Tag Archives: medlar

Sitting in the Garden

I spent a while sitting in the MENCAP GardeThere was a distinct nip in the air but it was still very pleasant. Julia provided the coffee and the Tunnocks teacakes. They aren’t really teacakes, they are chocolate coated confectionary with a marshmallow filling and a biscuit base. Somehow I managed to get over my concern about the accuracy of the name…

There’s plenty of colour in the garden at the moment, with fucsias and sedums doing well and the sumac trees changing colour.

It’s also time for the final picking of cape gooseberries – the crop with more names than it really needs.

Cape gooseberry, physalis, goldenberry, pichuberry, ground cherries and inca berries – take your pick.

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Cape Gooseberries

We’ve had our first frost this weekend so it’s going to be medlar time in the garden this week.

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Nottingham Medlars

We missed most of them them last year – either because of the birds or because of medlar rustlers.

 

The Promise of Future Fruit

Here are some pictures of the fruit trees from last week. The Magpies seem quite keen on the big yellow cherries, which are ripe despite being yellow. We are going to have to research the variety. The smaller, more prolific yellow cherries are not yet edible. Even the Magpie, which is happy to eat a dead badger from the gutter, won’t eat them.

The strawberries are doing well, and this particular punnet was going to the school caretaker, on the grounds that cooperation is a good thing. They are one of the few things Julia is able to sell from the site, and they will be paying for some of the materials needed for shed repairs before winter kicks in.

There is a good selection of apples, pears and plums around the garden, though Julia has given me (in my capacity as a non-volunteer) responsibility for drawing up a pruning plan for the winter. They are generally in good order but a few are growing water shoots, and most are congested. It’s easily done, as people tend to concentrate on pruning for fruit and neglect to open up the centres of the trees.

There are also several apple trees that were obviously pruned as step-overs but have grown into hedges over the years. Being the owner of a plum tree that started life as a minarette I know all about this sort of thing, and have no moral high ground to take.

There are vines and figs in the polytunnel, a hazel with nuts and, in one corner of the garden,  we havea group of Nottingham medlars. They are a “traditional” tree which means they have no practical use  these days and are grown as a curiosity.  At one time they were handy for late crops but we have imports and chillers to fill thst gap these days. You have to blet the fruit before eating, which means letting it ripen to within moments of it rotting. They dress it up in most articles on medlars, but that is what it means in practical terms.

It will be interesting to see how they go, and to try some recipes with them.

Plans include raspberries and gooseberries, because we can get free cuttings, and finding what is known as “the special plum tree”. I think we’ve probably found it, but we just don’t know it’s special yet. We also need Cape Gooseberries, because we’ve always done well with them and visitors like to try them.

Compared to the farm garden, which was lumpy clay and rubble when we got there, this is luxury.

You also have the bonus that people don’t steal your fruit when you aren’t there.