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 🙂