Autumn has always been my favourite season. Nature seems to gather up its glories for one last burst of beauty.
Summerhouse in the mist. The field-side border contains eucalyptus, magnolia, flower carpet rose, and two matching crataegus prunifolia mop -headed trees framing the view. The 1920s summerhouse is on a turntable and facing the ploughed field today. Beyond the summerhouse is a small copse of trees where a Spotted woodpecker nested this summer.
My ancestors would have used different words for the seasons.
Until the 1500s, autumn was called harvest. The word comes from the old Norse word for haust- which means to gather or pluck.
The French gave us automne. And the Romans gave us the Latin name autumnus. But “autumn”didn’t come into common English usage until the 18th century.
Cathy at Words and Herbs Hosts the Tuesday View. Go along and see what’s happening in her garden and feel free to join in with photos of your garden too.
Our garden was a field of wheat when we bought the house. We had to wait until the autumn harvest. Then the farmer ploughed our plot and we threw around handfuls of grass seed with wild flowers mix…
Fluffiest bee award in my garden goes to this tiny Common Carder bumble bee. Even the small cosmos flowers- the last of the season- are sought after. Flowers open smaller as the season winds down. And the bees should surely hibernate soon.
Seeds are so inexpensive these days, there’s really no need to save our own. One packet of seed can produce hundreds of plants-for just a few pounds. And yet, there’s something about autumn that makes you want to dash round the garden gathering everything in. Every coat pocket at the moment contains a paper bag full of seeds of every shape and size. It’s my natural inclination to harvest, store up, preserve – to make ready for winter. I’m doing the same with jams and chutney. Capturing the summer. My defence against the cold.
For this week’s Vase on Monday, there’s white cosmos, sweet peas, rudbeckias, verbascum, malmaison carnations and grasses all grown this summer from seed.
My favourite sweet pea is the variety High Scent. It’s a deliciously creamy colour flower with a blue picotee edge. These were direct sown in June to give a late show until the first frosts. The scent is glorious on a sunny day, but at this time of the year it’s less evident in the garden. A posy on a bedside table in October though, is a joy. Heat from the log fire seeps right through the house, bringing out the most wonderful scent.
Seed originally came from Higgledy Garden. I’ve got my eye on some new seed – persicaria orientalis , and lavender larkspur for next year. But for now, my collected seed is laid out in little containers in the potting shed, drying off and waiting to be sown again next season.
Thanks to Cathy for hosting this theme.
For the past two years, I’ve run round my garden on a Sunday and created a posy of “everything in flower” for my mother-in-law, Joan. Sadly, she can’t visit us as often as she would like. My father-in-law no longer drives, and they are both in their late eighties. So I try to create a series of mini- posies, one with scent, another with foliage. It’s a flavour of the garden that I’m after. They are simply tied with string and not arranged. Joan takes great delight in studying each stem and making her own creations. It’s my way of sharing my garden with my in laws. Keeping the dialogue going and asking advice. It’s become a kind of tradition. One I am happy to have started.
I prepare the posies in my potting shed, stripping off the lower leaves and plunging the flowers in a bucket of fresh cold water for a few hours before tying them with string. Conditioning them like this means they will last for at least a week in the vase. More information on growing cut flowers and preparing them from Georgie at Common Farm Flowers
Sweet pea High Scent, well named- and reliable. Blue Aster Monch, Diascia rigescens, and Antirrhinum Black Prince. I’m sowing more sweet peas this week. Heritage varieties from Easton Walled Garden, historic renovation project near Grantham, Lincs.
Gardening and growing flowers- such simple pleasures- much better when they are shared with someone.
Thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting In a Vase on Monday.
Step out of my garden gate, and cross the ploughed field at the back of the house and this is the autumn view. Rich fertile farming land. Harvested now. And waiting. Ploughing sounds drone all around. I can remember a time when the fields stood brown all winter. Now there’s barely a pause. Winter wheat, barley, oats and oil seed will be sown by November.
We stand and watch a kestrel quartering the fields. A rich hunting ground now the oil seed crop has been harvested. A set aside strip runs round the field margins.
Along the hedgerow walk, there’s a delicious smell reminiscent of apple pie. Crab apple fruit gently cook in the heat. It’s been 20 degrees here today. We collect the ripening fruit to make jelly. Whenever I open my kitchen cupboard doors in the winter, the jars of pink jelly will be there to lift my spirits. Little things matter in the dark depths of winter.
Goldfinch feast on thistle and teasel seeds. The flash of yellow brings more welcome cheer on cold dark days.
Rosehips galore. The blackbirds love them. We still make rosehip syrup. I grew up on a spoon of rosehip syrup each day before school. It tasted of summer.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk along the hedgerows and the view from my garden. I have cheated really as Cathy at Words and Herbs asks us to share a view of our garden and show how it changes throughout the year. My plot is mostly a wildlife garden with patches of brambles and stinging nettles. So as a first time contributor to this meme, I thought I would show you the setting for my garden. And hopefully then you will forgive my weeds and forgotten corners where I tread carefully and hedgehogs curl up in the leafmould with geranium leaves for a roof.