Six On Saturday: Apples, plums, flowers and bees

It’s been harvest time this week. So without further ado I give you this week’s six.

One

All the apples from all the trees are picked in one go and are taken to an juicing farm.  This year’s crop seemed to be less than last year and when the juice was collected it was proved to be so.  Thirty five bottles against fifty one last year.  There has been some significant pruning undertaken for one of the trees to get it back into shape and this was where we noticed less apples.  Perhaps next year it will be back to bearing a higher crop.  

Two

As we had the apple picker out we decided to go for the plum tree too.  All the plums were gathered in and the fruit was halved and stoned before freezing.  I have never had much success with plum jam so the plan is make endless plum and frangipane tarts. 

Three

Cutting back the perennials promptly does pay dividends, the delphiniums have rewarded me with a second flowering.  

Four

Helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ is a good height for the front of the border and flowers well.  I have dead heading to catch up with which will keep it going. 

Five

The rain and occasional sun seem to be powering the garden on.  Last week’s flattened cosmos were hauled upright and staked to within an inch of their lives.  This revealed them to be nearly five feet high.  Impressive going when I think back to those tiny seedlings that appeared in spring. 

Six

Finally the bee, on a separate planting of cosmos.  The bees seem to be on a resurgence in the garden.  They float from these cosmos plants across the path to the agastache in great numbers.  Always fascinating to watch.

But I have much to do.  The hollyhocks are ready to be cut down and the roses need another round of deadheading.  I also have plans to move plants and the bulbs have started to arrive.  The ideas for next year are gently bubbling away.  

Mr P sets a good example as always, managing to file a SOS post whilst on holiday.  He has spotted nerines which sadly reminds me of the bagful of bulbs that I bought last year which I fear will come to nothing.  I have a few leaves poking up from some I put in a container but those in the ground seem to have failed. Hey ho! 

4 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Apples, plums, flowers and bees

  1. Do you get someone in to pick the fruit then? How lovely to have your own apple juice. And those plums look extremely neatly halved! Personally I love plum jam! Your Cosmos are still looking good, mine are mostly in pots and they are suffering now, the pink ones pretty much over, next year I shall distribute more in the flower beds where they seem much happier. As for nerines, I have 3 amarines (Amaryllis belladonna & Nerine bowdenii) and no sign of any flower stalks again! Leaves, yes, now yellowing. They are in a pot and have been in full sun all summer. I have read they can take 2-3 years to flower so I cross fingers for next year!

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  2. Is it apple juice, not cider? Right? 35 bottles : how long do you keep them? do you have a cellar to keep them?
    Otherwise, plum jam is not complicated to make. Make it with ripe fruits but also some less ripe, rather acidic, or add a lemon juice. (50% by weight of fruit, and jam sugar : variable cooking time. 20 to 30 minutes I would say.)

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  3. Those plums look like French or Italian prunes, which used to be one of the main crops of the Santa Clara Valley. Their fruit ripens much earlier here, while many of the apples ripen later. Plums are rounder with cling pits, and are mostly eaten fresh.

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  4. I almost lose hope with puny cosmos as well, and then they take off — so great! Our plum tree grows those Italian prune plums, and I’ve had success at jam with them. I had some very delicious plum gelato made by a friend recently which made me think, “Why jam?” 🙂

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