Busy Autumn days.

1 Oct


So far Autumn has been very pleasant. Mild days and nights with little rain or wind. Fuschias are still producing lots of flowers. If you like them now is a very good time to take cuttings. Just take shoots about six inches long…take off the flowers and lower leaves and insert cuttings into a gritty compost.


On the lane the colours have started to change. Vibrant greens give way to light greens and yellow as the plants start the process of entering dormancy. Hawthorn is the first to lose it’s leaves…they are already turning the ground brown. These will be collected and left in plastic bags to rot down over the Winter. They make a great soil improver.


In the garden Kaffir Lilies or Schizostylis add a splash of late colour.


After observing the garden over the course of the Summer we have decided to have a major revamp of the beds. As you can see there is very little colour now. We like lots of flowers and vibrant colours in the borders. To achieve this next year we have decided to strim everything in the beds back to ground level…after removing and potting up anything useful…then mulch heavily with cardboard and newspaper followed by mushroom compost. With this job in mind we borrowed our friends Anne and Simon’s van on Monday and collected 2 loads of mushroom compost from the tunnels in Keadue.  Do check out Anne and Simon’s blog http://www.anirishalternative.blogspot.com …they are up to allsorts over there including building a small version of the straw bale house they lived in 15 years ago. Lots of veg production over there too.


During the beautiful weather of the last days of September we got the outside of the house painted. White of course…I think that is the best colour and the traditional one for Irish cottages.  Dark blue for the windows creates a nice balance.


In the kitchen…in between decorating…I have been preserving the produce from the Earth. Blackberries were fab this year…I’ve frozen about 10 kilos. These will be used to make jams, cordial and crumbles over the Winter. I’ve also harvested all the Basil…it tends to go mouldy from now on…and made it into pesto. I don’t use cheese in this as Parmesan is not veggie friendly so it freezes very well. I use Walnuts instead of Pine Nuts.  There’s still Elderberries and Haws to be collected so busy days ahead.


I’ve also made a sourdough starter using some of the Grapes as they have a natural coating of yeast when ripe. My old sourdough starter died when we left our old house. I add the starter to everything I bake. It is great for pancakes and I add a good scoop to cakes too. Great for one’s digestion.


Along with everything else to be harvested it is also Mushroom season. This giant Boletus served us both for breakfast. Delicious it was too! I really want to find some Chanterelles this year. Be careful if you are out there collecting as there are also False Chanterelles…the proper ones smell of Apricot…the fakes don’t.


19 Responses to “Busy Autumn days.”

  1. joanfrankham October 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Goodness, you have a lot to keep you busy!

    • bridget October 2, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Sure have! No slacking round here.

  2. oawritingspoemspaintings October 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    One of my post was about two photos on the exact same kind of Fuchsia flowers you have in your garden and my first reaction was Hey! there are my flowers! It is curious how we have that sense of ownership to something that does not belong to us 🙂
    Having said that, I love to see them growing wildly in a natural environment mine were taken at a botanical garden and found their shape and color exquisite!
    Thanks for this refreshing post!

    • bridget October 2, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      They are gorgeous. Apparently there are over 2,000 varieties of Fuschia.

  3. Jane October 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    My grandmothers Wiltshire cottage was white…cottages should be white!
    Jane x

    • bridget October 2, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      There’s certain things that are just right in life…

  4. Rich October 2, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    I love fuschia. They don’t tend to make it through the winter up here in the mountains. I have one in a pot that I bring in, but it’s a sad sight next to the abundant fuschia hedges at home.

    • bridget October 2, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      Yes! The Irish Fuschias are a lovely sight. They even survived our 2 recent -17 Winters. Very easy to propogate too.

  5. Anne Wilson October 2, 2013 at 12:06 am #

    I love your Kaffir Lily, such a lovely colour at this time of year. We got our Elderberries today but need a further 700gms to make two gallons, you will need to get out picking quickly as some the trees we found today the berries were over. Thanks for mentioning our blog.x

    • bridget October 2, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Need to get out there then but the last couple of days have been so wet. Hopefully it will clear again. I so want to make elderberry wine this year.

  6. The Earth Beneath My Feet October 3, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Your garden is always so green and lush!

    • bridget October 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      Thanks down to our climate nothing to do with me.

  7. Mizz Winkens October 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Where do you find the time Bridget? You are so productive! I love hearing about all your projects even if it makes me feel a little inadequate 😉

    • bridget October 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      Well I don’t work outside the home like you probably do so that gives me a bit more time.

  8. elaine October 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    My, what a busy little bee you have been – it’s great that you make the most of what nature has to offer to sustain you through the winter.

    • bridget October 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

      To me it’s almost sinful not to oblige Mother Nature by accepting her gifts.

  9. Donna@Gardens Eye View October 7, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Fresh mushroom compost is a luxury here…and to find fresh edible mushrooms…mmmm!!!

    • bridget October 8, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Lots of mushrooms round here at the moment especially in the forests.

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