29 Sep 2015

Nine photos for Seven days: Insta-update


There's a lot to appreciate in my neighbourhood: Hampstead Heath, wide tree lined streets, little old cobbled passageways, farmer's markets, the city farm, and not forgetting my veg patch garden- there's a lot going on if you stay local and love nature.

Little visuals catch my eye as I walk around and I quickly snap these for posterity.  Sometimes I just want to remind myself of a new yoga class starting or the location of some tempting foraging; often I snap a photo on my phone because it's there and I don't have my camera to hand.  Quite a few of these get posted up to my Instagram account and make a visual diary of the week that's been so I thought I'd share with a weekly Insta-update.

From left to right, top row to bottom, nine pictures for seven days:

1. Quince.  Not real quince but the fruit of Chaenomeles x superba, also known as Japanese quince. Beautiful red and gold flowers (on this cultivar) in springtime and edible fruit in autumn.  These fruits are smaller than real quince (Cydonia) and not so perfumed but still very edible when cooked, sweetened slightly and made into faux Membrillo (a Spanish quince paste), eaten with cooked apples, or sliced with honey and hot water for a refreshing tisane.

2. Pear. This was had fallen from the tree and I discovered it shortly after. Sweet and juicy, it was my first pear from this tree, seven years in the waiting. Most of the other pears have been removed by people walking past the garden.

3. I'm reliably informed this is the fruit of the Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo.  I've never noticed this before but its bumpy globes caught my eye on a walk around the neighbourhood and I'm thrilled to discover that the fruit is edible - with the bonus that the pip can be grown into a new tree, albeit v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.

4. Tomatoes. I've had a really bumper crop this year, most of which have stayed resolutely green - 'Sungold' being the exception.  Finally, a few others are slowly starting to ripen. These are Maskotka and I've also picked a couple of Petomach tomatoes this week.

5. Nasturtiums. These go completely bonkers in autumn and sprawl over everything. The plus is that the flowers have wonderfully long stems, perfect for picking, and thereby removing a few of the seeds that will inevitably start the whole process again next year. The leaves in the vase are from a small Sambucus nigra shrub I bought last year.

6. Mmmmm, crab apples - don't these look gorgeous? There is a huge, fruit laden tree a couple of streets away with these beauties hanging temptingly overhead. A forager's dream. (And I'm thinking crab apple and rosehip jelly, by the way.)

7.  Brussels Sprouts tops.  Yum.  Plus purple and green  is such a fab colour combo.  Seeing beauty everywhere.

8.  Garden gathered. I only popped down to cut some of the carrot seed heads for a recent charity shop vase purchase (seen centre top of photo). I came back with a surprise bunch of crunchy and sweet purple carrots, achocha, the aforementioned pear and tomatoes, raspberries and fennel seedheads.  Ker-ching!

9.  Sprouts!  Yep, I'm pleased to see these are bulking up nicely. I haven't grown sprouts in recent years as they've not been a success before but the recent rain has fed them well and these are on track for (dare I mention it?) Christmas.


Posting this a day late ~ sorry ~ as I had a very late journey home after a dash to the Hampshire coast at the weekend. This will be a Monday meme, join in if you wish and let me know!

Hope you all had a good weekend and had plenty of sunshine wherever you were!
Now off to catch up with news on other blogs … 



18 comments:

  1. An enjoyable post and lovely colourful pictures. Flighty xx

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    1. Thank you, Flighty. I thought this might be a good way to share news - I haven't mastered your art of the quick post yet! x

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  2. A very nice selection of things, and photos of them. One of the reasons why I write my blog is to provide myself (and others, if they are interested in this) with a sort of illustrated garden diary. It's a good way of keeping records so that you can compare performances year on year. Glad to hear you are a fan of Maskotka tomatoes. They are my favourite - unbeatable taste, lovely texture and a very prolific variety to boot.

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    1. There is a lot of choice when it comes to tomatoes, isn't there! I'm pleased with Maskotka and Sungold and will grow these again next year. I"ll be asking your advice for good beefsteak tomatoes next spring, I've not had much luck with mine this year.

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  3. Gorgeous photos, especially when all grouped together. We used to have a Japanese quince when I was little, we had wine and quince jam from it, the jam was delicious. I've not heard of the tomato Petomach before, would you recommend it? Orkado has done very well for me this year - a new-to-me variety. CJ xx

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    1. I've not heard of Orkado, CJ - thanks, will look that one up. Petomach were new to me this year and look like a lovely tomato, duck egg sized and more oval than round, but they haven't ripened properly yet. I'll let you know when I've gathered a few. Cxx

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  4. An interesting collage! I love the fruits and vegetables on it.

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    1. Thank you Endah. I love Instagram and it's a nice way of presenting a busy week, I've found.

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  5. A lovely reminder of the beauty to be found all around and almost as good as a yoga session for calming the mind.

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    1. Ooh, yoga for the mind, I like that! Quick snaps are a very satisfying way of capturing those moments and putting my week all together.

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  6. There is so much beauty around in autumn, it's a fantastic time for harvests. I love all the pics, and wow....that jelly sounds just perfect for autumn!xxx

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    1. As I walked in warm sunshine looking at autumn berries today, I really thought "This is my favourite season" - and it is. All the colour is still in the gardens and hedgerows whereas in spring we're still waiting for plants to pop up. The jelly will be made when I have spare day - I've already made a note of where the best crab apples are!

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  7. beautiful to see and appreciate the small details of life and nature around you. purple and green vegetables are amazing - mother nature is a superb colourist. thank you!

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    1. I agree - life can sometimes be so rushed so it's nice to slow down and focus on the detail in nature … and find time for some gardening!

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  8. I love the way that photographs can take you back to a moment in time weeks or months later, or how they can capture a season. Your collection make a lovely celebration of Autumn, and how exciting to have sprouts to look forward to. I never had much joy with sprouts at my old allotment, and decided not to take up the space to grow them here. I do love to eat them though...

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    1. I take so many photos of things I see as I wander that my phone is crammed full! I thought it would be good to be more disciplined about it and create a weekly collage. I'm very pleased with my sprouts although I confess I didn't start them off myself; instead, they were an impulse buy at a farmer's market back in the spring. I'm sure it's all the rain that has benefitted them rather than any gardening skills I may have!

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  9. Gorgeous photos - the one of the Arbutus fruit made me realise how much I miss having one in the garden. I inherited a mature plant in my last garden and I loved the way it fruits and flowers at the same time.

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    1. It's rather gorgeous and unusual, isn't it? To my knowledge, I've only come across this tree once before at the Garden Museum in Lambeth - they have a very mature tree on the far wall, the bark is gorgeous and very eye catching. What a shame you had to say goodbye to the last tree you had.

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Caro x

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