Tag Archives: corylus purpurea

Red Leaves and Sweet Osmanthus

Corylus purpureaI tend to associate red leaves with autumn but we have lots of plants and shrubs with red leaves throughout the year.

This is the Corylus Purpurea, the purple leaved hazelnut/filbert that gives us so much joy  whatever the season.  This photo was taken with Brian’s compact, a Canon G10.

corylus purpurea catkinsIt has red catkins in the winter, followed by these extraordinary leaves that start off a deep dusky red/purple and turn green as the summer turns to autumn and then produces nuts in the autumn. The squirrels bury the nuts and we find seedlings all over the place. We have rescued some of the seedlings and they are growing happily in pots until they can be rehomed with friends. I am thinking about a little guerilla planting as we have a couple that no one has claimed….

This is an ornamental red crab apple. It has wonderful dark pink blossom but the most pathetic little fruits that are no use for making jelly. Not the best choice in the world!

The flowers come after the leaves – any day now.

osmanthus

And here is my osmanthus bush having its moment of sweet scented glory. When I come home after dark the scent knocks you sideways. I wish it flowered for longer but I treasure this week when it puts on its best show.  I brought this plant from my old house where it had sat in a pot for years and planted it out and it is so very happy!  I have seen teas made using osmanthus flowers, but I don’t know how one would go about it. Should I collect the flowers?osmanthus flowering

All photographs by Brian!

Around and about (1)

The nuts are on their way…

In the garden the catkins have been replaced by nuts…

The second batch of ‘cold’ steeped elderflower cordial

On the kitchen window is the second lot of cordial, made differently from the first. Time will tell if they fizz, bubble, explode…. how exciting !

As inspired by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Jars of this and more tomato things are looking for a home on the shelves of the garage following Brian’s purchase of 12 kg of tomatoes the other week.

A rolled up babka thingy

One bit of test baking that sort of worked. But I can’t give you the recipe….

The lime trees are flowering….

I am going to  harvest some of the flowers and make my own linden blossom tea this autumn.  Lime trees, beloved of town planners for their sticky sap which stops people parking under them, and a great and glorious tree when left unpollarded like this one at Ashton Court.

American Readers please note : this isn’t a citrus lime tree (Citrus aurantifolia), but a tree also known as a small-leaved lime, one of the family of tilia trees and yes they get big! In England the tilia are commonly called lime trees. This is not confusing for English people as we don’t have citrus trees growing outdoor as you do in the USA, only a few in conservatories behind glass. I have just had a little scoot around and in the US they are usually known as linden trees. The tea made from the blossom of this tree is variously known as limeflower blossom tea, limeflower tea, linden tea, tilleul in French. Widely drunk in Europe, (Proust et al) and it is one of the safest teas to drink in the herbal range. I have some lovely scent from Jo Malone which is lime blossom too. You could say I am a bit of a limey :)

Gathering nuts in May

Here we go gathering nuts in May…

I wonder if that children’s rhyme was written by someone who lived on the other side of the world?  No, I have googled and it supposedly refers to the young edible leaves and buds of the hawthorn tree also known as ‘the bread and cheese’ tree.  Just nipped out to the garden, grabbed a handful, can report that the leaves are quite soft and well leafy, not bitter though,  not so keen on the flowers….back indoors for a cup  of coffee – eats shoots and leaves :) – that was a bit of a digression, ok here we go..  PS following Choclette’s comment I have done a bit more googling and I can’t resist adding this link I’ve just found to The Knots of May! Go on guess what they do ?

At the risk of being repetitive I have to say that I love The Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard. I love the beautiful photographs and the stories about the people who Dan met on his travels and I have really enjoyed making the  breads.  This was the first bread book I ever owned and it is a great friend which will  inspire and excite you and lead you to try all sorts of wonderful breads that you didn’t dream you could make for yourself.

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