apples become larger and sweeter and are always bruised, due to the tree being surrounded by a patio on two sides and a wire-covered pond on the others. We rarely get to pick them straight from the tree because they are so flipping hard to find in all that foliage. 

Apple Danishes
Despite all these problems, I wouldn’t part with the apple tree. The fruit can mostly be salvaged and we manage to use them up without feeling we are eating apple dishes all Summer long. 
Teamed up with elderberries for hedgerow jelly…
…and with rosehips for rosehip & apple jelly.

As well as making crumble and stewed apple, we make bake danishes and fry fritters. We’re lucky too to have an elder tree, a walnut tree and rose hips in the garden, providing us with great flavour combinations for syrups, jellies, chutney and cakes.

My first home, my parents and my grandmother gave me a fantastic grounding in growing and in home cooking. My second home, Germany, has given me the garden to allow me to pass those skills on to my own children.
Apple Fritters
This year’s walnuts

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10 thoughts on “My German Garden

  1. Wow Fionnuala what an amazing harvest you get from your garden! I'm the first to admit I am not a gardener but we do have a couple of fruit trees in our new garden – plums and apples and I've been told we have a sloe bush too so I'm thinking of starting with that! Have you ever made it? #HomeEtc

  2. That's great that you have plums and apples. We'd love to have plums. My husband is planning on chopping down some non-fruit trees and planting a plum tree. His parents have one, so we usually get some of their plums every year.
    I have made sloe gin a few times. Here is my post about it:
    If you look up my cookery blog you'll see loads of recipes using fresh-from-the-garden food. http://www.mykitchennotebook.blogspot.de

  3. I love that everything has gone full circle and you now have the space and climate to put the skills you learned to good use. The kiwis, that's just amazing!! Having just spent time at my aunt's house down in Devon where she has a glut of her own fruit I'm starting to realise that if I ever want to be the same I may have to give up on urban life… eek! Xx #HomeEtc

  4. I saw your post about your aunt's place. It looks like a dream! Gorgeous.
    I'm thrilled to have so much produce and to be able to use it. I hate to see food go to waste when it could be eaten, even if it is growing wild rather than planted as a crop.
    Thanks for popping by Lins.

  5. I've said it before — when you vlogged your garden tour — but you're SO lucky to be able to grow all these amazing things!! Our poor little fig tree did SO badly this year. I can't wait to whip out the rogue lime tree that's taking over and replant it there. Thanks so much for linking up with us pet xx #HomeEtc

  6. Wow what a lovely garden and how lovely to be able to grow so many lovely things. I have noticed the difference moving from North Wales to Worcester – all the fields and gardens have apples trees and so much fruit! Lovely to have you again and thanks for sharing with us 🙂 Jess xx


  7. I'm so jealous your garden is amazing! I love preserving and using fruit but we haven't grown a huge amount this year- I'm hoping for more next year. We have a kiwi plant but I'm not sure it will every fruit and out apple tree this year has produced one Apple!!

  8. Thanks Caro. Good luck with replanting the fig tree. We gave our second one to our neighbours because it was in too shady a spot and it is flourishing in their garden.

  9. Thanks Jess. We were so lucky to find a house that had a well-established garden with lots of great trees and bushes. You should try some raspberry bushes or something in your new garden. They are low maintenance and great for the kids to snack on.

  10. Thanks Morna. It is such a joy to go outside, pick something and eat it. As I write, I am nibbling on a slice of walnut cake.
    Good luck next year and enjoy that apple 🙂

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