Harvest festival time in East Anglia and time to reflect on the successes and failures of this year’s fruit and veg gardening efforts. Usually I garden at the weekend and the occasional mid-summer weekday evening. I only have five raised beds and a few fruit trees, but coupled with working the flower garden, I don’t have enough time to do either justice. Still, we’ll ignore the low yields, bird-ravaged apples and pears, and instead celebrate the tomatoes and various cucurbita – courgettes, butternut squash and ornamental gourds.
Oh, I’d better come clean – I had a total failure with my butternut squash this year and so this beautiful gourd (above photo) was bought from a supermarket. It looked so tempting I couldn’t resist and it was very tasty roasted with butter.
It is strange how in our 24 hours a day wired and connected world we can not truly escape nature’s deep, slow rhythms. This November I’ve been working on some scarves in a range of colours I thought I’d chosen as I’d seen this pleasing combination from the Canadian Interior Designer Jane Hall of Jane Hall Designs.
As I have mentioned before, when I’m painting I often listen to an audiobook and for a couple of weeks I’ve been listening to ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel. She has a superb historical imagination and a descriptive writing style that evokes a sense of place without being overdone. As I was busy preparing my autumn colours I heard this phrase from Wolf Hall
“wearing their fallen fruit silks of mulberry, gold and plum”
Reflecting on the natural colours of fallen fruit retrieved from the fading garden and looking at the colours I’d mixed up, I realised how unconsciously I’d absorbed and then responded to the changing scene. I’ve had a few peaches, figs, apples, pears and plums filling the kitchen fruit bowl from this year’s domestic harvest. It’s been the best year so far for the fan pear, though I have lost all the cobnuts to the squirrels, again. But what a bonus – the muted colours of fallen fruit.