Oranges in December !
Well ! Can you Adam and Eve it !
Sorry ! ...... Can you believe it ?
It's certainly wowed my family and neighbours ! My mandarin orange tree, growing outside, in the garden is producing ripe oranges .in late December !
It's pretty amazing. We've had a really good, mild, Winter so far, it's been fairly warm. Hasn't really got near to freezing.
The Lizard Peninsula, is as far south as you can go in England. With sea on both sides, and warmed by the Gulf Stream, it's very temperate and it's possible to grow sub-tropical plants quite safely. We barely get frost. Hardly ever see snow. In fact, I've lived here 30 years and can probably count the times I've seen snow on two hands.
Now I've said that, we'll probably get blizzards and 15 feet snow drifts. ( which, incidentally, we used to get in the High Peak of Derbyshire, where I used to live , before coming to Cornwall )
They look good, and they taste OK too ! I've also got lemons and limes just about to ripen too. I did my research, before setting about growing citrous trees, and I came to the conclusion that, they really do prefer being outside, you need to feed them citrous food regularly and most of all, they need as much light as possible. If you grow them inside, they struggle for light, central heating isn't good for them, and if they do produce fruit, they need to draw up water to swell the fruit. The leaves will drop off very easily indoors. I've seen some very sad, sorry,looking examples on You Tube films.
Cornwall in Autumn and Winter is a very wet place. We get a lot of rain, Very often , horizontal ! They don't seem to mind that.
I have about 5 varieties of banana plants growing outside too. I haven't wrapped them this winter yet, to protect them. Maybe as January and February Approach, I might have to, but I check the weather forecasts each day to see what the temperature is going to be. So far, so good !
Daffodils are starting to flower here and there. Cornwall is famous for growing daffodils early. They are picked, just after New Year and sent all over the World.
Anyway, back to my oranges !
Oranges have appeared in many of my paintings. In fact, my brother, who I stayed with, when I had to go up north and sort out my Mother's house and funeral arrangements, famously, after looking at some of my pictures,, became exasperated looking at them, and came out with the phrase and these eternal words as he looked at my pictures......................
" WHY THE BLEEDING ORANGE ?"
It became a chapter title in my book , FACETS .
I said, " Gary, it's going to remain a mystery ! I'm not going to tell you, or explain it to anyone. Work it out !"
So there we are, the mystery continues !
Here are some examples from my sketchbook and paintings.
Hope you all had a good Christmas