Please stop….

I just want the garden to stop for a bit while I catch ip with it. Please… whimper…

First, the apples. Oh my lordy, the apples. Apples to the right of them, apples to the left of them, into the valley of apples rode the six hundred … well, me and P with a load of carrier bags. We’ve had heavy apple years, we’ve had light apple years. This year we didn’t have a June drop, more of an August avalanche. Despite that, I have given away 22, yup, twenty-two, completely full, handle-stretchingly full, enormous carrier bags of these,


and have made over twenty jars of chutney, and have filled the downstairs freezer with purée. AND THERE’S THE OTHER HALF OF THE TREE TO PICK.

Incidentally, I have zero idea what this tree is. They are sharpish eaters, sweetish cookers, and mature really quickly once picked. They don’t keep brilliantly, which is a shame considering I have about 4,567,000 tons.

(That is, of course, not accounting for the fact that the meadow beneath this tree was so covered with rotting and freshly fallen apples that we had to scrape them off with spades before strimming the meadow, and that the jackdaws have had so many apples that they are about as fat as dodos and can barely lift off when you go into the garden and shout at them. I swear I can hear them burping.)

And there are two other trees. The ancient cox and the second mystery tree which is a lovely shape but hardly ever produces an apple.



These were going to be turned into autumn jelly (with hawthorn, sloes, blackberries, rowan berries), but then a friend arrived and I said ‘Would you like some apples?’ expecting her to run away making the sign of the cross as she did so, as has become normal. But she said yes (though in all fairness she did look a bit surprised by the sheer size of the carrier bags I gave her, but hey ho).

I don’t mind, though. There’s the other half of the big tree still hanging on; for some reason the ones on the south side are slower to mature than the more northerly ones. I suspect it is down to exposure, the south side of the tree to some extent protecting the northern side from the full fury of the sea winds.

And, in the meanwhile, the autumn crocuses are springing up in the newly shorn meadow,

autumn crocuses

as are the mushrooms; the squashes are ripening; the greenhouse has been cleared and is full of logs, and we are about to start the great shifting of plant positions. When I’ve cleared a few more million apples off everything.

And I’ve forgotten the two crab apples. Those trees are laden, too. Agh……


23 Comments Add yours

  1. Fall is always so packed with what to do next, apple harvest and pumpkin picking are a personal favorite.

    1. kate says:

      Pumpkins – well, squashes – are next. Happily the slugs have left me with a manageable quantity!

  2. VP says:

    I’ve just invested in a juicer for similar reasons.

  3. You can send some in my direction. I live too close to the sea to grow apples 😦

    1. kate says:

      I thought I did….

      Please accept a virtual carrier bag from me!

      1. sigh… I can almost taste virtual apple pie.

  4. Gosh, it will have to be apples with everything! Our apples are either a feast or a famine every year, just to keep us on our toes!
    happy cooking & eating!

    1. kate says:

      Oh, it is. But they’re coming off the trees now, and it’s so wet and horrible that they’re rotting on the ground…

  5. Cathy says:

    We always have a good crop but this year it’s More than Good and no June drop here, nor a proportion of scabby apples. We have probably given away more than 22 bags but as we didn’t have quite as many as your 4 million I need to actually freeze some for ourselves before long – but otherwise have no qualms about letting the last of the crop fall and putting them on the compost heap. Would never grumble about the quantity! Did you write about opening your garden, by the way, after the event?

    1. kate says:

      I’ve got some scabby one but, to be fair, on the Cox which is always prone. And even on that tree the apples are better than usual. Insanity…

      I did add a brief line about opening the garden to a previous post – meant to be more forthcoming but just too shattered. However, it is on the Garden Club website: – mine is the first one. Totally wiped me out, didn’t do any weeding for ages. Regretting that now, of course!

      1. Cathy says:

        Thanks for the link. Hope you have recovered from your wiping out. Hmm, weeding…yes, that’s on a ‘to do’ list for some beds here too…

        1. kate says:

          The weather is fine today, and I really should be weeding… but if I don’t do some housework, I won’t be able to get in the door past the spider webs. It’s the season for those, too…

        2. Cathy says:

          I tend just to ignore them – unless they are at face height!

        3. kate says:

          Hair height for me – hate, hate getting them in my hair. I wear glasses and so I don’t tend to freak out at ones heading for my face but….. ergh…. and I’m not someone with a spider problem, either. Catch them in my bare hands, I do.

        4. Cathy says:

          Generally I leave them be (but tell them off when they string themselves up between rows of raspberries or across other paths), but would need to remove any from the bath for the Golfer 😉

        5. kate says:

          ThereIsn’t an emoticon for ‘aaaaaaawwwww’ on my iPad, but here’s a spider to say hello: 🕷

        6. Cathy says:

          he /she’s a cutie 😉

  6. croftgarden says:

    Real English (sorry Welsh) apples – absolute manna from heaven! I’d give anything for a box the the genuine article – alas I’ll just have to (metaphorically) drool over the photographs.

    1. kate says:

      I’d send you some (two carrier bags went back to Inverness with friends last weekend) but the ones left are coming off the trees as r=the weather is vile, and because the weather is vile, they’re rotting really fast. The jackdaws are loving it (it’s like a bar in Newcastle on a Saturday night, I tell you, only noisier and the birds are wearing more clothes).

  7. denisehayes says:

    The mystery Apple sounds like a james grieve, mine did well this year. They make the best apple cake and tarte tatin, also very good with bread and strong cheese. I’m near the sea in south east Wales and we grow good apples ( the town not me personally) .

    1. kate says:

      Oh, it could well be. Off to find apple book – thanks for that!

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.