Enchanted fruit

Enchanted fruit

One of my favourite places at this time of year is a lane at the end of the village that is lined with old fruit trees. Their gnarly branches and lichen-covered twigs lend a touch of enchantment. Tiny pears drop like magic fruits from leafless branches; rosy red apples hang from heavily laden boughs.  There's [...]

Pumpkin patch

Pumpkin patch

We visited our local farm shop at the weekend where a full field is given over to growing pumpkins. There they huddle; all shapes and sizes. Fat, orange ones glowing in the afternoon sun; mottled green ones looking suitably ghoulish. Our chosen pumpkin is now sitting in the cool of the porch looking very seasonal [...]

Bittersweet days

Bittersweet days

September in the garden is always marked by an increase in numbers of honeybees. They clamber across the ruby heads of the sedums and fly from flower to flower in the clumps of Michaelmas daises. These two late flowering plants provide ample forage for hungry bees. But I expect the surge in visitors at this [...]

Picked, plucked, baked

Picked, plucked, baked

A path in the village is lined with plum trees. The fruits are small and speckled, their juices sweet and sharp. In just one handful lie all the tones of autumn - mustard, russet, mauve, and ruby. We collected a good basketful at the weekend, destined for crumble. The overcast days, downpours, and darkening evenings [...]

An apple a day

An apple a day

The old apple tree in the garden has done us proud this year, producing a bumper crop of bramleys, which is inspiring a frenzy of cooking with apples beyond the obvious sauce and crumble. We've made gingerbread baked apples, for a delicious autumnal pud; Swedish apple cake, simple and comforting; and brightly coloured beetroot and [...]

The humble hedgerow

The humble hedgerow

Late August. The evenings are becoming noticeably shorter and there’s a feeling of summer drawing to a close. Last week the combine harvester was in the fields long into the evening, gathering in the last of the wheat before the forecast rain. Now the fields are filled with golden stubble and edged with hedgerows that [...]

Mists and mellow fruitfulness – blackberry, pear and cardamom loaves

Mists and mellow fruitfulness – blackberry, pear and cardamom loaves

The mists have begun. There are mornings when it hangs thick in the valley below, cloaking the woods in the distance and rolling across the garden, picking out cobwebs with its droplets as it goes. But when it lifts, Autumn’s colours are revealed below skies of the clearest blue. Some of the bluest we’ve seen all [...]