The ladder is propped-up against the tree, and I have been (very precariously) picking Greengages from amongst the higher branches, where they are not only better, but more abundant.
The Greengage is a funny old fruit. Not really something that is often planted in orchards today, but a good old-fashioned plum that gives good service, as long as it is 'watched over'.
Its season is short. On account of its high sugar content it's a favourite target for those insects that like to lay eggs inside a juicy fruit. Unaffected fruits are scarce, but are worth the trouble to find.
Picking them 'just right' is a question of strict observance. Too unripe they are very sour, and too ripe they are far too sweet. One has to catch them at just the right moment; and that can be during a very limited period of only three or four days.
We eat them fresh, and freeze a few for winter tarts. Some make jam, which I find far too sweet.
I would actually recommend that, if one has plenty of space, one plants a tree at the corner of one's orchard; they can do no harm, and they grow from pips.
I classify them along with Quinces and Medlars; old fashioned but good to have growing nearby. And when caught 'just right', they are absolutely delicious!