‘I do sincerely trust
that the benediction
that is always awaiting me
in my garden may by degrees be more deserved and that I may grow in grace and patience and cheerfulness, just like the happy flowers
I so much love.’ Elizabeth von Arnim
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees,”
sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
fled from our sight: but left his golden load.
The fine weekend prompted a
frantic tidying session.
The greenhouse is now empty of
all except chilli peppers and tender over-wintering geraniums. The summerhouse
is full of garden furniture, including my lovely new bench and all seat
cushions have been aired and stored in the garage.
Pablo cat enjoying the flowers
The small front garden has had
its lawn edges sharpened and the dead foliage of day lilies etc have been cut
back to stop slugs and snails taking refuge there. The few roses have had an
early prune and the fruit of the ornamental quince is beginning to fall, reminding
me to harvest the rest and consider making Sarah Raven’s delicious quince and
apple cake. Quinces smell wonderful and I recommend adding some to a bowl
ofpot pourri to help lift the spirits
during the dark days to come.
Pablo’s garden is beginning
its autumnal clearance. I no longer cut everything back, preferring to leave
some foliage to dry naturally and leave seed heads both for the birds and to self
sow in situ. This works really well with foxgloves, honesty and aquilegia and I
give the stems a good shake to distribute the seeds each time I take a wander
around the garden.
Use for a home-grown pumpkin
Drying autumnal garden foliage
looks wonderful arranged in a vase together with a few stems of honesty. You
don’t need many flowers to make an eye-catching arrangement as witness my
allotment-grown pumpkin surrounded by
a few flowers and foliage picked from the borders of Pablo’s garden.
sunshine of the last few days, coupled with a promised skip to take rubbish away, has prompted lots of digging and
a tidying frenzy on the part of the allotmenteers – myself included.
is a hectic month for the vegetable gardener, removing perennial weeds and digging
over vacant plots to allow the cold weather to help break up the soil in
anticipation of spring planting next year. It is hard work but very satisfying.
guess gardeners must be optimists as, despite the extremely poor harvests this
year, here we all are, planning ahead to next year’s crops – ordering seeds,
planting Japanese onions and Durham Early spring cabbages to
over-winter and get a head start on the 2013 growing season.
Globe artichokes grown for glory not food!
will be leeks and Jerusalem artichokes yet to harvest
during the worst of the winter and there ought to have been Swedes but mine
just haven’t grown – lots of green tops but no swelling bottoms to add to soups
and warming vegetable cobblers. How do supermarkets always manage to have them
have had some courgettes, although again not the crop I’d hoped, but sufficient
to make friend Vivien’s delicious Courgette
and Cumin soup:-
1 garlic clove –crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
150g potatoes – cubed
350g courgettes – thickly
450ml vegetable stock
freshly ground pepper
Melt butter and fry onion and
garlic until soft.
Add cumin, stir in potatoes
Cook gently in stock and milk
until vegetables are soft
Purée the soup and serve hot
or cold, garnished with sliced courgettes.
And my personal favourite courgette recipe -
Slice courgettes, onions, and
tomatoes (they can all be lightly fried beforehand but healthier not to). Layer
in a soufflé dish or similar, adding a grating of cheese every now and then
together with black pepper (a smattering of your favourite herb can also be a
welcome addition). Finish with a layer of courgette slices and cover with
grated cheese – I prefer a strong cheddar. Bake in a moderate over for
approximately one hour. Delicious served warm with a salad and crusty bread or
as a side vegetable. (It also reheats nicely in the microwave for a few minutes
if you want to use leftovers later).