Wednesday 29 September 2010

Leave Taking

You can tell that the weather has changed when the dog takes up her position in front of the Aga. 

Leave Taking

Storms lashed and now the leaves have turned
burn-bronze and yellow on the wind.
It's warm
and swarms of wasps stagger
woozy on windfalls.

The pond perfume, so sweetly rank
adds to the falling note,
speaks softly of decay
although today is kind,
sunshine between the showers.

it's over.
There's that melancholy sense of loss,
leave taking once again.
Blooms mottle into mould. I look out socks and jumpers
and, like summer, I feel old.

Tuesday 28 September 2010


There is no better word to describe my garden at this time of year than bedraggled. The flowers that remain have a rather battered air; insect chewed and weather weary. This morning was a perfect setting for Keat's "Ode to Autumn" with plenty of mist and mellow fruitfulness.

I ventured into the damp, misty morning and picked some forlorn looking flowers

and they seemed to perk up a bit once they were inside.

Saturday 25 September 2010


I'm gathering and processing crops and feeling a bit like 'Er-Down-Under, the character in Laurie Lee's book, "Cider with Rosie." For breakfast I'm eating raspberries. The canes are old, so it is not a very prolific crop.

The same cannot be said for my ruby chard. Any ideas what to do with it all?

I've made some grape juice, but it's rather sharp and cannot compare to our tasty apple.

The squash skins are being hardened off ready for winter storage.

And, hush, don't tell the squirrels, but the walnuts are ripening!

(With the dog on daylight hours squirrel patrol.)

The cold nights are bringing the courgettes to a close. In last Sunday's newspaper a feature writer on gardening was bemoaning what to do with a courgette that had become a marrow. She put it outside her gate with a 'take me' sign on it and was surprised when it had gone within the hour. She's getting paid to write! Hand the job over to me and I'll tell her what to do with a marrow!

The following recipe came from a Canadian friend. It states, 'one medium sized zucchini'. What measurement is that, exactly? I just cram in the veg - all the courgettes/zucchini in the photograph went into my cake.

Debbie's Zucchini Nut Loaf

8 oz self raising flour mixed with
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
half a teaspoon each of salt, baking powder, baking soda and ground nutmeg
6 oz sugar
1 unpeeled medium sized zucchini
1 egg
1 fluid oz sunflower oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 oz chopped walnuts

Beat together sugar, zucchini and egg, add oil and lemon.
Stir in flour and spices.
Fold in nuts.
bake in a loaf tin  for approx, 50 minutes gas mark 4.

Keep it for a day or so before eating to let the flavours develop.

                                                        'Er-Down-Under and 'Er-Up-Atop
Illustrations copyright Rosemary Murphy.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Indian Summer

  7 am
The colours are changing and I can't pretend that it is summer any longer. Although the nights are getting colder the days are sunny and warm,  it is 'Indian Summer' weather.

There is still plenty of blossom in the garden And I've maligned the sweet pea, Lord Nelson, he has grown taller and he's flowering well.

                   Charles Rennie Mackintosh                                                                    
The annual cosmos, 'Purity',  high on my good do-ers list.

Autumn cyclamen have popped up all over the place.

And it's still warm enough to garden in what Himself refers to as my, 'frighten the horses' shorts!

Sunday 19 September 2010

Open Studio

It is Somerset Art Week and we have been to visit our friends the artists James and Kate Lynch and look around their house and studio. There is always a warm welcome and wonderful art to covet.

Kate with artwork produced for her book, "SHEEP from Lamb to Loom, an illustrated journey."

James has his studio in the garden.

Come down the garden path and take a look inside.

He works in traditional egg tempera on gesso-coated panels. Just look at the pile of eggshells!

Text from James' book,"Skylines, Visionary Paintings of Wessex."

Even more eggs in the kitchen!

Everywhere I point my camera there is something interesting to see.