After a beautiful warm autumn, winter is settling in and the garden has an unloved look. Soggy dead leaves carpet the ground and the herb garden looks tired, weeds springing up from all the rain we have had lately. Two lovely things are happening though, ripe lemons are just starting to appear after a long absence and the Tamarillos are ready to eat. I planted a Tamarillo shrub as my grandfather had one in his garden and they are not always to be found in fruit shops. I love their tart taste which is a bit like a cross between a passion fruit and a tomato. There are recipes that involve turning Tamarillos into chutney or even cheesecake, but I like them cut in half, scooped out and eaten.
Originally, the plant was covered in unripe fruit and I thought I would be Lady Bountiful, sharing an excess of fruit. One day however, I looked closely at the plant and saw lots and lots of empty stems, which the unripe fruit had been plucked from. I suspect rats and possums had been carrying them away. Luckily, whilst there wasn’t a huge crop, there are plenty for me as my husband and boys don’t like them. This is one occasion when I don’t mind them not liking something!