Autumn is here…

Autumn is truly here, which is great as I do love Autumn.  The woolly tights have come out and I’m thinking hot chocolate and attempting (yet again) to try to make some treacle toffee.  the boys are thinking of the elaborate Halloween costumes I might make them if they ask nicely enough.

I have lots of random photos piling up so I’m just going to throw them all in this post together.

A couple of weeks ago, we took the last ready summer vegetables out of the garden.  We ate the corn, which was very late (due to a repeat failure of germination) but still delicious.  Only 6 plants ever grew and everything I read says you need a block of at least 9 for the wind pollination to work.  I did my best ‘wind’ impression every time I walked past, by gently removing some of pollen from the tassels at the tops of the plants (the male parts) and gently rubbing them onto the silks at the ear tips of the forming cobs (the girly bits).  It must have worked because we got lovely full cobs that tasted amazingly sweet and worth all that effort repeatedly re-sowing the grains.

The Horse Chestnut trees that along with Sweet Chestnut are everywhere around here, have turned early due to their all having Leaf Minor months.  They still provide abundant amounts of ‘conkers’ which the boys and myself love.  I am slightly addicted to gently rubbing the waxy skins, I cannot resist picking one up if I see one and popping it into my pocket, solely for this purpose.  I sulk rather a lot when they dry out and lose their sheen, which sadly, happens far too quickly.

The squash have been happily drying out in the greenhouse since being lifted a few weeks ago.  I cut them with quite a lot of stem attached to make sure it didn’t rot back into the fruit.  I need to trim these stems back a bit more, now they have dried and bring them indoors to decorate the house before eating.  I’ll write a proper post of the successes/failures at another time.

The boys have had their Harvest Festival service at school.  They each made the usual ‘meal-in-a-box’ which seems to be the charity of choice for our school at this time of year.  You basically make up a shoe box full of food, all long life and ideally a complete ‘meal’ which is then donated to the elderly.  The kids are encouraged to include a note and to decorate the box if they have time.

I have planted up sweet peas this weekend.  I’ve opted for dark colours (Blue Velvet, Midnight & Matucana) after seeing an old photo in my ‘library’ and realising how much I loved them when I last grew them.  The seeds were soaked overnight, to soften the coating, and then they were pushed about 1 cm into damp compost and left in front of the window in our kitchen.  Once they get going I’ll probably keep then in the greenhouse over winter as that way they get maximum light and in the past they have coped well with the cool temperatures there.

This is the photo that pushed me to remember to sow my sweet pea seeds, I mean, how yummy do they look?  Lovely and velvety….and why is my work desk so clean and tidy?  I can barely see over the piles of paper and fabric these days.

I am overly excited by the new addition to my weekly Graze box.  They have added ‘afternoon cake and tea’ to their already delicious nuts, seeds and fruit options and it really has brightened my day.  For those who don’t know, Graze deliver a little box with a selection of tasty treats to your door, as often as you can afford (for me, once a week).  As I eat from my fridge (the down side of working from home) every day, I think I deserve this weekly treat and it does make me happily.  I’m easily pleased.

Finally, I have been busy updating my shop with all the new stock.  It’s one of the reasons my poor gardening blog gets neglected, I just get so busy at this time of year sewing but I am finally catching up and after an entire weekend working in the garden, I have lots to blog about, I just need to find the time 🙂

9 thoughts on “Autumn is here…

  1. I particularly envy the winter squash, so pretty and colorful ! Did the Dill’s Atlantic Giant turn out? By the way we love the fox couple pictured above.And I will send in an order with some more monster purse soon. Enjoy your sewing blog very much as well. -Lillian

    • Hi Lillian,

      Glad you like the foxes, they are one of my favourite things to make, I am working on ‘wolves’ at the moment! I really enjoy growing squash and they are looking very pretty on the windowsill as a decoration. My Dill’s Atlantic Giant is more of Dill’s Atlantic Mini – ha ha – I fed it to death and watered lots but it’s one of the smaller pumpkins – better luck next year 🙂 Bethx

  2. Well done on the sweetcorn, ours was dismal this year, but we didn’t pay it half as much attention as you! Your squash crop looks pretty good too, and I love those dark sweet peas. Might have to try them next year instead of my usual mish-mash…

    • We were very lucky with the corn – I really wasn’t expecting much so a total bonus! The squash have done well, I guess all that water was good for them and I recommend the dark sweet peas, but then I am a sucker for dark flowers in general. Bx

  3. Lovely pictures Beth 🙂 I love the squash colours, very pretty! Autumn is looking lovely down your end…also am admiring your lovely autumn scene of Mr and Mrs Fox with there acorns, so lovely!xxx

  4. I too love the squash, they remind me of autumn Country Living magazines and – my favourite time of year.I hope you get to have your walks with the boys with all the autumn colour still on the trees! I do admire your organisation in your Linen Cat shop and in your garden, you can enjoy a wholesome harvest!

    • Hi Felicity,

      I’m not normally so organised with the shop, this is my first year but I really recommend it (ie working on designs ‘out of season’ to be ready early), it’s lifted a huge workload of my shoulders and is already making autumn/winter more enjoyable. If you saw my garden, you wouldn’t think I’m organised 😉 Total mess, honestly.

      I love the look of squash, but if I’m honest I struggle to cook them, they are so big and I find them very, very sweet. I’ve been storing recipes this year ready so none go to waste, once we’ve ‘admired’ them for a while decorating the house we should be well set for cooking them 🙂


    • Hi Felicity – so glad you like my blog, I’ve been a bit of a poor blogger but am determined to get back into it this year! Thanks for dropping by and for commenting. Beth 🙂

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