Thursday, 23 November 2017

Autumn allotment

Yellow dahlias on the allotment

Down the allotment with a bag and a spade for the last not slug munched spuds and an armful of corn that escaped the trampling snuffling humbug of Brock's paws. Still traffic murmured autumn air that lulls you into winding down for the season and yet there is much to be done amongst the dahlias and the compost heap. In the corner of the site, a man all grey trousered and narly jumpered prods a leaf pile with a fork like he expects a viper to slither out and a cough of a mutter escapes. 

Mould-green bog stenching leaf litter slides off the side. 'ya bugger'

Out comes the toffees from rat's nest stuffed pockets and on goes the shed kettle.
Pink dahlias
Black grapes in a greenhouse

Greenhouse hiding plot holders tend to unripe tomatoes or cascading grapes on autumn coloured turning vines, twisting and tendrilling suspiciously across to the box of Growmore and the chicken manure. Next year it's world domination.

A snip and a gather, green tomatoes will ripen in a brown bag and perhaps taste nice fried or in a chutney. And back outside in a huge clump, some kale, the bitter green leviathan of the plot, with sprawling tentacles to last the winter through. Some to take home for Dad's chickenosauruses, ferocious things that peck your wellied feet and pluck each others feathers. 
Standing, summing up, pondering. Bonfire heaps and forgotten watering cans. The last chance to harvest any squashes before the frost hits them. A time for making plans for the next gardening year.....there is always next year. New veggies to grow or fruit trees to buy and seed catalogues to order for afternoons by the fire dreaming of next year's cutting garden and bountiful beans of all varieties, striped and spotted pods, popping into soups for months and months.
Allotment plot

Before the late autumn set in, the plot was swarming with scarecrows, the young and the old crafting sock-faced granny dressed hat wearing guardians that can not even frighten a sparrow let alone a corvid. I have seen crows mocking with a chucking caw as they sit aloft an old straw hatted wurzel 'Come see, come see oh raven and rook, a mermaid to keep us away and over there, caw-caw, a stuffed French man. And my doesn't this sweetcorn taste good'.
Mermaid scarecrow

Creamy dahlias

French scarecrow

Sweetcorn on the allotment
Whilst I wandered, amused and inspired, amongst the rows of brown sugar dipped dahlias and the burnt out sunflower heads, I heard a cheery 'hello' to my Dad. Another plot holder has arrived, on her bicycle, helmet off and camera quickly out from her rucksack. Here to photograph the haunting abundance yet decay of late autumn, just as I am. Completely normal to me, bemusing to my Dad who carries on digging for spuds and then shuffling along the path for some apples whilst propping netting back up and flapping at a crow.

A few more snaps by the patch of gone midnight-pumpkins that sprawl in drunken disorder, mildew setting in on bristly leaves, powdered end of year dust. No glass slippers just the season algae tainted glasshouses, ready for cleaning for spring. And their occupants, still pottering away, hiding out with mugs of tea and having a break from compost snake charming.
orange dahlias

Pumpkin patch
sunflower head
yellow daisy flowers
And now home down the grassy path, waving goodbye, bags full of those earthy potatoes for mashing with salted butter, a few late borlotti beans, add some herbs, maybe roast some pumpkin and a glug of gravy. Place some vegetable into the store shed to last over the cold months when there is little to harvest aside from winter greens and especially that perfect Christmas Brussels sprout.
sweetcorn tassels
Autumn allotment

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

November living space layering

So here we go, full on cosy comfort month although it actually still feels quite warm outside and I'm not as yet getting the hats and scarves out or really lighting a fire in the woodburner. There was a light frost the other morning, enough to have me excited about photographing crystallised flowers and crisp tufts of grass but I blinked and the sun appeared and it was gone. I want cold.

In preparation though, as I know it will soon descend as soon as Little Bird is back in school, I will be embarking on a full on home redecorate and restyle for it's all gone a bit bland, I've tamed down my arty urges and shudder at this, gone a bit woody and beige. So expect to see some new room styling on here and lots of decluttering only to be replaced by new clutter and lots of fresh paint.

The front room need a total start over project, it's the room that greets guests and has a lot of playing going on from my son, everything is starting to look shabby and in need of some love. I've been considering a new sofa and have had a look at the range from Fishpools, particularly a corner sofa to make the best use of the space and divide the room into walk through and place of cosy retreat, especially through the winter.
corner sofa

Around they key item of a sofa, it's the dressing and layering that I love. New cushions and throws, rugs for keeping toes warm, mirrors to add light and new dimension and different types of warm glow from table and floor lamps. I love deep colours such as the blue rug and throw and the stag mirror adds that autumn and winter feel. The snow globe cushion adds some whimsy, it's just too cute to resist. The overall colour scheme are probably darker and deeper than my normal choice but I'm just really fancying change, a new space to fulfil all the November days. I'll be reusing my wonderful circus star lamp, one of my favourite items in my house for it adds just the right amount of light for a relaxing evening.

November home style

Blue rug, iRugs
Snow globe cushion, Asda
Blue blanket, H&M
Table lamp, Ikea
Blackberry window box, Next
Antler Mirror, M&S
Blue hanging heart, Dunelm
Jar Candle, Matalan
Star light, my own

*Collaborative post