Welcome to The Fruit Grove!

About The Fruit Grove

I started The Fruit Grove as an answer to the many gardening questions I had, specifically about growing fruit. There is a lot of great gardening information out there, but I didn’t find much that was thorough, reliable, and hands-on about how to successfully grow fruit trees and plants in a typical backyard garden.

My desire to focus on growing fruit stems from my frustration with grocery store produce. I got so tired of being stuck with a selection of tart berries, mealy apples, and run-of-the-mill fruit options. We have a great local farmer’s market, but (other than in peach season!) it’s mostly full of vegetables, not fruit.

The thing is, growing fruit is tricky. It takes a longer investment of time before you see the literal “fruits” of your labor. You need to dedicate a lot of space to fruit trees and sprawling berry bushes. And you need knowledge about what each plant needs to thrive.

Fruit trees can be easily stressed by water, weather, or plagued with pests and disease, so they often require extra attention. Even when everything goes right, it’s a constant battle to save the harvest from friendly neighborhood squirrels, birds, and other critters.

Me starting my very first apple espalier in my backyard.

So why bother growing your own fruit?

Because 15-75% of the nutrients of fresh produce may be lost within 3 days of harvest – especially vitamin C (source).

Because the more you eat locally – and how much more local does it get than your backyard? – the less need there is to buy produce that has travelled across the country to get to the store.

Because there is little more rewarding than walking into your landscape and plucking a peach or plum off the tree and into your mouth.

Because home grown fruit tastes AMAZING.

The goal of The Fruit Grove is to provide high-quality information and practical advice about fruit gardening. I also share recipes and information about storing and preserving your homegrown fruit harvest.

One of my first blackberry harvests!

All of the information on The Fruit Grove is based on my real-life experiences growing fruit at home – the ups and downs, the successes and mistakes. I want to show that planting fruit trees, berry brambles, and fruiting vines is not only doable, but is a worthy way to spend your time, effort, and precious garden space.

Meet Dianna

Hi! I’m Dianna Grabowski, creator of The Fruit Grove. I’ve been gardening for about 10 years, but I feel like my whole life led up to the discovery of this now favorite hobby/obsession of mine.

Working in the garden feels like an especially valuable way to spend my time. I feel closer to nature, more in touch with my faith, and more myself than almost anywhere else.

I started gardening almost by accident. My dad had gotten some free seeds from a friend who worked at Home Depot, and he shared some with me. I started them inside, planted them out in a hastily dug garden bed, and got my first (huge!) harvest of tomatoes, peppers, peas, and herbs. I was hooked.

When I’m not gardening, thinking about gardening, or writing about growing fruit, you can find me reading, messing around in the kitchen, singing, teaching Bible study, chatting with my husband Greg, or hanging out with my two boys, Ben and Sam.

I am a classical singer by training – opera, chamber music, oratorio, early music, and new music (it’s ok if you don’t know what any of that means!). I have an active professional singing career that takes me around the country. Music is a big part of our whole family’s day-to-day life – my husband is an orchestral conductor, Ben plays violin, and Sam is studying piano.

It may seem incongruous, but there are actually a lot of parallels between gardening and classical singing. Both take tons of time, discipline, and creativity. Both demand an investment in continued learning because you never know enough, and each new opportunity leads to tons of new questions. You must also have a healthy dose of humility as you will inevitably make mistakes.

And even when you do everything “right,” sometimes circumstances happen outside of your control, and you just need to roll with it.

That sense of creativity, discovery, and problem solving is exactly what led me to create The Fruit Grove blog and YouTube channel.

Thank you for joining me!