Tag Archives: berries

The Autumn colour show.

23 Oct

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I love the colours of this time of year…Summer’s pastels are gone to be replaced by vibrant reds, yellows and oranges.  While we admire the colour show there’s a lot going on within the trees, shrubs and flowers at this time of year. Before they go into hibernation plants reabsorb the valuable nutrients from the leaves. Chlorophyll… the pigment that that gives leaves their colour is one of the first nutrients to be reabsorbed…which is how we get this wonderful colour show.

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On the lane the Ash and Hawthorn have already lost their leaves. These will be collected and left to break down over the Winter for use in the garden next year.  Free soil nourishment from Nature.

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These Gooseberries which are being brought on in the polytunnel have turned a beautiful shade of pink. They are cuttings I took in the walled garden at Lissadell 2 years ago. Delicious black Gooseberries on a hot Summer day prompted me to sneak a few cuttings.  They will be planted out in their final position next Spring.

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Cocks Comb Amaranth has been brought indoors to dry…still vibrant pink after the long Summer.

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It’s seeds have been saved to start the cycle all over again next year.

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Sycamore looks so lovely in it’s temporary Autumn dress of yellow.

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Guelder Rose has lost most of it’s leaves but the fabulous bright berries are shining bright like premature Christmas baubles.

The name Guelder comes from Gueldersland…a Dutch province…where the tree was first cultivated. Apparently the berries are edible when cooked. Lots of sugar or honey is needed to mask the peculiar taste.  They were used to make cough medicines in the past. Don’t think I’ll bother with those!

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The circular leaf of the Darmera is just spectacular…so many colours in there. Soon it will die down completely…ready to reemerge fresh and new next Spring. The cycle of life to begin anew.

As Autumn berries ripen…

16 Aug

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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