When left to ripen the plums are plump, juicy and sweet. Only a few of our plums ever seem to get spoilt by creepy crawlies but the other day. after biting into a plum I encountered a small plum-coloured caterpillar waving back at me.
I can always tell when we are going to get a good crop. It is all to do with the blossom that appears in April. If the blossom has chance to hang about for a few days in settled, dry and sunny weather then pollinating insects have a chance to do their magical job. But if the first appearance of the blossom is followed by rain, cold and wind then very little pollination will happen.
One summer there were only three or four plums on the tree but this year I would estimate we have already picked two hundred and fifty plums and there's still more to come.
We have given little bags of plums to our neighbours and on Sunday Shirley made a plum crumble for dessert after our Sunday dinner. Today she took over the kitchen in order to make several jars of plum chutney. The air was filled with the rather acrid aroma of bubbling red wine vinegar and spices, including mustard seeds, green chilli pepper, ginger and paprika.
So that's all I have to say tonight on the fascinating subject of plums but before writing this blogpost I trawled back in time to find this picture of the upper part of our garden in April 2014 when the tree was still very little - just on the other side of the vegetable plot:-