Some Autumn ideas for your garden gathered from our recent travels around the UK visiting friends, family & green spaces of all shapes & sizes!
1. Seed Head & Stem Displays
We love Autumn not just for the fiery golden colours this season brings but also for the display of seed heads & stems which can be stunning in their own right! From towering sunflowers & teasels, to the upturned umbrella-like umbels of Fennel, Angelica & Hogweed as well as some of our favourites the pom-pom-like globes of Alliums. Seed heads & stems not only create an incredible seasonal display but also provide vital food & shelter for overwintering invertebrates. So if you can, leave them standing until the Spring. We saw an amazing prairie border at the Eden Project which had become a giant drift of seed heads & stems when we visited – captured in the photo above!
2. Amazing Apples!
You can store them, make apple crisps, jams, jellies & chutneys with them, bake hearty crumbles & cakes or like we’ve been doing recently – juicing them! After getting stuck into some apple pressing with a second cousin on holiday, Kloe bought me an early birthday present of an apple press & macerator. Raw, fresh pressed juice, is just delicious. To keep as much of the goodness we’ve bagged & frozen portions rather than pasteurize the juice. With over 20 apples trees & counting, we hope to be able to share the harvest & fruit press in future years with an apple day – watch this space! In the meantime, if you’ve space plant an apple tree or two. Irish Seed Savers, Future Forests & Heritage Fruit Tree Nursery all do a fantastic selection of heritage Irish varieties to try!
3. ‘The Chestnut Man’
Not the Danish crime thriller but the name given to me by a friend’s little boy while chestnut hunting in the Forest of Dean! It was so lovely to see the kids get so engrossed and excited hunting out sweet chestnuts. It made me determined to plant as many as we can here in Ireland to give the next generation the chance to enjoy foraging for these nuts locally rather than only being able to get them in a packet from France or China. If you can, plant some too, they’re also fantastic trees for pollinators!
4. Boozy berries
On our ambles we couldn’t help but stop & pick a few berries along the way – sloes, haws, rosehips & the last of the seasons blackberries (all unceremoniously collected in doggy poo bags. Where would we be without them!?). None of these harvests were big enough to for a jam or jelly so we started making little batches of berry liquors with each little harvest & in doing so captured a flavour of that place. See our Boozy Berries Recipe for how to make your own! If you can’t find a hedgerow with these wild treats then plant a native hedge big or small & you’ll provide yourself and wildlife with a bounty of blooms & berries for years to come!
Hope you enjoyed our Autumn Ideas for your Garden!
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