Wednesday, 23 September 2009

'A fallen leaf is nothing more than summers' wave goodbye'.

I don't know where the above line comes from, it's just something I read once that stuck in my mind, the way these things sometimes do. Why can you never remember something important when you need to, yet silly bits of daft poetry - 'beans, beans, are good for the heart, the more you eat the more.... ' well, you probably all know the end to that one, but it illustrates the mess my head is in, holding lines like that, which are absolutely no use to anyone, and yet the number I need for the cash machine is nowhere to be found. Ah well, must be because I am in the autumn of my life maybe?
No matter which school of thought you follow, we are now in autumn having passed the equinox at a quarter past nine last night, give or take a few minutes. The season of mists and so on, fabulous colours on trees, which should be extra good for many of us this year as there has been less than average rainfall, which does something chemical to the leaves and means there will be even better foliage colours for us to enjoy. But for some people it's a depressing time of year, it means summer is gone, and it's all downhill to winter/Christmas... but then dear miseryguts, Spring must surely follow, so not all bad news then?


We were delighted to discover a group of about four sweet chestnut trees recently. Well, we weren't sure that's what they were, and were rather hoping we'd be proved wrong as they are on a narrow, open country lane between two little hamlets, which we travel along many times during the year, and have never noticed these trees before. Instead, being lovers of chestnuts, we have spent lots of money on imports from Spain which are OK, better than the vacuum-packed chestnuts any day in my book. And what we don't munch roasted, or use in casseroles and so on, go into the freezer to be used later in the season when they are no longer around. Because like many good things, their season is short, and unlike strawberries and so on which people can grow all year round, to the detriment of the fruit many say, nuts are there that one time aren't they? Make the most of them... so we bought the above prickly offering home, and looked in our BOOK OF THE COUNTRYSIDE, and had it confirmed that yes, they were indeed sweet chestnut trees. Since then, of course, on other ramblings about the place, we have noticed others, and kicked ourselves again for lack of observancy.

My favourite garden centre is a riot of colour at the moment, having had a new delivery of plants when we visited last week. We didn't go for plants but for jigsaws... I know that seems strange, but there is nowhere else that sells them, and in the now obligatory (so it seems) gifty area you find in most large garden centres these days, there is a fabulous selection of Gibson's puzzles. We usually buy a few during winter, and always a couple of special Christmassy ones. However, when you visit a garden centre it would be churlish not to buy a plant, don't you think? Or two even? Maybe three? The heucheras above were so gorgeous, everyone was stopping to comment, and as we have a couple of them already, I decided to buy another, PEACH FLAMBE it's called, in autumnal leaf shades. I also bought a pennisetum, black stems and narrow leaves, with wonderful, fluffy, cat's tail-shaped furry flowers, which I can't resist stroking as I pass. I used to do it to our old Rosie cat, even though she sometimes objected! And we bought a crocosmia, in flower. The other two we have, the rather common (in that most gardeners who have crocosmia seem to have it) LUCIFER, and a smaller orange one. Both are well over now, just the interesting flower heads left, and we wanted another one to follow on.


But I resisted the mophead hydrangeas, such great fat cushions of flowers they had....



and this pinky spikey plant, and the conifer behind it. But couldn't resist getting out the camera.


Of course, there are many reasons why I love autumn. It's not just the colours, or the drawing in of the evenings, when you can close the curtains, shut out the world and snuggle down in front of the fire with a good book, or watching the telly with a bar of Green and Black's chocolate - one of the very small ones for me, thanks. Nor is it all down to spending time with gardening books, seed catalogues and Gardener's World magazine, looking at what to grow next year - and did you know Monty Don has just won a prestigious award for Columnist of the Year, something like that? So WELL DONE MONTY, and well-deserved too.
But I digress.... I also love the crisp, frosty mornings, with pearl necklaces strung across the plants, a white sparkliness covering everything, and that particular smell you get at this time of year, redolent of woodsmoke and compost, even though there's not a bonfire in sight usually. And I also love the foodie side of the season..... lots of appley puds, brambly puds too. Sponge pud and custard, with golden syrup. Heart-warming soups and rib-sticking casseroles... the former with garlicky croutons and the latter with herby dumplings. Lots of lovely meals made with lots of lovely root veggies like those above... I couldn't resist buying the squash... must grow some next year.

There is still a lot of colour in the garden to be enjoyed. The grasses down the bottom of the garden with their huge feathery plumes look beautiful against the blue of the sky, as does the holly tree below. But some of the foliage in the garden is slowly changing colour, this photograph shows a climber over one of the arches leading to the lawned area. Pretty soon it will all be in varying shades of this red, and then not long after, they will all fall to the ground and the bare bones of the arch on show again, revealing the fact that it's a bit out of shape. Leaves do the wonderful job that clothes do for us humans, hiding the imperfections.

And amongst the hundreds of holly berries, a honeysuckle still flowers, but you can't get close enough to smell it.

There are marigolds, small wild poppies of all colours, chocolate crocosmia still flowering like mad, as is the white cosmos, penstemmons, wallflowers opening now too, and lots of foliage from the many grasses we have dotted around. The peonies dying, have a wonderful deep red colour to the leaves, the hostas are dying too, their leaves going a bright, bitter lemon colour, some a deeper shade almost buttery, and others still vibrant and green. In the raised bed my carrots are still growing, as is the garlic and giant Italian parsley, and there are still a couple of lettuces to be cut. Tomatoes ripening like mad, but I am not happy with this particular variety, which are small, but with very tough skins, large seeds and little flesh between the two. I shall maybe roast them and make roast tomato soup at the weekend. That's a good autumny flavour, don't you think?
Enjoy your autumn, and thanks, as ever, for dropping by.









116 comments:

Vista Gal said...

May I come over for some roasted tomato soup?
The wind is blowing and the cool of the morning makes it seem that Fall is truly here, but the weather forecast says it will be near the 100's f. today!
Maybe you can send this recipe to me and I can save it for a cooler day.

Mark said...

I was thinking of autumn today. As I ran though the parkland near my house I noticed the geese arriving - hundreds of them, gathering in groups like highland clans on a battlefield, strutting and calling to each other. Many of them will stay all winter.

I love autumn, it remind me of Northumberland and the bracken on the moors and the birds migrating in the big skies.

Mark

ChrisH said...

There's so much to absorb about this post that I shall need a return visit - all those plants (I love heucheras) colours and evocations of autumn.

I also wanted to come here to thank you for your comment on my post today and for sharing your experience - no wonder you soak up everything that's going on around you. I'm very conscious that I was writing about the whole issue of organ donation as a newcomer and an outsider, but if, in a small way I've helped to raise awareness of the problems faced by so many then hopefully it will have helped a tiny bit. It's people like you, who come through such and experience and can speak so deeply about it who really make a difference.

Calico Kate said...

Lovely descriptive post PFG. How could you resist those hydrangeas? They are fab at the moment aren't they?
And the food Ooo stop you're making me hungry & I ought to be going to be not cooking a hearty stew, though it does prompt one to get something out of the freezer tonight for tomorrow so thanks for that!
I love the title of this post.
CKx
Oh and a well done Monty from me too - I LOVE Monty!

Flowerpot said...

good to meet you and I do agree about autumn - though today here in Cornwall has been more like summer! Quite wonderful and I walked Molls n shorts and T shirt - bliss!

Pipany said...

Wow, a mega-blog! Lovely read through as I so lenjoy autumn. The light has been so beautiful x

Woozle1967 said...

Autumn is my favourite season and you summed it up beautifully.

Jenny said...

I hate saying goodbye to summer, I know autumn can be lovely but all those falling leaves are not for me. The plants are so colourful though that this old miseryguts may be tempted to consider a short autumn then straight into spring for a few of those.

Jenny said...

I hate saying goodbye to summer, I know autumn can be lovely but all those falling leaves are not for me. The plants are so colourful though that this old miseryguts may be tempted to consider a short autumn then straight into spring for a few of those.

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I was thinking of autumn today. As I ran though the parkland near my house I noticed the geese arriving - hundreds of them, gathering in groups like highland clans on a battlefield, strutting and calling to each other. Many of them will stay all winter.

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I was thinking of autumn today. As I ran though the parkland near my house I noticed the geese arriving - hundreds of them, gathering in groups like highland clans on a battlefield, strutting and calling to each other. Many of them will stay all winter.
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The wind is blowing and the cool of the morning makes it seem that Fall is truly here, but the weather forecast says it will be near the 100's f. today!
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No matter which school of thought you follow, we are now in autumn having passed the equinox at a quarter past nine last night, give or take a few minutes. The season of mists and so on, fabulous colours on trees, which should be extra good for many of us this year as there has been less than average rainfall, which does something chemical to the leaves and means there will be even better foliage colours for us to enjoy. But for some people it's a depressing time of year, it means summer is gone, and it's all downhill to winter/Christmas... but then dear miseryguts, Spring must surely follow, so not all bad news then?
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We were delighted to discover a group of about four sweet chestnut trees recently. Well, we weren't sure that's what they were, and were rather hoping we'd be proved wrong as they are on a narrow, open country lane between two little hamlets, which we travel along many times during the year, and have never noticed these trees before. Instead, being lovers of chestnuts, we have spent lots of money on imports from Spain which are OK, better than the vacuum-packed chestnuts any day in my book. And what we don't munch roasted, or use in casseroles and so on, go into the freezer to be used later in the season when they are no longer around. Because like many good things, their season is short, and unlike strawberries and so on which people can grow all year round, to the detriment of the fruit many say, nuts are there that one time aren't they? Make the most of them... so we bought the above prickly offering home, and looked in our BOOK OF THE COUNTRYSIDE, and had it confirmed that yes, they were indeed sweet chestnut trees. Since then, of course, on other ramblings about the place, we have noticed others, and kicked ourselves again for lack of observancy.
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No matter which school of thought you follow, we are now in autumn having passed the equinox at a quarter past nine last night, give or take a few minutes. The season of mists and so on, fabulous colours on trees, which should be extra good for many of us this year as there has been less than average rainfall, which does something chemical to the leaves and means there will be even better foliage colours for us to enjoy. But for some people it's a depressing time of year, it means summer is gone, and it's all downhill to winter/Christmas... but then dear miseryguts, Spring must surely follow, so not all bad news then?
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Today marks my 5th Anniversary here on +Google+ and I have made a lot of great friends. Some are more special then others. ;)
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You should lock your post. That way, the original poster will get the +1 when people click through.
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Although, in the interest of being completely honest, is this really any worse than Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3? I mean, graphically, obviously. And story-wise, yeah.

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Halo 3's story centers on the interstellar war between twenty-sixth century humanity and a collection of alien races known as the Covenant. The player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced supersoldier, as he battles the Covenant. The game features vehicles, weapons, and gameplay not present in previous titles of the series, as well as the addition of saved gameplay films, file sharing, and the Forge map editor—a utility which allows the player to perform modifications to multiplayer levels.
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Halo 3 introduces "support weapons", which are cumbersome two-handed weapons that slow the player, but offer greatly increased firepower in return.[10] In addition to weapons, the game contains a new class of gear called equipment;[11] these items have various effects, ranging from defensive screens to shield regeneration and flares. Only one piece of equipment can be carried at a time.[12] The game's vehicular component has been expanded with new drivable and A.I.-only vehicles.
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Chém chết xấu trai said...
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Chém chết xấu trai said...

I think I fell right into the verbal part of this post. lol Nutella is permitted in rations here in our house - seriously. ;)
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Chém chết xấu trai said...

Touching so many lives around the world...that is truly amazing.
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It was a reminder — as if McConnell and current Speaker John Boehner of Ohio needed one — of the political debacle that ensued for Republicans when Gingrich was outmaneuvered in a showdown with former President Bill Clinton.


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