My Favourite Window

December 21, 2010

Sweet Solstice

Not the kindest scent to assail a newly widowed woman with: the scent of man, the scent of his loving ... smell a sweet chestnut tree in bloom and see what I mean.  One is flowering now in the Secret Garden, attracting moths at night and flies and bumble bees during the day.
"On the other side of the world it is marrons glaces time," Lady Mondegreen remembers wistfully.  If New Zealanders can eat mince pies, roast turkey and plum pudding at Mid Summer, melt in the mouth sugar-saturated chestnuts wouldn't be out of place amongst the Christmas comfits. 
"Except that this is such a bountiful time in the garden," counters Lady Mondegreen. And she is right. How can we not celebrate the produce of the season when we plan our Christmas dinner?
Kitty brought home a huge cauliflower from her school garden and as I blanch and freeze this surplus, the first cherry plums are dropping, neighbours are showering us with their strawberry glut, blackcurrants are ripening and there are some precious gooseberries edible now.  There will be new potatoes on most Christmas tables, and asparagus too, though fresh garden peas have become a rarity as gardens get smaller and convenience dictates frozen. I would like to add cauliflower with mint somehow to the menu.
As a closing thought, for a more sweetly aromatic, flowering tree than the sweet chestnut, seek out the lime trees - often in street plantings - for their bee-loud, fragrance. 
I have been writing this as I watched tonight's lunar eclipse: easily viewed through the great new gap in the willow tree, where the Nor'west gales are tearing the branches away!

Sweet chestnut  Castanea sativa
Lime, linden  Tilia x europaea or T. cordata

1 comment:

SEDIBAC said...

Excellent Sweet chestnut picture! Could it be used to illustrate a nonprofit society's website? SEDIBAC is dedicated to the study of Dr Bach flower remedies, and would like to have this picture in its updated website. Please, do let us know at Thank you very much!