Sunday, September 13, 2015

Berries on Sunday

By the craggy hillside,
through the mosses bare,
they have planted thorn trees
For pleasure here and there,
Is any man so daring,
As dig them up in spite
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

William Allingham

Hawthorn berries

Going out to feed the hens this morning, I stopped and listened to the chatter of the crows up in the trees, they are very noisy of late.  A sheep wandered by on the other side of the hedge, and I went in and grabbed my camera to take a photo of this large hawthorn bush in the graveyard, wondering if I will see the fieldfares this winter feast upon them.  The collared dove flew down, had I put out her food? no, so she was fed.....

The Woodland Trust has put out a survey for what is happening in Autumn, leaves changing, ripening of berries and how the birds change.  Our swallows seem to have gone for instance. Looking up recipes for cooking hawthorn berries, one is a chutney, the other a jelly.  Reminds me of the quince jelly my first mother-in-law used to make, sweet/sour and a gorgeous colour..

Here is the holly bush behind the fence full of green berries, wonder if there will be any left for xmas?

Then there is the news of another 'escapee', this time a socialist has escaped the binds of 'New Labour', apart from the 'woe and betiders', there are many, including myself who rejoice at this unexpected turn of events.  Go get them Corbyn ;)


  1. Hi Thelma, I miss holly. It doesn't grow here and at Christmas it's about $3 a sprig

  2. Morning John, the holly and the ivy, favourite carol and the two evergreens to decorate the house at xmas in a slightly pagan way.. Surprised it does not grow in Canada, it likes the cold weather and is very slow growing. The first thing as children we would draw on home made xmas cards was those spiky holly leaves;)

    1. Hi Thelma, Holly does grow in Canada, but nowhere near me. Canada is huge. No 2 in the world Bigger than China, but smaller than Russia. Holy grows in eastern Canada. Blackberries grow in BC but not here. So if you are picking blackberries on the coast of BC (they don't grow much inland) and then want some Holly, you might have to drive more than 4,000 kilometers!

      A new strain of thornless blackberries with high yields (U,S) Will grow here but not the usual blackberries. Raspberries grow ell here. We can sort of grow apples here, crabapples grow well. blackcurrants grow here too, No pears, plums, peaches, no nuts. The growing season in Calgary is only three to four months.the end of May is usually when people put out plants like tomatoes (hoping for the best at that). I once had to harvest 60lbs of mostly unripe tomatoes during a blizzard mid September, but I have experienced summer weather in November, once. You just never know.

    2. The weather sounds a trifle worse than England John, but the ubiquitous blackberry here can be found everywhere, the birds feed on the berries and the seeds end up everywhere. I have a feeling that the currant bushes fare well in Scotland, which has worse weather than ours, and of course raspberries, they prefer cooler climes.
      English apples are the best ;) they prefer our lukewarm climate, as for nuts, if their is a wretched grey squirrel anywhere near nut trees, you have lost the crop. My walnuts and cobnuts were always picked in their 'green' state by squirrels and there was nothing I could do to stop them....

    3. We probably are a bit like the highlands of Scotland, although the latitude here is further south than the Isle of Wight. (but at an altitude of 3,557 feet. The only oak that can grow here is the burr oak. When I first came here, there were only five of them in the city, but they are being planted everywhere now. My major garden pest was the cabbage butterfly. The squirrels are plentiful, but there's only things like pine nuts for them.