Twigs and blossom

IMG_20181122_004229_653My winter woman has turned into an early spring woman snow is still on the ground but cherry blossom flowers have sprung from the trees twigs and branches, it feels like an old surrealist painting, and I don’t object to that but I wish I coukd do better details .

This has been a fight! Hours of messing about with the shading and shaping of the branches. It’s not finished yet…..but I need a rest. Night all.

Dancing trees

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I thought they were holding hands but my friend said dancing. Imagine the branch in the middle is two arms entwined, clasped hand to elbow  Then the branches on the other side of the trunks are like outstretched arms, and the other branches higher up are like hair flying outwards as they spin each other in a dizzy whirl of autumn leaves..

An idea for a painting. I also like the way the hedge cuts between them and splits the composition.

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Acers

I took lots of photos of these trees at a garden centre in Wales. Small and perfectly formed, their colours seem to glow against the dull grey sky. A shaft of sunlight makes the colours explode. Glorious and wonderful.

A lot of the leaves are palmate, meaning hand shaped. The leaves are strongly divided into thinner and thinner strips of crimson red or deep yellow at this time of year. We have an acer in our garden but it always seems to have a white sheen to it. I think it is in the wrong place next to a bigger tree which is robbing it of moisture. I sometimes water it to try and help. It changes to a very dark deep red in autumn and its leaves are less indented, more maple like. With the sun shining through them this morning they look bronze or copper coloured.

Apples

We have lots of apples this year, some from our trees and others from a glut of apples from local gardeners. My partner bought a couple of bags. We also had some damsons this year off a tree. If you look closely, hiding in the front of my fruit bowl, are three tiny tomatoes which I grew (they didn’t do so well this year).

What to do with them? Last week I made an Apple lattice pie, this time I stewed some of the apples and damsons with a bit of water and some artificial sweetener that you can use in cooking. The result was a pink fluffy mess of stewed apples…

What to have with them? I could have served them with cream, or icecream, or custard. But I decided to try some shop bought organic rice pudding. The result was delicious.

I wish we grew more crops, we got some good red peppers, and a cucumber this year. I might try growing some courgettes and marrows next year. We also grow raspberries and the next door neighbour has wild blackberry canes growing into our garden so I also pick those. One thing that didn’t grow this year was some onion sets off a friend. I think out garden is too overshaded by trees that have grown up. We may have to cut the trees back a bit. We have also grown potatos in the past. That’s something else to grow next year.

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Ripe cherries

I thought we had eaten all the cherries off out two cherry trees, but Richard went out on some step ladders and a broom today and managed to pull down a couple of branches. He came back  with about a third of a bowl of the ripest and darkest cherries we have ever had off the trees.

I was surprised, basically because we leave the top half of the trees to the blackbirds.  Every year they eat their fill of them. But its such a pleasure to have the fruit that I don’t begrudge the birds any of them.

At the same time our pear tree is gradually filling with fruits, they are quite well hidden because they are not very big yet. Our pears are the same colour as the foliage so they just don’t show up much against the leaves, where the cherries seem to glow with their internal fire of red.

Small apples are also growing slowly. The weather is hot and dry and the apples are not swelling up much. I’m not sure what sort of crop we will get. Last year all but one of the apples fell off in June so at least we are doing better than that.

We got all the fruit trees from our local Woolworths store. That was a few years ago before the firm went out of business. They were a good bargain.

What did I do with the cherries? Washed and stoned them, then had them with a small amount of vanilla icecream. Delicious and cool. Tasty.