I ordered a tree a while ago in memory of my father, James Saunt, who was a great gardener and citrus expert!
Before he died in 2010 he wrote his life’s work, “Citrus Varieties of the World: an Illustrated Guide”.
He first learnt about growing citrus in Australia where I was born and where he worked for the CSIRO.
He then spent the next forty five years travelling the world advising commercial growers.
He bought several trees which he tried to grow in large pots in the glasshouse but the conditions didn’t suit them and they eventually sank into terminal decline.
One that did survive was a very hardy ornamental called citrus trifoliata that sits near the yew arch in the main garden.
It’s got huge long spikes and produces very small fruit which I was encouraged to try by my friend Steve Brett (disclaimer: do not try this at home as they are not really meant to be eaten!)
He used the zest of the tiny orange globes (you can read about it here) to flavour some fruit sorbets he made – and said he would have used yuzu if it had been available.
Yuzu is a bitter aromatic orange which is used extensively in Japanese cookery.
I lived in the country for three years in my late twenties and remembered it well.
And now – with the rise in popularity of Japanese food – you can buy yuzu juice from Waitrose!
This what Dad said about it in his book.
So after the successful fruit sorbet experiment I thought I might buy a Yuzu tree and finally got round to doing an online mail order from a German company called Lubera.
It came two days ago!
I am assured by my research that the yuzu is quite hardy and will survive outside in temperatures as low as −9 °C (15 °F) where more sensitive citrus would not thrive.
I’m going to plant it on the other side of the yew arch in memory of my Dad who created the garden here and who showed me how to grow my own food.
Who’s inspired you to garden or grow your own veg?