September at Station House

September mornings are chilly and wisps of mist linger in the valley until after sunrise. The air is fresh with scents of autumn while along the hedgerows the hips and haws display their shades of red strung out like jewels against a dark background of green, just beginning to be tinged with orange and russet.

This is such a beautiful time of year, and I especially love those perfect golden mornings when the sun rises above a misty landscape and we can look out from our bathroom window across the fields to St Bartholomew’s church where we were married three years ago ….

The conkers are beginning to fall from the horse chestnut trees at the front of Station House and I’m hoping that this year I will have more success in growing at least one or two baby horse chestnut trees (last year a certain white terrier called Alfie dug them all up before being apprehended in the act!)

It’s really easy to grow trees from seed, whether these be nuts, acorns or conkers.  Just plant into a 1 litre a with layer of gravel and compost in it.  Bury the pot in a semi shady spot in the garden and protect it from marauding terriers(!)  Then, once your baby tree reaches reach a couple of foot tall it can be removed from the pot and planted in its permanent position.

The days have grown considerably shorter as we hurtle towards the equinox and the chickens head into their coop ready for sleep at just after 8pm each evening.  I say chickens, certainly three make it into “bed” every night but Katie, our brave black guard chicken, (at the front of the photo above) has once or twice misjudged the time and, we think struggling to see in the dark, has managed to knock down the ramp into the hatch.  She then panics, squawking her alarm call at the top of her voice and one of us has to head down to the Hen Pen to reassure her and put her in with her companions, who all grumble madly at having to shove up and make room for the latecomer.


A chicken features on my wheel of the year design too, appearing in April when the hens begin to lay again, though many of us (ahem!) may well be looking forward even more enthusiastically to the chocolate variety at Easter!

I’d like to say an enormous “thank you” to everyone who sent me their thoughts regarding the wheel of the year project.   I’m going to try and incorporate as many of your suggestions as I am able, and in the meantime I have completed the whole year’s design and ordered some samples printed on a nice linen/cotton blend fabric ready for stitching.  Audio will definitely also be coming in the not too distant future – watch out for further updates!

I’ve also finally got around to uploading the complete pattern for my Christmas Garland Advent Calendar and you can find it in the Bustle & Sew store.

I stitched my garlands onto little linen bags, but you could also use them to customise a ready-made calendar, rather like this one perhaps from Sophie Allport ….

I think a Christmas Garland appliqued onto each of these pockets would look rather lovely!



Jamie Simpkins-Santos

Dear Helen, I am so sorry to hear your husband has been i the hospital! I am always going through some medical crisis myself ( currently going blind in my right eye ) so please do not worry about being on time. We just want you and your family to be well and safe. Take all the time you need.


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