Autumn days

Lately, we’ve been …

autumn leaves

… 1 enjoying autumn leaves. I wonder whether I shall ever reach the age when kicking autumn leaves is no longer a joy. I do hope not.




… 2 picking sloes to make Sloe Gin. It’s proving to be a bumper year for sloes around here and it’s good to get the sloes picked on mild autumn days as I hate going out on freezing winter mornings when the bushes are wet and fingers chill to the bone as we pick. The sloes are already ripe and some are beginning to fall from the bushes so we’ve been out in force to pick them before it’s too late.


… but not enjoying the vicious thorns of the blackthorn. Look carefully and you can see the thorns, ready to catch the unwary hand plunged into the bush in search of the fattest, juiciest sloes.



… 3 enjoying the quiet decay of the garden in autumn. The rhubarb has finally keeled over, the leaves now draped over the edges of the bed as they quietly rot away. The beans have been taken down and the canes put away until spring, the last of the peas picked and the pumpkins cut and left to dry with the rampaging vegetation pulled up and composted. I rather like this time of clearing away and tidying up, though I confess that I’m not that diligent and there’s quite a lot that’s just left to go to seed and stand forlorn through winter.




… 4 wondering what on earth I’m going to do with the pumpkins. We have only three pumpkins from our plants but they’re enormous and  I could feed (almost) half of Braintree with this one alone. I hear the call of Pumpkin Soup and Pumpkin Ice Cream but so far I’m just enjoying the sight of the pumpkins sitting out in the garden chairs, like old ladies taking in the sunshine.


Blackcurrant Gin, butterscotch bars, pears


… 5 enjoying some autumnal food. Pears from the garden that have just hit the perfect ripeness; Butterscotch bars studded with walnuts and chocolate; a hot toddy of Blackcurrant Gin with a little lemon juice, honey and a splash of hot water (an almost virtuous drink with all that vitamin C and goodness).

Are you enjoying autumn days or are you bursting into springtime? Whichever, have a good weekend.



25 thoughts on “Autumn days

  1. Mmmm…. I, too am enjoying the “rotting” of the garden… though I cannot believe my son’s hot (super hot) peppers are still ripening. We just have to watch the forecast every day so that we can cover them should the temperature dip to freezing.

    Pumpkin! I had a pumpkin of an evening!

    What is the difference between sloes and bluberries… all my blogging friends in the UK are talkin’ sloe and I’ve never seen them in Canada (well not in Quebec. anyway!)

  2. Over the last week, I’ve noticed birds feasting on sloes in local hedgerows, which seems early but they do look very enticing this year. Love the photo of your Pumpkin in a chair, seems worth growing just for that display.

      1. My mum who is a seasoned sloe collector, thinks I am mistaken, as she agrees with you – the birds were probably after hips and haws. We went to collect Sloes yesterday morning and there were lots very high up and were stripped bare low down. Fortunately we are tall and it seems shorter people had also been collecting!

  3. My rhubarb has done the same. I couldn’t harvest any of it this year because it was it’s first year in soil. But next year …. lots of delicious rhubarb to eat.

  4. Autumn days look good at your place Anne. That pumpkin is beautiful…I love to have pumpkins just sitting around too, it makes my kitchen feel abundant! That butterscotch bar sounds delicious too.

  5. Lovely post Anne. Great to hear that you have a bumper crop of sloes this year. I’m intrigued by the pumpkin ice-cream (can’t believe how huge that pumpkin looks!) and totally sold on the butterscotch bars… will have to search your blog to see if there’s a recipe tucked away for them somewhere! 🙂

  6. and there are pumpkin scones and pumpkin cake and pumpkin muffins, your place should be great for a visit this winter 🙂

  7. There’s always something to keep you busy on the farm isn’t there. Those sloes look like blueberries – are they some variation? Our blueberries don’t have thorns though so you don’t have to be so careful picking. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, it’s all great!
    We are into the nippy autumn season here but in Massachusetts you just never know – we could get snow or we could have a heat wave.

    1. Although the sloes look like blueberries, alas they are very, very different. Sloes are a primitive plum that dry your mouth out and are disgusting to eat. Amazingly, they make a fine flavoured gin.

  8. spring time here, and so colourful as well! i am loving it right now. but i do enjoy the autumn days of tidying up the garden after the summertime. it can be very contemplative.
    butterscotch bars, mmmm…

  9. hmmmm must have a similar effect as chokecherries do. dry your mouth out but make fabulous jellies!

  10. Your rhubarb looks exactly like my pumpkin plants! The weeds stared to creep in, so I became over zealous and ripped all of them out which ended up disrupting my pumpkins. Within the hour, they were so wilted they looked like they were on life support ;( I managed to rescue 2 small pumpkins- my first ever! Your autumn days look very similar to ours at the moment. Those butterscotch bars sound lovely. x

  11. What do I do with my rhubarb when it looks like yours? It’s still warm enough here for it to be perky and happy.

    This is my first year growing it, so I’d love to be spoon fed some garden know-how if you don’t mind. Otherwise, I will have to google it…I much prefer a human response. 🙂

    1. I just leave the rhubarb until it’s a soggy mess and then if it’s dribbling over the edge of the bed I scoop it up and put it on the compost heap. If it’s in the middle of the bed then I just let it rot down and throw some well rotted manure on top. I’ve no idea if this is the correct thing to do and I suspect I should be dividing the plants in the autumn on a more regular basis than I do.

      1. I like your gardening ways, Anne! This sounds simple and affective, not to mention less tiring than what I was imagining I might need to do. Thanks!

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