Wednesday, 2 May 2012

And after April ...

When May follows
And the white-throat sings and all the swallows,
Hark, where my blossomed pear tree in the hedge
Leans to the fields and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops at the bent sprays edge …

Flowering cherry

 April traditionally is associated with blossom and this April didn’t disappoint until the weather turned against us, destroying the blossom on many prunus (flowering cherries) trees before we had time and opportunity to fully appreciate their breathe-taking beauty. Fortunately the apple blossom hasn’t been affected and I’m hopeful for a good harvest later in the year.

Early apple blossom
Similarly with pear tree blossom. We have two extremely large and ancient pear trees – they are possibly as old as the house itself which was built in 1911. The tree nearest the house bears the most wonderful, juicy pears which, when we first moved here in 1979, we gathered by standing on a neighbour’s flat-roofed garage and which we transformed into wonderful jams, chutneys and, to my mother-in-law Rouena’s delight, a very intoxicating pear wine, which when left to mature in the under-stairs cupboard until the cupboard was spring cleaned the following year, almost took on the status of a fine spirit. Sadly for us, the tree is now so large that only the starlings and crows benefit from the mouth-watering fruit.

Old pear tree with delicious fruit, sadly enjoyed only by the birds!

The second tree bears a small, hard fruit in large quantities. Again the tree is too large to enable us to harvest the fruit but, happily, most of the pears are blown onto the lawn by the autumn strong winds and are easily harvested as wind-fall fruit. Thus they don’t keep for long but even so are delicious eaten au naturelle;  stewed in the microwave and eaten with Greek yoghurt; or made into pear pickle or chutney - delicious when eaten with cheese and celery for a quick and tasty supper.

Roll on autumn - my mouth is watering already… 


  1. Sad that you can no longer enjoy the fruit from the old pear tree but it's still very beautiful especially against a blue sky!

  2. Your garden is now taking on a mythical status as a source of bounty and beauty. And now wine! Your pear liqueur sounds like the stuff that dreams are made of. wx