On bletting and other Autumn garden stuff

This week you will find that our upper greenhouse is scented with the fragrance of the quinces we harvested at the weekend. It is a lovely aroma!

The other fruits we have harvested and stored in the greenhouse are our medlars. This year we picked them earlier so as not to lose as many to squirrels as we did last year! The medlars we harvested are still firm and will now need to be left to blet.  Bletting is a process of softening beyond ripening that certain fleshy fruits such as persimmon, medlar and quince need to undergo, off the tree, to sweeten and soften before we eat them.  We place the whole medlar, flowering end face down, not touching each other, and leave them until they turn a deep brown and are soft, almost squashy, to the touch.

Once bletted, the medlar can be eaten raw.  It has a toffee-ish, apple crumbley sort of taste. Alternatively you can mix its pulp with sugar and / or cream.  You can also make a great fruit jelly from medlar but for this to set you need to combine a few unbletted medlar with the bletted ones for the extra pectin.

As the leaves on the trees turn beautiful shades of yellows and oranges it is time for us to sweep up the fallen leaves from the garden paths, and carefully pick them off the herb garden beds where they tend to smother the smaller herbs such as thyme.  Once collected we are putting the leaves in our designated leaf litter compost bay beside the new apiary to make leaf mould.

We will be doing some autumn maintenance of the heritage wall by cutting back some of the vegetation that has been growing up it since the spring.

The final dig of our perennial meadow is well underway. At least half of this has been done, so we will complete this and then the ground will be ready for us to spread our sterile (weed seed free) mulch over the whole area, to a depth of around 5 cm. This will involve a lot of working with wheelbarrows and rakes, and is a very good way of keeping warm if the weather happens to turn a bit colder!

In other news, on 29th, 30th, 31st October and 5th, 6th, 7th November, Conservation Volunteers are preparing and seeding a meadow and planting a new hedge by the Community Stage just by Brockwell Hall in the park.  Come along to the stage area and help any time from 10am wearing warm clothes and sensible shoes that you don’t mind getting a little mucky.

Sally Ramsden is continuing her Garden Yoga classes this Saturday 2nd November in the  morning 11am to 12.30.  If its warm enough, these will be on the decking. If not, the yoga will be in the lower greenhouse with blankets on hand for the still stuff and warming herbal teas made from our own fresh herbs for afters.  For more information about her slow flow restorative yoga and to book, go here 

Andy Petch is holding Tai Chi sessions on Saturday afternoons 2pm to 3pm. To find out more about Andy Petch’s class this Saturday November 2nd and to book go here

Sunday 3rd November at 2pm, Iyatra, the wonderful band that volunteer Will Roberts is in, are launching their new album: ‘Break The Dawn’ in Soho, Book here. Iyatra will be playing at BPCG in 2020. We just need to fix a date!

A request: If you are cutting back any attractive seed heads in any garden you might work in, and think they’d look good in a Christmas wreath, and don’t need them yourself, please bring them up to the greenhouses and we will dry them off in the back room of the Upper Greenhouse to get them ready for our Wreath Making workshops we are holding on 5th, 7th and 8th December.

 

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