And so, almost in the blink of an eye, summer is behind us. It seems no time at all since I watched for the first tall creamy candles to appear on the horse chestnut trees at the front of our house, and now the conkers hang green and heavy, ready to delight Freddie and his step-cousins when next they come to visit. I have always loved this time of year – I think the author Susan Hill in describing her own feelings about autumn in one of my favourite books, The Magic Apple Tree, has captured mine too…..
There is a smell in the air, the smell of autumn, a yeasty, damp, fruity smell, carrying a hint of smoke and a hint, too, of decay. It fills me with nostalgia, but I do not know for what. It is a smell I love, for this is, and always has been, my favourite season…… always beautiful, always rich, autumn always gives in heaping measure …..”
Some of my favourite patterns are also autumn-themed, including three new ones in the current (September) issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine.
I’ve been busy in my vegetable garden too, gathering in my harvest, amazed at the quantity of produce in spite of the cold, frankly dreary, August we endured up here in the Mendips. I have not worn my cool loose linen clothes at all for the last 6 weeks, preferring to keep warm in jeans and jumpers instead. But still we have had peas and beans (both broad and runner), beetroot, carrots, onions, marrows (rather too many of those!), sunflowers for their seeds and brassicas running riot in one bed, safely protected from marauding caterpillars by swathes of impenetrable insect netting.
This picture is from a little earlier in the year – the peas and beans are all over now. I think that broad beans in particular are so worth growing at home, picked when they are small and tender, much nicer than the large, floury, often tough beans you find in the shops.