The season turns

It has been an extraordinary autumn.  Morning after morning up here on our hillside we have woken to golden light and heavily dewed grass.  We face South East and the morning sunlight pours in through our bedroom window, pooling gold on the carpet.  Outside everything is still flowering and glowing.  By lunchtime it is warm enough to eat outside.



On many mornings the sky has been full of sun while the valley below us is brimming with mist.


But by lunchtime the world emerges bright and clear and warm.


Sedum throbs with bees and butterflies.


Everywhere berries are ripe.  Cotoneaster herringbones its way up the stone wall by the drive.


Rosehips swell.

The walnut tree is laden with nuts in their glossy green cases which stain your hands a vicious black.


In the edge of the hen enclosure I find this huge fungus, the size of a small plate, ignored so far by the chickens.  They are moulting and looking a bit scraggy, their feathers lying on the grass. There are very few eggs right now.  We let our hens stop laying in the winter.  This happens naturally when the days shorten sufficiently although you can keep them laying by providing artificial light.   We prefer to leave the natural course of things to play out.


I have planted many more new daffodils, Actaea, Cheerfulness and Minnow, up round the shepherd's hut.  I used to try to do this with a bulb planter, taking out a core of soil and trying to achieve a good depth of planting, but now I try to do it for the least effort possible.  The best technique for our stony soil seems to be to lift a sod halfway using a small spade, leaving one side still attached, cram as many bulbs as will fit underneath, and stamp the sod back down again.  I still have all my tulips to plant, both for pots and for the cutting garden, but they won't go out until November.

More sunshine please!

Comments

  1. reminds me, my father used to like pickled walnuts.

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    1. I like them but I have never made any. Could be time to try!

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  2. It's been lovely hasn't it. I wish my bulb planting was effortless. With the exception of daffodils, poisonous I gather, everything has had to be buried in wire mesh cages in a bid to defeat the mice.

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    1. We have badgers and squirrels but they seem mostly to leave the bulbs alone. They get dug up sometimes but not really demolished!

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  3. Elizabeth, autumn continues to be a beautiful season over here, as well.

    As I was slowly moving through this post, looking at your fine photographs of your beautiful surroundings and reading your excellent text, my periferal vision was drawn to something that quickly appeared on your instagram slide show. Thank you for including that addition to your kitchen. I smiled when I saw it.

    Having planted quite a few daffodil bulbs myself, I like the sound of your 2015 planting techniques. The bulbs usually do figure out what they are supposed to do when spring arrives.

    Don't know if you got the email I sent you with a New York Times article about a place we visited? It might have gone to the spam filter.

    Autumn is treating me well, as I continue lots of research about future changes. xo to you and yours.

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    1. Thank you for letting me know about your email Frances. It had gone into spam! Really interesting stuff, thank you. I hope your research into your future is bringing you good news and things to look forward to!

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  4. oh, the mention of pickled walnuts - yummy.

    Autumn looks wonderful there.

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    1. You are another fan Susan! Autumn has been wonderful here. Today has been rainy but that is the first rain for quite a while. Generally all has been sunshine!

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  5. We had a long summer here in Pennsylvania, US also, but alas, the cool winds of Autumn came here yesterday. Today, I will be cleaning out the gardens and say good bye to another beautiful season.

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    1. I hate saying goodbye to autumn. I didn't use to like it because it held the coming of winter in it but now I am a convert. However, I am still not a fan of winter!

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  6. So very lovely as ever.
    Good to hear about the bulb planting - with hope for the next spring.
    Was gorgeous weather here - the the temperatures have plummeted the last two days.
    Warm greetings from NYC

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    1. Great to hear from you! I feel just like that about bulbs. I suspect it is why I plant so many, they give me a stake in spring.

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  7. Ah ha, you have the same bulb planting method as I employ - found my bulb planter the other day and it was all rusted up!

    Beautiful shots for a beautiful autumn….

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    1. So I am not alone in my less than perfectionist approach then, good!

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  8. Such gorgeous photos, it has been a glorious autumn indeed, long may it continue! I've loved finding those fabulous spotty mushrooms on my woodland walks, fairytale like! Katie x

    http://long-may-she-rain.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. There is a huge range of fungus round here at this time of year. I don't have a great confidence in my identification skills so I don't tend to eat them unless I am totally 100% certain!

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  9. A lovely autumn tour of your garden Elizabeth, we have to enjoy it while it lasts.

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    1. That is the great lesson of autumn isn't it? To enjoy it, right now!

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  10. Yes it has been a lovely autumn - and still colourful in these parts. As I look outside I can see a cherry tree with leaves of red and amber and also a few patches of cyclamen in pinks and purples. The clash is a little uncomfortable!

    My hens are slowing down too. Fewer eggs, poor shells and watery whites. They've laid very well and are now in their second year. Like yours' they are moulting - the pen looks as if a massacre has taken place. Hope they feather up again before the cold weather sets in.

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    1. I bet the clash is fine! There is something about the marbled cyclamen leaves which seems to weave all sorts of colours together.

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  11. I like your bulb-planting method. It's especially good if you have lots to plant. Lovely photos, Elizabeth – autumn is looking beautiful where you are. It's been grey and damp here for days and I'm longing for some of that golden sunshine again. Perhaps tomorrow...

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    1. Yes I have thought for a few days that we have had the sunshine in the north and west. Our turn perhaps!

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  12. Lluniau ardderchog eto.
    Ydi'r cnau Ffrengig yn aeddfedu'n llawn acw?

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    1. Diolch yn fawr! Mae'r cnau Ffrengig yn dal i fod yn wyrdd, ond mae'r gwirerod yn dechrau i fynd a nhw wythnos yma.

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  13. Your Welsh hillside is looking beautiful and how lovely to be woken by the morning light. It has been a glorious Autumn so far.

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  14. I imagine that just like me, a little to your south, you're watching the rain fall this October Saturday. It was nice while it lasted wasn't it :o)

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  15. How lovely your Welsh hillside is in autumn! You take me right there with your words and photos. I love fall days that start out with mist (or a sea fog where we are) and end in a blazing sunset.

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  16. I've missed commenting here, with being away, but I love this post -- obviously not quite time to tuck the garden in yet. Your sedum is magnificent! A week later, my garden is yielding to fall rains and greyer skies, and now I'll have to start looking for the winter blooms -- mahonia, viburnum bodnatense, etc. . . .

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  17. Beautiful writing. So unusual in the UK for it to be warm at this time of year, we have had the same experience in Scotland, though not to quite the same extent. x

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  18. What beautiful photo's....looking forward to reading more of your blog posts

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