There's a lot to appreciate in my neighbourhood: Hampstead Heath, wide tree lined streets, little old cobbled passageways, farmer's markets, the city farm, and not forgetting my veg patch garden- there's a lot going on if you stay local and love nature.
Little visuals catch my eye as I walk around and I quickly snap these for posterity. Sometimes I just want to remind myself of a new yoga class starting or the location of some tempting foraging; often I snap a photo on my phone because it's there and I don't have my camera to hand. Quite a few of these get posted up to my Instagram account and make a visual diary of the week that's been so I thought I'd share with a weekly Insta-update.
From left to right, top row to bottom, nine pictures for seven days:
1. Quince. Not real quince but the fruit of Chaenomeles x superba, also known as Japanese quince. Beautiful red and gold flowers (on this cultivar) in springtime and edible fruit in autumn. These fruits are smaller than real quince (Cydonia) and not so perfumed but still very edible when cooked, sweetened slightly and made into faux Membrillo (a Spanish quince paste), eaten with cooked apples, or sliced with honey and hot water for a refreshing tisane.
2. Pear. This was had fallen from the tree and I discovered it shortly after. Sweet and juicy, it was my first pear from this tree, seven years in the waiting. Most of the other pears have been removed by people walking past the garden.
3. I'm reliably informed this is the fruit of the Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo. I've never noticed this before but its bumpy globes caught my eye on a walk around the neighbourhood and I'm thrilled to discover that the fruit is edible - with the bonus that the pip can be grown into a new tree, albeit v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.
4. Tomatoes. I've had a really bumper crop this year, most of which have stayed resolutely green - 'Sungold' being the exception. Finally, a few others are slowly starting to ripen. These are Maskotka and I've also picked a couple of Petomach tomatoes this week.
5. Nasturtiums. These go completely bonkers in autumn and sprawl over everything. The plus is that the flowers have wonderfully long stems, perfect for picking, and thereby removing a few of the seeds that will inevitably start the whole process again next year. The leaves in the vase are from a small Sambucus nigra shrub I bought last year.
6. Mmmmm, crab apples - don't these look gorgeous? There is a huge, fruit laden tree a couple of streets away with these beauties hanging temptingly overhead. A forager's dream. (And I'm thinking crab apple and rosehip jelly, by the way.)
7. Brussels Sprouts tops. Yum. Plus purple and green is such a fab colour comb. Seeing beauty everywhere.
8. Garden gathered. I only popped down to cut some of the carrot seed heads for a recent charity shop vase purchase (seen centre top of photo). I came back with a surprise bunch of crunchy and sweet purple carrots, achocha, the aforementioned pear and tomatoes, raspberries and fennel seedheads. Ker-ching!
9. Sprouts! Yep, I'm pleased to see these are bulking up nicely. I haven't grown sprouts in recent years as they've not been a success before but the recent rain has fed them well and these are on track for (dare I mention it?) Christmas.
Posting this a day late ~ sorry ~ as I had a very late journey home after a dash to the Hampshire coast at the weekend. This will be a Monday meme, join in if you wish and let me know!
Hope you all had a good weekend and had plenty of sunshine wherever you were!
Now off to catch up with news on other blogs …