Sunday, November 4, 2007

October - chestnuts & olives

The dry weather has continued right to the end of October - 10 weeks with no rain at all. Planting has to continue otherwise the little plants won't get their roots down before the frosts arrive, but I have had to keep watering them. Crazy weather. I have been planting shrubs, spring bulbs and some veg seedlings.
Autumn here is usually short-lived: deciduous trees and vines have turned gold and red, but this year the leaves have not fallen quite so quickly and the countryside is a patchwork quilt of colour.
The Kaki (persimmon) trees are covered in large fruit like huge orange tomatoes and look like a child's drawing of a tree. A welcome arrival is the saffron crocus: its fine leaves are hidden until the purple flowers and their distinctive saffron stamens appear. Another unexpected flower is that of the nespolo tree (loquat) which fruits in spring. The Yucca has obliged with great towering spikes of white bells. Yellow Autumn crocus in other people's gardens remind me to try (again) to plant some myself next spring, but it is such a busy time in the garden that I always forget.
We have chestnut and olive oil festivals in the district although the olive harvest really only gets going in November. This year we have almost no olives at all and the few that remain are tiny berries which have been attacked by the Olive Fly.

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