My Favourite Window

October 17, 2010


How I love the quince blossom. In this garden, so full of spring blossom, it is always the quince that speaks most deeply to me. This year I realised how tantalising its buds are: plump cones of pink tipped promise. And now - the blossom. What is it that appeals to me so much?  Is it the restraint of the cupped flowers compared to the thickly clustered blooms of plum and apple and pear? Is it the way the flowers open against fully formed foliage while all the other trees leaf-up after petal fall? Whatever the reason, from a distance the tree presents a silvery arabesque, and makes me think I should plant more.

Many years ago my father planted a quince tree on this spot, and 14 summers ago his quince tree survived the disasterous wild fire that swept this land. Months later when the fire-damaged pines, which hedged the garden, were being felled, one of them fell across the little tree: I watched in dismay the falling pine and the quince tree, bounce into the air and shatter. That was the first year that the tree had produced a worthwhile crop and they were ripening nicely.

So Elwin planted another and we enjoy its blossom and its scented fruit every year.

Quince Cydonia oblonga 'Giant of Gascogny'

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