Season of mellow whatsits


Fruitfulness, I think. Fruitfulness at flipping last – or fruitfulness which has been either overwhelming (rare: artichokes – so theatrical, and the abundance is why they are now feeding bees instead of me),


or surprising (pears). And fruitfulness on the work front too, which is why I’ve been a bad blogger. Anyway, back to the garden.

I have an ancient pear tree; gnarled and twisted, it generally doesn’t produce much in the way of fruit but it is a gorgeous shape and has such presence in the bottom garden that removing it would leave a huge gap. It also likes to hide what pears it does produce, generally about four, sometimes as many as seven, until they either rot and fall off or are pecked off by birds. Each year we have a pear hunt (though I have finally been dissuaded from dancing down the garden singing ‘we’re going on a pear hunt’ after a certain children’s book). This year I was altered to the fact that there were pears ready by one which bounced lightly off my head as I hoed the bed beneath part of the tree.

And this year we didn’t need to hunt that much…


One year the tree went mad and produced 44. This year we have reached the giddy heights of 57, only a few of which were damaged. They’re cookers, and I’ve already made my first batch of compote.

And I have squashes. They’re not enormous (yet),

uchi kuri squash

but they’re getting there, and there is some way to go in terms of time. I was recommended this variety – uchi kuri – by a fellow addict as one which does well round here, and I shall certainly be growing it again. Though the mildew on the plants is now something else.

The obsession with food today even got itself transferred to the flowers. As he was going out P stopped to smell one of the huge pots of lilies (mind you, you don’t really need to stop; you can probably smell them in the village when the wind is in the right direction). Oh look, he says, it’s like the chocolate on a cappuccino…

lily choc

And it is.

It’s feeling quite autumnal now. It’s chilly in the mornings and some of the local chestnuts have started to turn. My Rosa rugosa hedges are full of big fat juicy hips,

rugosa hips

though the same cannot be said for my allegedly autumn-fruiting raspberry canes. Am going out to speak to them roughly.

(And for anyone wondering how the open garden went, it went brilliantly. The weather started iffy but by the time I opened it was so sunny that everyone congregated in the shadowed part of the garden once they’d had a good nose look round. Needless to say I was so busy that I forgot to take any pics. The plant which garnered the most enquiries was this penstemon, Raven.


It was looking good. Now, of course, it’s reduced to a couple of sticks, but hey ho. And I was glad it wasn’t a month later as the heleniums looked decent; now they look terrible. And slugs and snails have eaten all the dahlias bar one in the bottom garden. They are four-star bastards this year. We even found one way up in the pear tree. But for the vital day, everything looked perfect.)


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Good to hear your open day went well, maybe it’s always the transient beauties which seem to catch the eye of garden visitors.

    1. kate says:

      It seems that way – but doesn’t always extend to things without flowers…

  2. shaheen says:

    Wow what a fab haul from your Pear Tree, we will be digging ours out later this year. Almost 3 years and no fruits 😦 Is that Uchiki Kuri squash your growing – one of my faves.

    1. kate says:

      Oh, your poor tree – but then mine is over 60 or so (without cutting it down I can’t be sure). Yes, that’s the squash – I just can’t spell it!

  3. What a fantastic harvest of pears 🙂 well done.

    1. kate says:

      Still quite shocked. And full of pear compote…😋

  4. Julieanne says:

    What a pear harvest! I’ve planted pear trees but have always moved on so never had a harvest. #PearEnvy is now a thing.

    I’m trying Uchiki Kuri myself this year. Sadly all but 1 plant was destroyed by slugs, so all my hopes are pinned on the one plant. Oh dear, I’m envious of your squash too 🙂

    1. kate says:

      Oh, my slugs are unbelievable. They have had a fair number if squashes and courgettes, buy I always plsnt some sacrificial ones. I swear they eat slug pellets like chocolates (and they’ve stripped my dahlias in the bottom garden completely).

      P and I were slightly hysterical with the pear tree. It’s completely unusual, so don’t be too envious. Last year there were two. Sigh.

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