November 2015

STRANGE FRUIT…and I am learning strange new words and strange country ways.

The slender branches of the little medlar tree, planted in January of this year have been almost bent to the ground, but now its bronze-coloured fruit fill an old apple tray and are ready to be ‘bletted’. This I learn, is the process of leaving them until they turn dark brown and ‘squashy’ at which stage they are ready for making into medlar jelly. (Despite my misgivings the jelly proves quite delicious and perfect for eating with roast meat).

The scarlet berries pictured belong to our native iris, (I. foetidissima) which I discover is known locally as ’the roast beef plant’ and ‘stinking gladwyn’. Its dull, purple-grey flowers have a certain witchy charm, as has the single, dangling, strawberry-like berry of Cornus kousa chinensis, the Chinese dogwood – another ‘first’ for my garden. Strange fruit indeed!

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