British Weather gets Nature in a Funk (UBC Day 14)
October in the UK is Autumn. My Medlar tree has already fruited, and this year's leaves are getting ready to fall.
While I was collecting fruit, I spotted this new growth - two flower buds and several young leaves.
It's another demonstration of how topsy-turvy our weather has become. Just this week, the temperature in the garden was 24.5C - 10C above the average for the time of year. Last month was the joint-warmest September on records that go back to 1884. No wonder plants don't know whether they are coming or going.
Temperatures should be getting back to normal over the next week, with frosts expected in most areas. It will knock back the new growth, but as far as the plant is concerned, it has wasted energy and resources it needs to store for next spring.
I've been continuing with my daily walks in nature, taking pictures as I go. This, despite the weather being wet with rain and hail and my feeling under it. I find short walks and fresh air help clear the brain fog of head colds, even if it's only 20 minutes around the garden a few times.
As you can see, it's been rather wet. This Fuschia doesn't seem to mind, though, as it drips dry after a relentless spell of rain.
Did you know you can eat Fuschia berries?
All varieties are edible, but certain varieties produce the best flavours. James Wong, in his book Homegrown Revolution, recommends four in particular. He is a Kew-trained botanist and a self-proclaimed foodie, so he should know a thing or two.
His top choice is Fuschia Regia subsp Regia, which has black, very sweet berries, followed by Fuchsia Magellenica. Fuschia "Genii" has a good, sweet flavour, while Fuschia "Jingle Bells" has fruit the size and colour of black cherries.
They can be eaten fresh, but their flavour intensifies with cooking and make an amazing jam.
I just need to wait for mine to ripen thoroughly!