Monday, 17 August 2015

Crab apples

The Old Bat likes to make a little crab apple jelly.  Not to eat on its own - although I have seen her spreading it on bread - but principally to mix with balsamic vinegar to make a sauce for the tuna steaks.  Now, crab apple trees are not particularly common, although I have discovered two or three growing in the verges of roads around Patcham.  Each year I drive around those roads, scooping up the mangled crab apples from the pavement.  However, for the last two years there have been no crab apples!  The OB even had to resort to using red currant jelly instead, until my cousin donated a jar of his  jelly, made from crab apples found on the farm.  That jar, alas, is now empty.

I recently took to walking the dog in a new area that I have passed almost daily for years but never bothered to investigate.  And what a delight it is.

I have never seen such a variety of wild flowers growing in a comparatively small area.  Poppies, ragwort, knapweed, clover, scabious, ladies' slipper, toadflax, milfoil, mullein, even harebells and possibly 18 or 20 other varieties that I couldn't identify.

Harebells, sometimes known as the bluebell of Scotland, are not very common in Sussex.

But the icing on the cake - if you'll forgive the slightly mangled metaphor -is that I have found not just one but two crab apple trees laden with ripening fruit!

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