Thursday, 16 July 2015

Cherry ripe, ripe I cry!

When I was but a wee bitty laddie, my family lived on the edge of the cherry-growing area of Kent.  We didn't have far to walk before we reached the Darland Banks, as the nearest part of the North Downs was called, from where we had views across the hop fields and cherry orchards.  most of the hops and cherries are now gone, but back in those days this was part of the Garden of England.  In those days, too, whenever my brother and I were sent out to play, our mother would - in the season - give us each a handful of cherries to take with us.

We had our own cherry tree in the garden although the fruit was only good for cooking.  But the cherry pies Mum made were delicious.

Not all that long after we moved into this house some 45 years ago, I planted a cherry tree in the garden.  Yesterday morning, when I looked out of the bedroom window, I noticed that the fruit was just about ready for picking.  By the evening, the crop had been harvested, the tree stripped bare.  But not by any human hands.  It was wood pigeons, jackdaws and blackbirds that enjoyed our cherries this year.  As last year.  And the year before that.

I shall just have to buy some cherries in the shops.

Talking of which, I wanted to buy strawberries the other day.  I have to buy them from the shop although I would much prefer to pick my own but the back and knees won't take it.  So I went to the soft fruit area in the supermarket where I saw tray after tray of Dutch strawberries.  Dutch strawberries in the heart of the English season!  To make matters worse, they were all of the Elsanta variety, a variety I will not buy as the fruit simply does not have the right flavour.  I suppose it looks good and has a longer shelf-life than the varieties I prefer, like Sonata or Driscoll's Jubilee.  Fortunately, I did eventually find some Scottish-grown Sonata.


Sarah said...

What a shame - there is a cheery tree down by the canal that I have been watching for the last couple of weeks and when I went down to pick them the other day they were all gone too! All is not lost though, there are two plum trees at the park, one a Victoria plum and one small yellow Mirabelles that are almost perfect for picking and I intend to get there before the birds this time.

Perhaps you could consider a raised bed for your strawberries to cut out the bending if you wanted to grow you own or, some varieties grow well in hanging baskets.

joeh said...

And I thought strawberries were just strawberries.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Sarah, strawberries are just too much trouble for me to bother with. Besides, I've given up gardening.

Joe, as my old granny would have said, you live and learn, die and forget the lot.