size 12 in x 6in, 30cm x 15cm
Coming back to planet normal after a week on the Aegean was a bit
of a gentle letdown, the trees had coloured up, the leaves had dropped damply
onto every surface but there had been no major frosts; I could have left all
those hastily gathered tender plants to carry on blooming. Lobelia is still doing
well in a pot, it loves the damp of course, there is something very similar to
our annual blue lobelia growing in the rock crevices which sit in the permanent
spray from Victoria Falls.
The fox has started chewing up a pair of gardening gauntlets left
out by mistake. The cider is still bubbling away happily…Ah yes I have been
blogless for months but that does not mean nothing has happened, quite the
reverse. DIY dad has constructed an apple press from my collection of old oak
gateposts and a large car jack. Using this and a gang of family members we
pressed some 180 litres of juice. There were apples from a neighbour’s tree,
apples from relative’s trees and community orchard apples harvested in proper
cider fashion using a panking pole to shake apples onto a tarpaulin. Endless
fun of the“ Let soandso have a go with the pole he’s a proper panker” sort was
had, we do a lot of boy humour round here. We also had some of our own Ellisons
Orange which we had stored outdoors they had lost some of their zip but
produced a very sweet juice.
Todays painting is a worked up sketch from the holiday; it is a
view down one of the narrow passages in Mandraki , Nisyros. A very elderly
woman came and sat beside me to watch saying “Jasas corrie” (Bless you
daughter”, it felt like decades since someone said that to me. The polite reply
is “Jasas yaya” ( Bless you granny). The overhanging tree is a giant rubber
plant or Ficus. I could literally have spent the whole day finding places to sketch there and the same applies to
Simi town where we also went. The problem with that idea is that there were
three people who needed a wife, mother and skipper to make their holiday work.
It’s boring waiting for someone to finish their painting.
We went to Mandraki
for lunch after being taken up to the crater of the volcano. The caldera is
vast and contains both agricultural land and a heath complete with flowering
heather like a patch of the New Forest dropped into a volcano. Very odd indeed,
from the heathery plain you drop down a rough cliff path into a wide crater
which has a flat mud floor with pits of boiling mud in its centre. Around the
edge there are vents where steam , so thick with sulphur that it crystallises
on the sides of the vent in delicate yellow needles, streams out to pollute the
atmosphere with the worst rotten egg smell possible. Afterwards the smell of
sulphur clings to ones skin. There are also active cones within the caldera
crater which look very new and raw.
#181 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
Day One hundred and eighty one Mandraki
Click here to bid size 12 in x 6in, 30cm x 15cm
size 5 in x 7 in 13cm x 17cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
Today I have painted the bottoms of two different kinds of apples. They have both been identified as Ellison’s Orange by experts at an apple day, possibly different experts as the largest apple was identified two years ago. The other, from the community orchard, was ID’d last weekend.
The smaller apple and the cut piece both show two differences. They have more distinct stripes and they have long sepals which reflex out in a little star shape. The other apple has short stumpy downy sepals. The sepals are the remains of the covering of the flower when it is in bud.
I believe that the very pronounced stripes and the sepals point to it apple being Allington Pippin. It does not taste quite the same as the Ellisons Orange ,which incidentally is a dead ringer for the illustrations of the variety. It just goes to show that there are so many factors that have to be considered when doing an ID that it is no wonder there are and always have been many cases of mistaken identity in the apple world.
But since writing this I have found some really clear pictures for Allington Pippin and they are nothing like the striped apple. There are pictures of Allington Pippin out there with lovelylong stripes but the ones in the National Fruit Collection are not striped, think again next year, the last of the apples are rotting on the ground so there’s little option.
Yesterday I drove a mammoth triangle taking in London Surrey, Hampshire and back to Sussex. I finished my bit of guerrilla gardening at my aunt’s house and got back home after dropping off my former neighbours knitting bag with her niece! She has such a sweet garden, even in the dusk I could see that the balls of box were perfect and the textures were varied but harmonious. I knew I had found the right house when I saw the pot of bamboo by the front door. Because her bamboo is so invasive she keeps it all in pots, it is still over two metres high and makes a good screen…which can be moved at will.
#140 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog
size 6 in x 4.5 in 15cm x 12cm watercolour on heavy weight rag paper
A Good Crop of Cookers
This is a very rushed post. There has been too much to do today. I decided to tackle the honey fungus , buy a sack of potatoes , locate a plasterer, and find somewhere to juice apples closer to here than the place I’ve used before.
Once I had got hold of the cleaning fluid that has a second use as a fungus protector, I dug up all the three tufts of honey fungus. I then poured solution into the holes and then poured it over the bases of all the apple trees roses and shrubs in the area. It smells just like Jeyes Fluid, which always reminds me of the toilet arrangements at Guide camp. Apparently this can cause it to fruit more because its underground ‘bootlaces’ are knocked back , however the article goes on to say the spores can only infect dead wood. (Whereas the rhizomorphs or bootlaces can infect happy flowering plants and treees that I really want to keep) Then I decided to remove lots of stuff that was getting too big to let me check that there were no more signs of the lurgy hidden beneath. I ended up with a pile of cut stuff the size of a sleeping pair of hippos.
Opened my blog today and found someone from Australia selling cures for nail fungus attempting to post without saying anything about the subjects on the blog, are they a huge fan of watercolour or are they just trying to sell me a cure for my cured nails? I keep my nails sweet with neat tea tree oil and metallic green nail varnish. I must have put toenails in as a tag at some point and that had lured them or some automatic post generator to my site. Either that or they can smell my feet from Australia! Or they think honey fungus is a toe disease and not a pathogen of woody plants.
This apple is a James Grieve well it could be, we keep getting revisions on the community orchard apples.
#139 a painting a day by Alison Warner on her lemon a day art blog