From Beirut to London in 100 Dishes

A Pomegranate grows in Richmond

photoWell, as I was saying, I tried to grow a pomegranate tree in London.  The bush grew but the pomegranates didn’t.

But someone has had more success than me.  The picture shows a pomegranate tree with fruit ripening on it in Richmond in south west London.

It’s a hobby of mine to track down fruit trees, both ordinary and exotic, in unusual, urban places.  I’ll be posting more — but would love to hear if anyone else has found incongruous and beautiful fruit trees like this —

Or like this banana tree, which will never provide an actual banana but that may grow as tall as a house in a London street.  I have planted and looked after at least a dozen such banana trees since coming here to England.  Sometimes, I have coddled and nurtured them through the winter.  At other times, I have left them to their own devices.  No matter what, they have never lasted more than a season or two, which has made me extremely jealous of some of the whopping great banana trees I see proud and happy and unprotected in several front gardens near me in west London.

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I have also tried several times with lemon trees outdoors — kumquats and oranges too.  These normally do quite well — with edible fruit actually growing on them and a wonderful, intoxicating scent until I go too far and leave them to fend for themselves through our deceptively mild winters that still manage to turn savage for enough days to kill them. DSC_0675

Even so, there is still enough fruit or blossom to turn an ordinary summer drink into something exotic, worthy of being drunk on an old Ottoman balcony above a fountain and a frangipani tree in one of the few remaining dusty old forgotten streets in Ras Beirut.DSC_0648

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