The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness has arrived in Much Wenlock on the coattails of spring, missing out summer altogether. Perhaps we’ll have it at Christmas instead, the barbeque months that, back in March, the tabloids were screaming we were in for, along with prolonged drought and associated mayhem that would, shock-horror, stop people from watering their lawns, or hosing down their Range Rovers. Mind you, these are the sorts of rags that would have us believing it is raining migrants. (That would be people so desperate that they risk all to run away from home).
Anyway, whatever’s going on with the climate, the upshot is that much of the garden and the allotment has a very ‘left-over’ look, which is why I almost want to dash out in the garden and hug the sneeze weeds – bees notwithstanding – for being so vivaciously red and yellow as too much autumn dullness descends.
How can a plant so glorious be real? All the flowers in the photos, in all their wonderful variation, are growing on a single plant. And, as you can see, the bumble bees are gorging themselves. There are also some very tiny emerald beetles in amongst the pollen. Sneeze weed, by the way, is a country name for Helenium, which is a far more gracious name for such a generous plant, although one rarely used in the Farrell household.
And it’s thanks to the bees and other precious pollinators that we are at least having fruitfulness, if not harvest-hot weather. Up at the allotment apples are already weighing down the trees. They look like jewels:
Even the ornamental crab apples look good enough to eat raw. They’ll make brilliant jelly after a touch of frost, which hopefully won’t happen yet.
Then there are the brambles:
And the little yellow squashes that look like flying saucers:
And the runner beans have started to crop (this photo was taken a week or so ago). The sweet peas on the end of the row are there to attract pollinators:
Of course, when it comes to weather, we Brits are never happier than when we’re grumbling about it: too hot, too windy, too wet, too dry. But then even if someone did steal summer, we still have so much to be thankful for. Feeling mellow, however, may not be an appropriate response these days. There may well be some hard lessons to learn when it comes to adapting to an increasingly erratic world climate, and not only for ourselves, but for the people who find their own lands are no longer habitable. We should not be surprised if they risk all to make for the lands of plenty.
copyright 2015 Tish Farrell