Don’t poets like Keats give you the pip? Ok, a whinge.
From John Keats’ poem, To Autumn, 1820:
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
[Where was he writing? Italy? In good old Britain, most of it at least, vines, not even ‘Madeline Angevine’, don’t ripen except in special circumstances anyway – they get mildew, various other rots, get attacked by birds and wasps, and woodlice and earwigs just adore the centre of an unthinned bunch of grapes.]
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
[Oh really. No gales to strip the branches? bullfinches to eat the buds, or bees too chilled to leave the hive? No canker, scab, codlin moth? no… oh, why go on?]
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
[Well, fancy that. After a season like we’ve had, it’s the whole world that seems clammy, and dank, and chill. And almost bee-less. Keats goes on… an on. H goes on about gourds… Well, I’ve had four courgettes this season, when the kitchen should have been piled high with the things. Not a single squash, pumpkin, gourd, gherkin, nor cucumber. Nowt. Some fistfuls of runner beans when I should have been giving them away in desperation.
Some folk in the UK have had decent pear crops. Lucky them. I looked at this tree with envy. The same garden also had Turks Cap pumpkins and various others. Perhaps I just need to garden elsewhere! Provence? Umbria? We’re soon off to Sicily where at least my gardens dreams might burgeon… For a week. Huh.]