Autumn…

I started this post a while back and managed to forget to actually publish it.  Story of my life at the moment, I’m a bit all over the place, still it gives me a chance to add a photo of my fabulous new purchase ‘Wild Flowers Sarah Raven’ which is exactly as the title suggest a HUGE book about wild flowers.  It’s full of beautiful photos and is separated into simple sections (Wood, Heath etc) and on each page there are 2 flowers with very full descriptions and an image, they are organised alphabetically using their common names.

It really is a massive book and isn’t exactly cheap but I’m in love and I’m sure will spend many happy hours reading it and identifying wild flowers I don’t already know.  Right, back to the original post…

We are back at school after a week long break and what a difference it makes.  As soon as I started the school run I noticed how the trees have all turned colour in the past week, we have mostly been at home over the holidays (both boys had colds) and as we are surrounded in the garden by evergreens I hadn’t realised just how much change there had been in the other trees, and along with the clock change it really is finally feeling like true autumn.

I made a point today of picking the few crabapples and medlars that are on my new trees, they are both only a year old but have produced enough to make some jelly so I couldn’t resist.  I have to leave the medlars in a cool room for a week or two (or three!), until the skin turns blackish purple and the fruit feels soft and smells ‘winey’.  Basically until they start to rott.  This ‘bletting’ allows the fruit to loose it’s acidity and lets it release it’s juice.  I’m not sure how I feel about this, I am a bit funny about food past it’s sell by date (depending on what it is, you should have seen what came out of my herb/spice cupboard the other day!) but we’ll see how it goes.

I have also planted out the final garlic in the form of a couple of the largest cloves I grew last year.  These along with the ‘Albigensian‘ from the last post are all happily in their beds ready to sit out the winter, altogether I’ve planted up 6 large cloves which I think will be enough.

I placed a last minute order for seed potatoes after getting an email from Thompson & Morgan saying they were in the sale.  I decided to buy:

Potato ‘Charlotte’ – Truly sensational flavour whether eaten hot, smothered in butter, or cold in a tasty salad niçoise. Second early.
Potato ‘Swift’ – A particularly early maturing potato, producing excellent yields of round, smooth white-fleshed tubers. First early.
Potato ‘Vivaldi’ – Mouth-watering flavour and creamy texture whether boiled as new potatoes, or baked, mashed and roasted as larger tubers.

(Thompson & Morgans words there not mine)

and some extra ‘Charlottes’ as they are always a winner.  I’ve decided this year to only plant in the small 14 litre exhibitors bags with 1 seed potato per bag as it was such a great way to grown them, I’ve never planted in the beds as we simply don’t have room and I love being able to turn out one bag at a time which is just enough for a single meal, this works well for me.

I also ordered some shallots ‘French Longer’ and onions ‘Electric’ to pop in for over wintering and some general seeds.  I prefer to do my seed shopping over winter when I plan next years garden, otherwise I over buy things that I don’t have room for but I couldn’t resist adding a few to the basket.

I’m looking forward to getting into the garden this weekend and doing a good tidy up.  Most of the leaves have dropped and the cold weather has killed off  all the soft flowers and plants so it’s time to lift the remaining sludge and maybe cover up anything that needs it.

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