1) I'll kick off with a garden update. There has been quite a bit going on out there still, and it has been repaying us with lots of beans and courgettes, a reasonable supply of tomatoes and cucumbers, a good few squashes and pumpkins, and some very delicious sweetcorn. But this week we seem to have pretty much reached the end.
|The beans, courgettes, pumpkins and sweetcorn all lasted really well but need taking out now.|
|The last of our sweetcorn from the weekend, Venetia was very happy with her baby corn (they were huge for baby corns), she grew them from seed herself.|
Other parts of the garden are still happily producing though. The raspberries are looking far too wild but giving us lots of sweet, red treats every day still.
And I planted some late (a bit too late really!) spinach and salad leaves at the end of August/start of September in my newest bed.
The lettuce, in the middle, proved the most popular with the slugs and I don't think it's going to recover properly, but the rocket and spinach are now giving us a good supply of leaves - albeit tender, baby leaves! And I was very excited to find an old, unwanted plastic tunnel type thing at the Recycling Centre the other day, which I'm hoping may extend the season for it a little.
I planted some garlic a couple of weeks ago (as per 'Gardeners' World' instructions - which has been regular viewing for the last couple of months!) but I need some advice on onions. When I bought my garlic bulbs they also had onions sets for sale next to them, of varieties which were suitable for planting in the Autumn to over Winter, just as garlic does. So I got some of those too and planted them at the same time. I was expecting them to follow the same kind of growing pattern that garlic does - ie to do all their growing underground initially and then pop up in the Spring. But I seem to have little, green onion shoots coming up already in my veggie bed. It feels to me that this must be wrong, and that they won't be happy throughout the Winter like this, but none of my reading about Autumn onion planting is giving me any clues on the subject. So if any one has experience of this and could please give me some advice that would be wonderful.
And some other planting that's been going on is blueberry planting. Back in September we went blueberry picking at a farm up on Exmoor. We took my Dad with us and he was extremely impressed with the quantities which the children consumed just whilst picking (vast!), and extremely unimpressed with the state of the 'road' we had to drive along to get there (it was possibly the worst 'road' I've ever driven along!). So the upshot of it was that he decided we should have some blueberry bushes in the garden instead, and he very kindly bought us a few. But my Dad's memory is (and, as he himself says, always has been!) a funny thing. Some things just won't stick in it at all, some things stick pretty well, and some things get well and truly wedged in there! The interest in buying blueberry plants got well and truly wedged, and, for a few weeks, every time he went shopping he came back with another blueberry plant, or two (there's a Garden Centre next to his favourite supermarket!). The children, predictably, thought this was brilliant! Being the one who'd be doing the work to plant all the blueberries I was more keen to keep the numbers manageable. We got to fourteen plants before I managed to impress upon my Dad the idea that we had enough (or quite possibly the Garden Centre just ran out of stock!), so I have been busy planting them all. The first few went into tyres in the veggie patch easily enough, but as they kept coming in I had to come up with another plan, and have ended up creating a couple of 'beds' elsewhere.
|Number 2 bed under construction.|
2) As well as loving the Pixie Hats from Big Little, I had a go at making one of the Wild Things Hooded Scarves a while back. There are lots of options to choose from, but I went for a fox initially. I was surprised at how quick and easy a sew it was, with lovely, clear instructions to follow.
But if you're going to give it a go, watch out on the sizing. I used the 3-5 year old sizing and it's much too big for Venetia (nearly 9 now) never mind the 4 year old for whom it was intended! I wasn't completely happy with the ears either, I think I should have made them smaller. Could be a great Christmas present make though.
I also got my sewing machine back from a very long overdue service the day before, so that was perfect timing! There have been lots of ideas over the past few months that I've been itching to start, but which really needed neater, more even stitches than my machine was managing, so I squeezed in a little sewing at the weekend just for the excitement of starting something new!
It's going to be a baby quilt, I've nearly got the background quilted (lots of wavy lines), ready for a big applique picture in the centre. It felt such a luxury to be sewing with a machine which fed the fabric through smoothly rather than me constantly pushing/pulling it through!
4) I'm getting slightly better at remembering to keep my camera handy, and this week captured a few pictures of my most photographically elusive child - Sam.
5) Autumn has been pretty kind to us, it's been largely dry and sunny so far. And, as much as it could never rival Summer for me, it is a beautiful time of year The leaves are all looking gorgeous right now and we are loving them. Here is my favourite for the year so far!
Such a tiny one and yet still so perfect, with amazingly vivid colours. I was making some driftwood Christmas wreaths the other day and as I was threading the pieces of driftwood on to the wire, it occurred to me that making a leaf wreath in the same way would be incredibly easy. So I cut some wire and bent a very basic loop at the top and we just threaded on leaves.
|You can use thinner, more pliable wire than you'd need for driftwood.|
Such an easy and satisfying craft for small hands in particular.
Happy Autumn to you!