Thursday, 20 March 2014


Citrus Bergamot de Versailles ' Orange'

Once in a while I like to go to the Garden Centre to see what else I must have. I go there to buy this and come out with that, that and that, and several of those.

The other day was no exception.

I went for seeds, I got those, and then I found some Fritillary flowers growing in a pot. Since I planted some bulbs in the Autumn which didn't come up (probably got a bit water logged) I grabbed them as they were easy to justify but then I saw an Orange bush.

Since I've decided that last year the Tomatoes grew very well outdoors and there is no need to have so many in the green house I will have some space spare in the greenhouse. The Orange Bush label showed the size after 10 years as being 1.2m by 1.2m. This should fit nicely, at least for a year or 3 plus the label said "Although not fully hardy, can be grown outside in the mildest areas!". I wouldn't have thought East Coast Lincolnshire was a "mildest area" but I'd like to think the garden centre would stock things that are appropriate, so perhaps we are classed as mildest compared with north Scotland. Anyway, I'm not totally daft and realise that a greenhouse will almost certainly be needed to get the fruit ripe.

The main line on the label which sold it to me was "Delightfully scented cream flowers on compact growth appear with delicious oranges at the same time".

What can be better than adding another fruit tree to the collection of food plants.

Wanting to know more I Google'd the Bergamot de Versailles Orange and found very little information on this specific name. I found a few places that sold the same Orange but little real information. There was plenty of information on Bergamot Oranges and a few different strains but a couple of words kept cropping up time and time again.

The fruit of the Bergamot is Sour and Unpalatable and used for Marmalades and flavouring.

I'm not totally sure the Garden Centre's description of Delicious Oranges matches with the Bergamot description of Sour and Unpalatable so I've fired off an email to the growers, asking them to clarify whether what I have bought produces Delicious Oranges that I can eat or whether it produces sour and unpalatable Oranges that need turning into Marmalade or used as flavouring or scents.

I await their response.

I guess the question I should ask myself is whether Garden Centres fill their shop with what they think they can sell or whether they sell what is appropriate for the area. Perhaps I should stick with buying from specialists. 

Update: 9th May 2014
Heard nothing back about the Orange. Why they bother to give out an email address for "enquiries" I do not know! A month and a half wait is plenty long enough.

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