Friday, 22 August 2014

Worth waiting for

Although you can achieve instant results with bedding plants and ready-made planted up pots and hanging baskets - and even large specimens of shrubs and trees - the most satisfying results which give the most pleasure are more often the ones that you have worked for yourself. (And usually much cheaper too.) A bit of patience in the garden always helps as it can take a bit of time for the results to appear, of course.
Once established, some of those pleasures worth waiting for become seasonal ones, and worth every moment - as in this pic of my friend Julie's apple tree. She planted the climbing rose many years ago and it has thrived and grown and from the initial few flowers on a spindly stem when it was first installed, every year now converts the tree into this glorious mass of blossom.

Also worth waiting for have been the pears on my allotment. One tree has done well every year, but although the other one has grown splendidly, has produced only a handful of fruits each year - and last year the four pears that had appeared disappeared overnight as they approached ripeness. But this year it has been covered with fruit; there have been plenty of windfalls that I've poached with ginger and which taste wonderful. There are even enough that some time over the weekend I shall be experimenting with pear and lemon jam ...
Less patient are the wippitty ones. Left to their own devices, Archie and Angel will harvest every single alpine strawberry, even if it isn't yet ripe. They will also yaffle every blackberry they come across out on walks - but although a little fruit is fine, be careful your dog doesn't overdo things as overindulgence can lead to an upset tum. Some fruits can also be potentially dangerous - greedy dogs that eat plum stones as well as the plum itself, for example, can end up causing blockages in the gut if the stones don't pass through.
Another hazard at this time of year is, of course, that of sugar-hungry wasps attracted to windfalls along with your dog. Just in case your dog does get stung, keep a supply of homeopathic Apis mel on hand plus dog-suitable antihistamines from the vet, and an icepack ready in the fridge. And if he gets stung in the mouth or throat and swelling begins to make breathing difficult for him, treat it as an emergency and get him to the vet as quickly as possible.

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