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Mulberry Bush Charlotte Russe

“Here we go round the Mulberry Bush” is a nursery rhyme, a singing game and a film. Yet the bush also has strong royal connections, dating back to James 1. In the early 1600s landowners were ordered to plant mulberry bushes with the aim of starting an English silk industry. Unfortunately, the wrong sort of mulberries was imported meaning that luscious fruits were produced but the plants were no good for silkworms.


The royal connection continues with the National Collection growing in the grounds of the royal estate at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Marlborough House. A few can also be found growing at Windsor Castle.

Here at Suttons we are proud to be offering a brand-new Mulberry, Charlotte Russe. Not only new to us but we have world exclusivity! Charlotte Russe is a new dwarf variety, only reaching about 1.5 metres, so perfect for any garden. A normal mulberry will reach up to 8m!

Another great advantage of Charlotte Russe is that it is self-pollinating and produces fruits on both old and new wood. You’ll be picking and enjoying the fruits in the first year as opposed to having to wait 8 or 9 years as with other varieties. The harvest period is from May until September so you’ll have to think of ways to use all that juicy fruit.

Mulberry Wine

I found the following recipe for Mulberry wine in a collection of Farmers Weekly recipes first published in 1953. If some of the quantities seem a bit odd it’s because I’ve converted them.

You will need:
1.8 kg mulberries  4.5 litres water
1.6kg sugar   21g yeast

Place the mulberries in a large bowl and crush them with the back of a wooden spoon. Boil the water and pour it over the fruit. Stir gently, adding the sugar until it dissolves. Mix the yeast with a little of the warm water and add it to the fruit. Cover and leave in a warm place to ferment. After 4 days’ strain through butter muslin and pour in to a fermenting jar. Leave until the fermenting has finished then move to a cool place for a week. Bottle and keep for a year before sampling.

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Lis

About Lis

Our Suttons Blog comes from Lis Wallace, Head of Customer Service here at Suttons since 2002. Living on the edge of Dartmoor Lis has a large and “somewhat tricky” garden split across several levels but with the bonus of a stream tumbling through and a large, fertile veg patch. Across the blog Lis will share some of the knowledge she has gained over the years from her father, from working at Suttons and also from her own trial and error. Storm the Jack Russell is bound to chip in now and then. That’s what terriers do!

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