The Rewards of a Reprieve1st October 2013 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
The quince tree was supposed to be removed when the new landscaping was done in the garden, but when the time came, neither I nor the builders could bear to cut it down and the retaining wall was carefully built around it. It has rewarded our kindness by carrying a bumper crop. Over the next month the fruit will swell further and gradually ripen, filling the area with the delicious scent of quinces on still sunny days (of which I hope there will be many). I have always planted quinces in my gardens over the years –
I love the fruits uncompromising solidity which means that you have to work hard to release their delicious flavour,
but as they wait until a quiet time in the gardening year, I’m more than happy to devote an afternoon or two to making membrillo (quince cheese) and quince vodka. Another recommended diversion during the late autumn or winter months is the wonderful (but very, very slow) film Quince Tree of the Sun which follows the artist Antonio Lopez as he tries to paint the tree in his garden as the fruit gradually ripens and hangs lower on the tree – it is mesmerising – but definitely not for anyone who likes action movies.