One evening last week, as the wind rattled at the windows, we glanced out to notice that the apples on our small Spartan tree were no longer visible.
A few minutes later, we found them at the foot of this small tree, which we bought at the Malvern spring show already sporting four small red fruits.
They survived the transportation and planting of the tree and have been swelling gently all summer until now. There was no visible damage on the fruits, to our relief, and we gathered them up. (Perhaps ‘gather’ is a little grand for four fruits!).
At the foot of the pear cordons, King of the Hill spotted one of our Beurre Hardy pears fallen too, which we hastily added to the basket.
The apples did not last long – they were delicious. Sweet and juicy, with crisp white flesh and little acidity, they were everything we remembered from the selections we bought to sample at the farmers’ market in Stroud two autumns ago. If I remember correctly these were number two in our taste test, second only to Ingrid Marie, which we have yet to add to our small apple collection.
The pear is still firm, and remains in the fruit bowl to ripen for a week or two. This is the first year that these trees have fruited since we planted them the winter before last. After some reading around on when to harvest pears, I suspect that we should pick the remaining beurre hardy pears soon, along with the conference pears on the neighbouring cordon, so that all can ripen indoors in the coming weeks.
Nearby, several of the thick-stemmed cosmos plants had snapped near their base and the once-proud plants lay sprawled horizontally across the border. I pulled up the broken plants, picking the flowers for the house and reserving the stems for the compost heap.
Overnight the winds have whipped up further, as the tail end of hurricane Katia lashes our isles, and anything not tethered tightly in the garden is prone to being picked up and dashed against the fence.
With so little shelter until our hedges mature, I am vigilant for further mercy missions today as the borders are tumbled this way and that.