06 November 2013

Three quinces, two years

The fruits of the Japanese Quince smell divine: a sweet and delicious fragrance that's impossible to describe. Left in a room, they pervade it rather than fill it with their scent. I remember reading somewhere once that smells always have to be described in terms of other smells we know - we can't find another way to 'tell' them to each other.  The best I can do with Japanese Quince is tell you to think of apple crossed with lemon with a tincture of jasmine; that's the nearest I can get. You'll just have to make do with this picture or maybe go and find some in your own garden or a friend's and inhale that beautiful perfume yourself.

Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica.)
Since my own Chaenomeles didn't produce much fruit this year, I picked these up from my sister's garden (thanks SB) because I love their shape and I hope to draw them at some stage. I drew some from my own garden earlier this year (in February) when I was just getting back into this drawing thing, and I really enjoyed their shape.  I hope these three will last until the yew is complete (it has to be done by the end of this month!) and I'll have a go then. A break from 'colouring in' the yew this week took the form of fun with textures, as I quickly sketched a sweet chestnut shell I'd found in some woods a few weeks ago. Not a great sketch but it was a bit of light relief: lots of learning to do on textures still.

Ouch! a bit of work to do yet with textures (Sweet chestnut shells/cases)
Autumn has passed into winter this week as we've moved into November. The first frost came, gently, and whitened the morning grass in the field. The bright orange of Chinese Lanterns and Iris foetidissima berries brought recompense for the cool temperatures, grey skies and long nights; the winter rains have left rainbows in their wake, pointing to the deep reds of the maples and Sedums in the garden. Only seven weeks to the solstice...

The first gentle frost of winter

Chinese lanterns light up the house

Iris foetidissima needs a place in the garden *just* for the berries at this time of the year

Not a crock of gold, but the Japanese maple will do nicely thank you...

Japanese maples, so good we have them twice
This is blog-post no. 104 - marking two years of weekly blogs. Who'd've thunk? Not me certainly when I typed two short paras back in November 2011. Thank you dear readers (you know who you are) for sticking with it. I'm going to keep with the blog though I'm not sure how, but I do know it's time for a bit of a change; this may be as simple as less frequent posting, if, as I suspect, I can't think of anything else, but I'm open to ideas... (Suggestions on a (virtual) postcard please to erica).

Hope to see you back here in a couple of weeks. Go well all.


  1. When ever I see Quince I'm reminded of 'The Quince tree sun' , If you haven't seen it , it's a beautiful film about Spanish Artist Antonio Lopez Garcia's attempt to paint his Quince tree.

  2. I shall check it out Linda, thank you. Another lovely film is the Lemon Tree http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_Tree_(film), which I'd recommend in return :-)

  3. Another lovely blog, Erica! One of these days, I really want to paint the fruit of Iris foetidissima – such wonderful combinations of shapes, not to mention the colour! I'm glad you are going to continue your blog – would really miss it if you stopped!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Jane. I agree re. the Iris - would love to see you paint it!