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For a while I have wanted to start to grow Gooseberries, memories of Boarding School and making Jams and Jellies with the Nuns during school holidays. I am looking for the "Old Fashioned" Plants or Cuttings, I am willing to pay. My day today has been spent on the Computer trying to find anyone who may have them for sale, but the only one I can find is Gooseberry - Captivator Ribes uva-crispa  .

You may have them growing or know of someone with an old fashioned garden who may have them growing. in the 1800's they were prized and there were many Gooseberry Clubs, growers guarded their Gooseberries like gold. They vied for the Big Prizes for the Biggest, Sweetest and Preserves made from their Berries. The growing of Gooseberries has waned over the years but I would love to revive the passion for growing these lovely juicy little bubbles of goodness. 

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Have just been reading some new publications and it appears that Gooseberry Clubs have been and are being revived and the rivalry between growers for the big prizes still exists today in England and other parts of Europe. Call my Old Fashioned...

Way back when, I worked at Gardenway Rocklea. Site is now a Bunnings. Anyway … they stocked an extensive array of fruit trees including Gooseberry. I mean the English one, the real one. Two varieties probably one was Roaring Lion the other I think was Bicentennial yet that name is associated with another fruit (?). And it was well before 2000 anyway. There was always a problem with downy/powdery mildew with them. They really are a more cool-climate fruit than sub-tropical and a struggle for us to keep them looking saleable. And I recall them as being quite spikey and rather tart. But then they were young plants confined in pots so not at their best.

I have them. Next time I pot up a seedling, I'll give you a yell Dianne. They come up in my compost

Will be interesting to see if you can grow the more traditional types here in Brisbane Dianne. The one you provide a link for (above) needs a cold winter, but, you never know......

I grow two types of "gooseberry" - CAPE GOOSEBERRY and CEYLON HILL GOOSEBERRY. The first comes up by itself if I'm lucky - or you can buy seed or seedlings easily enough. The second is a short bush which has never in about 5yrs produced any usable fruit but does grow from cutting. You are welcome to try it.

Where was the boarding school located?

Thanks so much everyone. I know I am being The eternal Optimist trying to grow these old fashioned plants but I do grow quite a lot of cool weather plants here with a bit of success so thought I would try.

Lissa, I went to school in Charters Towers, NQ. A wwwwwwwweeeee bit cooler up there in Winter. Thank you for all of the trouble you went to looking these up. It isn't the Cape or Ceylon that I want to grow, but thinks I might try a Jostaberry.

No doubt you found this little article about growing gooseberries while you searched  -   

AGRICULTURE VICTORIAThe gooseberry requires winter chilling to facilitate flower bud development and growth, and good yields can only be achieved in cold districts.

Diggers sell a JOSTABERRY.

Yalca Fruit Tree nursery sells a CAPTIVATOR.

TURNERS NURSERY sells a few plants with "gooseberry" in their name including a Star Gooseberry.

Garden Express sell a THORNLESS GOOSEBERRY Ribes uva-crispa

Advice from Jerry to a gardener in our general area:

Presenter: The Gardening Australia Team, 10/07/2010

SERIES 21 Episode 21

Alison asks: I live on the Sunshine Coast and have two gooseberry bushes. One, I bought from a market and it's growing beautifully. The other I bought as a bare-root and I don't know what sort of gooseberry it is supposed to be.

Jerry answers: On the Sunshine Coast, I'd expect you to grow just the Cape gooseberry because it likes a warm climate. Those orange berries which follow the flowers make a delicious jam. I'm amazed, however, to see that you're growing a true gooseberry, which is surviving in the sub-tropics. 

I would really treasure this plant because gooseberries love a really long, cold winter. It's not even cold enough in Melbourne to grow them successfully - you've got to be in Tasmania to get a good crop of gooseberries. I suggest keeping it out of the sun, in the coolest position in the garden. 

And here's another place selling the THORNLESS GOOSEBERRY, White House Nursery.

And even eBay get in on the act Gooseberry Ribes uva crispa bare rooted x1

Lissa, this has given you some reading matter today I see. I do buy plants from White House and saw those there but they look like Captivator.

Looks like they are all Captivator. Reason for not wanting this one?

What variety are you looking for Dianne?

Yes I do want Captivator. I am looking for any of the European or Australian varieties. I would probably have more luck finding them in an old garden, farm,  church or even cemetery for that matter. Maybe I need to take a run up to Toowoomba at Springtime, and surrounding areas. 

Sounds like a good bit of fun....but why not just buy one from one of these sellers?

In fact, why not contact your old school and ask about getting a cutting?


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