This week’s gardening tip from Obiter: tootle on your clarinet to encourage soft fruits to mature. The tip came via Worcestershire plum charmer Paul Johnson (pictured), who also happens to be a partner at Pershore firm Thomson & Bancks.

His role, in between county court and employment tribunal cases, is to wander the plum orchards of Pershore playing his B-minor clarinet to ensure that the crop gets off on the right note. It’s all part of the tradition of wassailing, apparently, when rural communities sang to orchards to scare off the evil spirits that otherwise might blight their harvest.

It’s a serious business, as attested by Johnson’s stylish ensemble of purple robes and black tricorn hat. The Pershore Plum Festival runs throughout August.