Nectarines are best described as peaches in smooth skin. They are highly productive and heavy cropping fruit trees, flowering early at the end of March, second only to apricots. Nectarines produce single rose-pink blooms in abundance, making a beautiful display to welcome in the spring. They are hardier than many people realise and can be grown anywhere in the UK by adjusting the growing technique depending on the climate. Nectarines can be grown standalone as specimen trees, trained as an espalier, fan or cordon against a wall or kept in a large container in a conservatory, greenhouse or on the patio. Botanically, nectarines are almost identical to peaches and their flowers should be protected if there is risk of late frost in exactly the same way to avoid a reduced crop. It’s important to grow nectarines in a spot where the soil does not lie wet – if you’re gardening on clay, you’ll need to improve drainage by incorporating lots of grit, or consider growing in containers for best results. The more sunshine the better, bigger and sweeter your fruits will be.