The season’s bounty

GourdHarvest 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.

Altogether I managed to save about a third of the pears from Blackbird attack!
Altogether I managed to save about a third of the pears from Blackbird attack!

Fallen Fruit Silks

Jane Hall Designs
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”

Pear - Doyenne du Comice
Fallen and picked fruit from my fan pear – Doyenne du Comice

Prunus persica Peregrine
The Last Peach (Sept) – Prunus persica Peregrine

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.