Thursday, 20 May 2010

Around the Garden - Part 63
















Our medlar tree is now in full flower. We have the common medlar (Mespilus germanica), which is a long-known native of south-west Asia and possibly also south-eastern Europe. They feature an unusual apple-like fruit that requires bletting (see below) to eat; although not widely eaten today, consumption of these fruits was much more common in the past. They are very hard and inedible until they start to decay. They will rarely reach this stage by themselves on the tree and need to be harvested as late as possible in November after the first frosts. They should be left in a box in a cool dry place until they turn a dark reddish brown and become soft and juicy (bletting). They can then be used to make jams, jellies and medlar cheese. Unfortunately we have never had the chance of using our fruit yet as I return to the UK in mid October and it is too early to pick them.

The peonies are just coming into flower.

The Viburnum Snowball is at its best at the moment.

The Azalea has just started to come into flower; I thought this had been caught out by the cold spell, as the buds looked very brown, but it seems to be improving by the day.

The climbing rose is looking very cheerful.
The asparagus is now popping up with no rabbits to eat it, or dig holes into the roots!! It may be a bit late, but I guess better late than never. So long as we have some while Nigel is here, I will then allow it to grow and thicken up ready for what I hope will be a good crop next year. It is now in its fourth year.

The chives are starting to flower. They give a bit of colour to the herb garden and there are more than enough, so there is still plenty to use for cooking.

Last years spring onions. Hmmmmmm.
The cherries which with a few sunny days I hope will ripen for Nigel's arrival.

The plums which are still small and green at present may be ready for his next visit at the end of July.
The small Granny Smith apples, which I hope will develop to eating size. These are new trees and we have not had fruit from them before.

Lastly, here is a picture of my flowering sage with a small insect trying to disappear from my view!!

24 comments:

  1. It was very interesting to compare your plants with ours here in Italy. I do a similar feature to this one on my blog, so it will be fun to compare what we are harvesting or enjoying in bloom over the coming months.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do not know the medlar at all Diane, is there anything we grow here you can compare it with? Looks a lot like a quava to me including the leaves.

    ReplyDelete
  3. LindyLouMac, I would guess that your plants will be a bit ahead of us as you 'should' be warmer being further South. The weather is so odd though these days one never know what is going to happen next!! Diane

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Joan, There is not really anything that I know of quite the same. I think it is the same family as the loquat, but those I used to just pick off the tree and eat. I tried taking a few of the medlars back home in October but it was too early for them and they did not ripen. It will be interesting to try them out when we finally make the move here permanent. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've never heard of the medlar tree or it's fruit.

    You have so many wonderful things growing on your trees and in your garden - you lucky lady.

    The flowers look beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Maybe we should be but this year only a few weeks difference, if that I would judge by your photos.
    Snowball tree has been ruined in all the rain and I only took photos of the Medlar blossom a few weeks ago.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your garden looks wonderfully productive. I love the peonies and the climbing rose. I'm also glad to see that you have at least some asparagus for Nigel. He will appreciate your saving it for him. Blessings...Mary

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pam I had never heard of a medlar either until we moved here and we had the tree in the garden. It is loaded with fruit every year, but as I said we have not been here at the right time of the year to sample it. It is going to be an interesting trial. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  9. LindyLouMac, Interesting that you have had so much rain. We had 22mm on 1 April and since then we have only had a total of another 25mm the highest being 12mm on 4 May. I have been watering!

    Do you do anything with your medlars? I am really keen to sample them. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Mary, give it another few weeks and I hope to be giving the surplus food to our neighbours. I only have a small freezer and there generally is too much to bottle as well. Last year I had enough courgettes to feed the whole county! LOL. I ended up making my own version of courgette and ginger jam and it was just delicious. http://www.recipe.nidi.org.uk/Courgette_Jam.htm Guess what everyone got for Christmas presents!!! Diane

    ReplyDelete
  11. Diane, your garden is delightful. The asparagus makes me drool. There's nothing like this growing on the North Rim.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Not sure, but I think the medlar fruit is called "neffle" in France.
    Your garden is looking great. How wonderful to be able to grow your own fruits and vegetables.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Gaelyn, Thanks for visiting my site. I love following your travels. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  14. We have many of the same plants! My azalea bloomed last week, and the rhododendron in my front yard bloomed this week, but the ones in the back yard have not yet. Our apples are forming, too; most of our trees are 80 to 90 years old, and produce wonderful fruit.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Nadege, Yes you are right about the name for the medlar except I think the spelling is nèfle. In a couple of months time I become vegetarian as I usually have so much to eat that I invent all sorts of different dishes. We just need a few chickens for eggs! Diane

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Marjie, My rhododendron was a disaster this year. It tried to flower early and the cold just wiped it out. It is always quite a bit ahead of the Azalea. I hope that someone will still be enjoying our apple trees in 80 to 90 years time! Diane

    ReplyDelete
  17. We use the medlars that we harvest to make jam and jelly. To eat them fresh it is almost impossible to get them at just the right moment as under ripe or over bletted they are just not edible.

    ReplyDelete
  18. LindyLouMac. Thanks for that info, I am looking forward to the time we are here so I can try them out. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your garden is lovely ! So many things in bloom right now, too ... I have never heard of medlar before - the fruit looks similar to small pomegranates.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Lynda, yes it does sort of look like a small pomegranate but is is only the size of a table tennis ball. The garden looks quite good at the moment but it is very dry (sorry to rub in the water bit!) and I am having to water. Water is not that cheap here so I am likely to end up with grass that is brown and similar to Africa in the dry season. We are getting warmer and warmer now. There are many wells around but sadly we have not got one. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  21. Medlers and courgettes...goodness, I need to spend sometime in the plant encyclopedia. I do not believe that I have ever heard of either one before. That medler tree is beautiful.
    I have been to your site once before and I have enjoyed reading your posts. I hope it is okay to "follow."

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Mya, I am sure you know what courgettes are. They are also called zucchini, squash and baby marrow depending where you live. In Europe and Africa they are generally called courgettes. I look forward to you following my site. Diane

    ReplyDelete
  23. Gorgeous pics!! I just LOVE flower pics... esp. from people's garden's... Loved the asparagus popping up!! Enjoy your lovely garden!

    Leese

    ReplyDelete
  24. Leesa I love my garden and I feel very spoilt to have such a lovely one in a lovely country. Have a good weekend. Diane

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and pass a comment. Every comment is appreciated and I try to reply to each and every one. All comments are verification free but will come to me for approval first :-)) No Anonymous Users!