As Autumn berries ripen…

16 Aug


As the berries on the Guelder Rose and other trees and shrubs redden we have a growing awareness of Autumn in the air. I can’t really explain it but it’s tangible that we are between seasons. It’s the slight chill in the air morning and evening, the ripening of seeds and berries, the drawing in of the evenings, the need to light a fire at night once again. Yes…Summer is slipping from our grasp…reluctant as we are to let her go…it is beyond our control.


Here in Lurgan work has been continuing on the house. The new solid fuel stove which will provide hot water and heat the radiators is fitted. Actually all the plumbing is done…finished last Thursday…we lit the stove on that day to check that everything was working ok. Apart from one airlock everything was fine. It will be lovely on cold Winter days to have this cranking out the heat. Nice as the Rayburn was we didn’t want to have an oil cooker. Not for us.


New windows bring extra light into the north side of the house. This one looks out onto the pond.

As I work away finishing things off ready for painting I listen to the radio. Such turmoil in the world…over 400 people killed in Egypt…car bombs in Iraq…robberies and killings here in Ireland. Test fracking going on in southern England. Sometimes I despair of what’s going on on our Planet.  Gmo’s infiltrating our food supply. Where will it all end. I read the other day that Monsanto only serves organic food in it’s worker’s cafes. Confidence in your products? They still have to come outside and breathe the polluted air they and their like have created.  Maybe I’ll turn that radio off…some music instead I think.


In the garden there is still lots of colour. I love Fuschias…apparently there are over 2 thousand varieties…so easy to propagate too. Just take a hardwood cutting in Autumn and leave in the polytunnel or coldframe to overwinter…viola!…a new plant next Spring.


Lots of Shasta Daisies too. They have been somewhat  battered by the heavy rains. These will have to be divided over Winter as they have formed into a huge clump.


Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Kale are well established now. The kale will be used over Winter and the PSB will be a welcome vegetable next Spring.


Leeks are also coming on nicely.  These beds are very fertile as they were made using soil from the old chicken run.


In the polytunnel we now have lots of crops. Courgettes…salad crops…Beetroot…Beans and lots of  Basil and other herbs means we have something from the garden for nearly every meal.


We’re really pleased with how crops have done as the polytunnel was only erected June 9th. Of course the polytunnel is sited where the chicken run was so plenty of manure incorporated into the soil here.  I just can’t imagine not having a polytunnel or not growing vegetables or flowers.  It’s a huge part of my life going out there and getting my hands in the soil. Eating something I’ve  grown just fills me with a sense of achievement. No high powered job for me…this will do fine.

29 Responses to “As Autumn berries ripen…”

  1. Mike @ Midwestern Bite August 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    We’ve only been on our five acres for six months. I planted a few gooseberries and currants around the place but they’re too small to berry yet. Hopefully next year! It was great having the blackberry patches from the previous owners though. Our apples are about ready to be harvested to! So much work we have planned for this place, it’s nice to enjoy some things that are already here and mature.

    We just had a SoapStone non-cat wood stove installed and I can’t wait to fire it up this winter!

    • bridget August 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      What’s a non cat stove? We moved 7 months ago so we are in a similar position. Luckily we inherited some Apple and Plum trees plus loads of Blaclcurrants. Weve also planted Damson, Greengage and more Plums. Good luck with your place.

  2. 1quest2thenextadmin August 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    This post; the words, the photos…it’s perfect for the start of this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

    • bridget August 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      and I wish you a happy weekend.

  3. Eco Farm Gal August 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Bridget, your gardens and pond are so very lovely. It is your work and love made visible in the thriving plants. Just beautiful!

    • bridget August 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      Aw! Thank you for your lovely compliments.

  4. Small House Under a Big Sky August 16, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    I’m amazed at how quickly you have food growing in the poly tunnel. Good for you!

    I enjoy your gardening journey.

    Small House Big Sky Donna in Michigan

    • bridget August 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      I did have stuff coming on in trays and I bought in the rest from a local organic garden. So good to have crops again.

  5. elaine August 16, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I can’t believe how much you have growing in your polytunnel in such a short time Bridget – well done you. Your garden is certainly taking shape nicely you have obviously plenty of ideas as to what you want to do with it and I look forward to seeing it progress.

  6. Marla aka Crazy Mom August 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Beautiful pics! Love that new stove.

    • bridget August 17, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      I love it and it’s very efficient too.

  7. Christina August 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I do know what you mean about turning the radio off; even easier for me in Italy, I listen to old podcasts from the BBC and old tv programmes from iPlayer – great I don’t have to listen to all the terrible storries and yet, and yet!!!! Also 100% agree about eating from the garden, we’ve become weekday vegans, just eating the wonderful vet from the garden, at the weekend some fish – I feel great.

    • bridget August 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      There’s so much more satisfaction from what you know yourself and of course you’re sure of it’s origins too.

  8. Caro August 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Ah Bridget, this post sums up what the good life is all about! Of course, warm weather and a full garden helps but it seems that you have the winter months well prepared for. Lovely to see how it’s all coming together for you – heartwarming!
    PS. Love the fact that you have flowers in your polytunnel – do you use the leaves of your monarda for tea?

    • bridget August 18, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      Love the flowers of Monards…to look at…hate Earl Grey tea. The place did’nt feel right until we had a polytunnel. I have a strong need to grow my own food as much as possible.

  9. Shawndra Miller August 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    I just love your dispatches! Even though we’ve never met, I feel as though we’re chatting over a cup of tea and then taking the grand tour of your wonderful homestead. A beautiful sight, all those happy healthy veggies and flowers. All best to you, Bridget.

    • bridget August 18, 2013 at 9:05 am #

      Thanks Shawndra! I write as I speak…so yes…this is I.

  10. cathsveggies1 August 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Love your new stove. You have a really lovely variety of crops going on, Bridget. Your tunnel is a credit to you, I would also be lost without mine 😉

    • bridget August 18, 2013 at 9:05 am #

      Can’t imagine not having a polytunnel…especially in our changing climate.

  11. Donna@Gardens Eye View August 18, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Yes turn off the news…it just makes us feel more negative and we need more positive thoughts in the world. The polytunnel garden is amazing with so much growing.

    • bridget August 18, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      Music is so much more mind calming.

  12. Leigh August 19, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    All your flower photos are fabulous, including everything in the polytunnel. But I love your stove! I love that your radiators will be fueled by it. So perfect.

  13. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen August 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    I’m very envious of your garden, Bridget. It really rewards your planning and hard work. I have to tell you, since I read your cordial post, I’ve had a blackcurrant craving which turned into blackcurrant jelly this week with the last of my mother’s crop.

    • bridget August 20, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Blackcurrant jelly…interesting…might have to try that!

  14. crabandfish August 20, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    So beautiful! Love the stove too. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden and home with us, Bridget.

  15. KL August 21, 2013 at 12:58 am #

    I love that red-stove. So cute :-). I don’t listen to news for that reason only — very depressing. Yes, summer is coming to an end, trees are changing color slowly and many leaves are being shed. Lots of veggies in the garden; I have not been to the market to buy anything since late June!

    • celia mcguirk August 31, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

      love your stove is it an erigale

      • bridget September 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

        Yes it is errigal/stanley 8, bought from h&f enterprises in Cashel, Co. Tipperary. Reconditioned.

  16. Beth May 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I was drawn to this post by the photo of your awesome wood stove, what a beauty! Your life style is inspiring indeed. The news can really weigh heavy, probably because it feels we are sitting so far away from it all feeling a bit helpless to do anything much (well that’s how I sometimes feel). A well lived life helps not to contribute to the mess though. We can affect those around us. I look forward to more of your posts.

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