Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Autumn

Woke to a very promising sky this morning, a change from the recent battering wind and rain. The garden is now looking rather weary.
All the water butts are full to overflowing.

This year's crop of figs have now been eaten, but, hurrah, a new crop has set. (Gardeners are always looking forward!)
The greenhouse is crammed with plants to overwinter.
There's no room left to sit down.
Flowers from the garden are very bedraggled.
As am I!


Monday, 30 September 2019

In the Dales

We've just returned from a week back 'home' in Yorkshire. The weather wasn't remotely conducive to walking on the moor tops, but it felt very mild and each promising patch of sunshine would tempt us out of doors. Then a sudden downpour had us scurrying back inside. Wellington boots were always at the ready!
 
The village on the opposite side of the dale was often hidden in mist and rain. When the rain lifted would we have enough time in the dry for our daily stroll to the end of the no through road?
We looked to the west to see what sort of weather was rolling in. Yes, we should be able to get there and back before the next downpour.

At the end of the lane we always ritualistically touch the farmer's gate before turning back the way we have come. I've been doing this for very many years.
Bad timing - by the time we got home we were soaked!
Although we missed our moorland walks we did have a good catch-up with friends. When they came round for supper I  made a tart from the figs that hung over my garden from the neighbours' tree. (It was planted many years ago by my father.) 
Bought puff pastry with a scattering of fig slices, pecan nuts, flaked almonds and a good drizzle of honey. It's good with cream, but we ate it with toffee apple ice-cream.
I've made some fig jam with a recipe from a Yorkshire farmhouse cookery book. I don't  always follow recipes very diligently and on this occasion didn't leave the fig slices to soak and, presumably soften, instead I cut them into smaller slices and they remain intact in the finished product. Neither did I use as much sugar and water as stated. It set well and didn't need skimming.



Saturday, 21 September 2019

'ere tis.

The path is finished and I'm very pleased with the result. 
Now I can hop, skip and jump up to the kitchen door.
Tomorrow we are promised a change in the weather with rain coming in. Today was warm with an unusually strong warm wind, feeling rather like the mistral. It knocked quite a bit of fruit from the trees, the large Bramley apples falling with a thud. I picked some of the pears before they fell. They are still green but will ripen quickly indoors. I baked with some that I had picked earlier in the week.
Pear and chocolate tart. Its a favourite recipe that I've posted some time ago.
 
Its a lovely time of year.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Crazy

paving, that is. After weeding and cementing all the cracks outside the greenhouse Himself is on a roll.
Everyone comes into our house via the kitchen door and the path to it has always been an uneven, messy area of crazy paving. Not any more! On Monday we went to the reclamation yard and bought a few slabs. A bit of positioning with a length of string and it is all coming along nicely.
The man's a marvel!

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Sorting and saving

It's not just the bushy tailed who are squirrelling things away, I'm busy collecting seed and making cuttings from various plants in the garden. I always take some rose cuttings, just bunging a length of stalk into a pot or a spare bit of ground and hoping that it will strike. The red rose is from a bouquet that I had for Valentine's Day and the pale pink rose in the foreground from a small bunch of roses bought at Aldi last winter.
I collect any ripe flower seed so that I'll have plenty for the local annual seed swap. Nature is generous, a vast amount of seed is produced. I've put the hollyhock stems in the greenhouse ready to be stripped and bagged up. I'll sow some seed straight away to overwinter in the greenhouse and provide fresh plants in the spring. 
Himself has been busy edging the paths

and clearing out weeds (and flowers!) from the cracks.
It's cold at night and I've put the citrus trees back undercover. They will stay inside now until the weather warms up again next year. (Like me, they always get a bit peaky after a long winter!)
The new water butts are all full
and I'm still picking flowers from the garden.
It's amazing what one small packet of seeds will create.
These are spider asters from a seed swap packet
They are rather odd, but I like the pastel colours mixed with some 'Chatsworth' sweet peas.





Sunday, 25 August 2019

Late summer colour

Bank Holiday weekend and the weather is glorious! We were going to be out and about but have decided that quite the best place to be is at home in the garden. We had an invitation from Wee One, but the thought of traffic to the coast and the crowds once we were there made it fairly easy to say no. Getting old? Yes, I think so, we relish the peace of our own space. The late summer colour is intense.
But I wish the gladioli would look the right way and not to the back of the border!

We are eating the climbing French beans as if there is no tomorrow
and the same with the courgettes. I never mind how prolific the courgettes are because they are such a versatile veg, I can always make lots of ratatouille to put in the freezer. They make a nice meal split lengthways and parboiled, then the  shells filled with  the scooped-out flesh mixed with grated cheese, breadcrumbs, cooked diced onion and garlic and lots of herbs and popped into the oven to brown.
It's a lovely time of year.
But what's this? I look over the hedge and see that the swallows are gathering on the telegraph wires above our neighbours' chimney pot.
Don't go yet, I'm still enjoying summer!

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Late summer

No sooner do I brag about the endlessly warm summer days than in comes driving rain and buffeting wind. Tall plants thrash about, fruit crops fall to the ground and I have to retreat indoors. This late summer suddenly has the feel of autumn.





The ground is sodden, all the water butts are full. No more lolling on the steamer chair in this corner of the garden.









 






  
A daily picking of climbing French beans and courgettes.




 
Windfalls!