Friday, 29 October 2010

Harvest Time

Autumn harvest
What I love about this time of year are the colours.  As we prepare to curl up in our woollies for the long cold dark months ahead we are surrounded by the brilliance of nature’s Autumn palette – yellows, golds, oranges and bronzes.  For me this also means pumpkin time!

Himself and I visited West Sussex on Sunday and our first stop had to be the famous pumpkin farm in Slindon near Arundel. Many years ago Mr Upton began growing pumpkins and squashes of every imaginable variety and his son Robin has continued the tradition since he died a few years ago. On Sunday the place was packed with people picking up the common orange pumpkins for their Halloween carvings. However, for me it is all about taste and colour. I grew up eating the rich deep orange flesh of the Queensland Blue pumpkin as part of my Sunday roast or boiled and mashed as a  regular part of our evening meal. Now I also love it made into a rich vegetable soup or into pumpkin fairy cakes. We returned with a selection chosen mainly for their gorgeous colours and shapes to use as my Autumn table decoration.  We get the enjoyment of wonderful kitchen colour that we can eat our way through over the next few weeks – very economical!

Now that the summer flowers have faded we have filled our planters with winter colour composed of cyclamen, winter pansies and curly purple ornamental cabbages. These bloom for months and cheer me up when the winter just seems to go on for ever and I start to wonder when the sun will appear.

Beautiful woodland cyclamen - perfect
for winter colour
Curly ornamental cabbages

We have planted bulbs ready for the Spring and hope we can ward off the squirrels long enough to get  some blooms. They love to eat tulip bulbs but dig up the daffodil bulbs just to play with leaving them scattered around the garden too damaged to replant. I can’t get too cross with those pesky critters – they make me laugh too much with all their antics!

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