How was your summer? After a late heatwave here in Scotland last week, autumn feels well and truly here now. The garden has its first dusting of leaves and we’re already reaching lows of 5 degrees celsius at night. Although the summer season was far from spectacular this year with long bouts of rain and cool spells, I’m happily leaning into the change of season. We can’t change it, so we may as well embrace it. I recently made a list of Autumn inspired crafts and jobs I’d like to tackle over the remainder of September to soften the transition to colder days and to help me embrace all the new season has to offer. Here are just a few of them:
- Make a dried flower wreath. This week I gathered the clusters of dried flowers I have dotted around the house, shed and greenhouse to see if I’ve collected enough over the summer to make an autumnal wreath. I’m almost there, with the addition of some dahlias, astrantia, echinacea and clematis bundles I have put to dry this week I should have enough. Drying hydrangeas is still a problem. My hydrangeas, annabelles and paniculata limelights, never seem to get the memo to turn green before they turn brown, and therefore wilt instead of dry. I live in hope for next year.
- Make my butternut and prosciutto salad recipe, which you can find in my book, shameless plug. It’s a crowd pleaser and perfect for the first ripe homegrown butternuts or pumpkins from the garden.
- Start working through my garden tidy checklist. I’ve broken this down by garden ‘room’ to make it less overwhelming. There are meadow areas to strim, a little hedge pruning to complete, a greenhouse to clean, a compost pile to turn and bulbs to be planted over the next few weeks.
- Tidy the shed. When the colder temps arrive I tend to spend a lot of time in the potting shed, so it’s time to give it a spruce up after using the space as a catch all over the summer. This is predominantly where I pot up bulbs for indoor winter arrangements, work on winter sowing projects, make wreaths, store dahlias and hide for hours with mugs of tea. Who knows I may finally get round to making a curtain to hide the paraphernalia under the staging.
- Paint the windows. My house maintenance list is far too long to type out here and never ending, which is to be expected with a 245 year old home. Before it gets too wet and cold I hope to finish off painting a few more windows. I don’t know about you but looking after my home indoors and out gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling, especially when I know it will save me money in the long run. I don’t always get everything completed but something is better than nothing!
So that’s the main chunk of my to do list, but you best believe my list also contains more relaxed pursuits like binge watching classic autumnally set movies like, Practical Magic, Little Women, and Good Will Hunting. A wardrobe refresh is also on the cards, I’ll be pulling out this jacket for the fourth year running, its a classic. Do you do anything to reset for the new season, let me know below.
In other news back in July, I spent a wonderful day with ex principal ballet dancer turned gardener and writer, Andy Peasgood (@andypeasgood over on Instagram) touring my garden and chatting about how and why things came to be in each space. This is the first episode of a three part series where we start off in my garden sanctuary, the kitchen garden. I hope you enjoy the tour.
Very special thanks to Caledonian Horticulture for their part in creating this series and to Andy Peasgood for a most insightful garden conversation.