Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness…. Huh.


if only…

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.]

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About david stuart

garden writer and journalist, and occasionally a designer, with a garden in the Scottish borders, and his pal's gardens in Edinburgh, London, and Lincolnshire. They keep both of us very, very busy. Books I've written listed on my website, and dozens of articles and garden and plant pictures. Currently working on several new projects. One of these was to return to painting - see the blog - and which is proving exciting! www.david-stuart.co.uk
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2 Responses to Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness…. Huh.

  1. Roger H. Boulet says:

    Well, we just finished “processing” about 300 lbs of Bartlett pears here in Summerland (from one tree).. Lots of peaches earlier on… now the tomatoes are in onslaught mode… Good cherry harvest this year too. Our freezer is almost full for the winter. and we have had one of our best vegetable gardens ever… love the Keats poem… should I send you photos of Turk’s cap squashes? There was a bin full of them at a fruit stand in Keremeos, with more to come…

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