A writer’s fruit

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When we bought our house many years ago, a couple of friends came round to visit. Although the husband conceded that it had potential, his remarks were largely disparaging, especially about my DIY ventures (well, actually he had a point there). The garden also came in for criticism, notably the néflier, which he called ‘a little runt of a tree’ that was pointless. For some reason, we’ve lost touch with these friends. But I’d like to show him a picture of the néflier now, not only luxuriant but this year, for the first time, laden with fruit. More specifically with medlars, the best fruit you’ve never heard of.

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There were two secrets behind this success. Firstly, patience – it’ll bear fruit when it’s ready. And secondly, don’t be afraid to prune it. Ruthlessly cut away those unwanted or unsightly branches – it’ll only come back more strongly, what’s more in the shape you intended. And that, come to think of it, is perfect advice for a writer.