Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

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I go through phases of enjoying poetry, with very long gaps between, and that is how I’ve only just got round to reading the full poem ‘Ode to Autumn’ by John Keats. It seems to me to take us through the current weather and gardening situation and emotional responses pretty well. I keep seeing vignettes that trigger a memory of a line or two from the poem, so here is the first verse (because most of the photos relate to that), but I’ve reproduced the poem in full at the end of the post in case you haven’t had the chance to read it before either.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

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Thick mists persist late in the autumn mornings

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As the leaves fall the full fruitfulness of the golden globes adorning Malus transitoria are revealed

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Crab apple ‘John Downie’ in the maturing sunlight

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Glorious gourds abound in the harvest display in the Soames Greenhouse on Wimpole Estate

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Purple wood blewits have started to appear in the leaf litter underneath a favourite tree (holm oak)

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This is a young fruiting body where the colour is intense, even in the gills. Older examples are usually more muted.

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Bees are still around, feeding on later flowered chrysanthemums etc.

Ode to Autumn by John Keats (in full):

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

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About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in Art, Nature, Plants, Whimsy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

  1. Julie says:

    Gorgeous post and photographs. I can see why you relate to Keats, he was a wise and watchful man. Taking time just to observe is one of the joys of being a gardener. Just love your first photo of the Wimpole Long borders too. You are a jolly lucky woman!!

    • I really know I am! It’s always worth walking the borders before starting to do anything. I seem to get through pocket-sized cameras quite quickly though because they live in my pocket.

  2. Chloris says:

    Lovely photos. Keats just sums up an autumn like we have had this year beautifully. I learnt the first verse by heart at school and I still enjoy reciting it to myself when I’ m outside raking up leaves or enjoying all the late blooms.

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Love your photos – the misty garden should be in a calendar. And thanks for the Keats poem – it is lovely and evocative.

  4. Beautiful words and images.

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