I’m back from sunny Granada and it’s a bit of a shock, after a month of doing very little, certainly nothing with plants (unless you count picking a leaf off bay tree growing conveniently near market – and come to that, cutting up large mangoes for breakfast….) Back here, in sunny but colder Yorkshire, there’s a lot to do with plants, mostly picking up their leaves and fruit. Was surprised how little change there’d been in 4 weeks; the main one is the fall of leaves and empty chestnut nutcases, also Michaelmas daisies in full flower, mostly self-seeded but I wish they’d stand up a bit straighter. And there are wonderful crops of apples and quinces, colourful and beautiful, with added promise of apple pies, crumble, chutney, quince jam.
Later: did I say “sunny” Yorkshire? Two weeks on, it’s wet. Apples and quinces still on their trees, and now there’s sweet chestnuts to pick up as well; all of which implies a lot of tedious work, peeling and chopping, but I hate waste so have to use them. Anyone out there want some quinces?
Yesterday was an amazing day of hot sun and blue sky, a gift that did feel like a perfect jewel set off by the dark wet days. And what luck to have arranged to visit Harlow Carr! It was wonderful; trees and shrubs turning gorgeous colours – orangey-red of dawn redwood and swamp cypresses; purple and silver of dogwoods; shocking pink of spindles; crimson of Japanese maples; and then all the flames made by different grasses lit by the sun. And in the middle, a Katsura tree with its buttery-yellow leaves giving off tantalizing toffee-apple smell – if you don’t know it, go now to Ray Wood at Castle Howard, and follow your nose!
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