PERSIMMONS are coming into their autumn glory and should be grown more often for their glorious autumnal foliage and fruit.
The fruit is an acquired taste and the non-astringent varieties are probably most popular.
These varieties, including fuyu and jiro, can be eaten firm, whereas the non-astringent types need to be allowed to ripen to the almost mushy stage where their texture is jelly-like.
Non-astringent varieties include dai dai maru, tanenashi and hyakume (this latter variety needs another for pollination and fruit formation but the others are considered self-fertile). Grow persimmon trees as a feature for the duel autumn treats; the foliage turning brilliant shades of deep yellow and red and the orange fruit ripening late in autumn.
Plant them sheltered from strong winds as the branches can be brittle and provide a well-drained soil with adequate moisture over summer. A word of caution - plant the tree where fruit cannot fall on to a path and become a slipping hazard.
Time for cyclamen
PUNNETS of cyclamen are ready for planting out now into dappled light areas of the garden.
Cyclamen are often looked on as a potted or indoor plant only, but they relish the cool weather and thrive in the colder autumn and winter atmosphere.
Choose a garden bed with a well-drained compost-enriched soil in dappled light and mass plant them for a flowering display for the next four to five months.
Alternatively, pot up some large pots, bowls or window boxes with a top-quality potting mix and plant cyclamen into these.
Pots are lovely grouped around the outside of the front door to your house and give a cheery welcome to guests.
You can also buy fully grown cyclamen in larger pots now and many not only have frilly flowers and two-toned flowers but the white, grey and green shades of leaves are attractive on their own.