Misty mornings and the leaves are ochre and gold. There’s a nip in the air and the hedges are dripping with berries. Time for a spot of autumn foraging! Here are 4 vitamin-packed fruits to collect in autumn.
Elderberries ripen in late summer or early autumn. Pick the berries when they are fully ripe. You want them to look almost black, so if they are still green or burgundy, wait a little longer. Use a pair of scissors to snip the cluster of berries away.
Be certain you know what you are looking for as there are some poisonous lookalikes. If you need help to identify the elder tree, the Woodland Trust has some useful advice here.
If you love charm over elegance, profusion over minimalism, natural haphazardness over control and order, the chances are that you love the cottage garden style.
Annuals and Self-Seeders
Cottage gardens are all about abundance of planting and random drifts of colour. Ground covering plants weave through the planting, spilling over border edges and stitching everything together. In the same way, scattering the seeds of annuals amongst the permanent planting will plug any gaps and contribute to the random charm of the design.
Annuals are plants which germinate, flower and set seed all in one year. They die after flowering, but many will helpfully self-seed leaving a new generation of flowers to appear the following spring.
Last night, as dusk was falling, I took the dog for a walk across the fields. The intense heat of the day had mellowed to balmy warmth, a gentle breeze drifting across from the estuary.
The scorching Indian summer is confusing the seasons. It feels like a glorious day in the heat of summer, yet the fields are harvested, the leaves are turning and the hedges dripping with dusky sloes and jewel-like blackberries. My two columnar pear trees, Beurré Hardy and Doyenné du Comice, are heavy with fruit. The step-over is keeping the family supplied with crisp, yellow-red Falstaff apples.
It’s tempting to head off to the seaside to take advantage of this late offering of sunshine. Or pull out...
I wouldn’t go so far as to report a glut of pears. What we have is one of those vertical, column-trained trees, carrying fruit along its single upright stem. Actually, we have two of these – one Beurré Hardy and one Doyenné du Comice – planted over half a decade ago and spectacularly failing to keep us supplied with pears – until...