I hadn’t tasted a gooseberry until I was in my late 30’s. I was in my dear friend Viola’s garden when I saw a unique bush growing on the edge of the vegetable bed. There it was with sweet delicate frilly leaves dotted with darling red green orbs. They were ripe. I picked one and popped it in my mouth. The skin was much thicker than a grape. Then the center burst. My mouth filled with a sweet tartness. It was unlike anything I had ever tasted. It was delicious. At that moment, I knew I wanted to grow a bush or two in my own gardens. I began researching gooseberries.
There are two main species of gooseberries including both European and American. They love cold winters, and hot humid summers. They grow beautifully in coastal climates like San Francisco and the Cape Cod. Gooseberries grow on bushes that can range in size from three to six feet tall. Some varieties are more thorny than others. In the springtime, they have inconspicuous blooms and welcome pollinators such as bees. They can tolerate pruning and will fruit on wood that is at least one year old. The ripe berries can range from green, yellow, white, pink to ruby red depending on your variety. When the berries over ripen they fall to the ground. Gooseberries are used mostly in making tarts, desserts, and jams.
Learn more about growing gooseberries.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest