We had an Open Day in the garden today when, miraculously, it stayed fine and we were rewarded with 467 visitors, the most we have ever had. I’m there to answer questions, (while Margaret slaves away over the cream teas) and one of the things which makes every open day interesting is that there is always one question which everyone asks, and the question is different every time, depending on which flower or plant is at its best. Today everyone asked about the strange plant growing against a wall in the kitchen garden. It’s the Japanese wineberry (rubus phoenicolasius) which this year has for the first time produced a spectacular crop. I planted several Japanese wineberries 3 years ago to fill spaces between some apple and plum trees and they have finally come into their own. Although the plant is related to the ordinary raspberry it develops in a completely different way, as the immature fruit is enveloped in a protective calyx covered in hairs, as can be seen in this photo. The fruit, when it emerges is tiny, but it packs a punch and tastes much sweeter than the ordinary raspberry.