The nights are drawing in fast now and the ice, frost and mist has been a nightly feature for about a week. Autumn appears to continue during the day and Winter holds sway from darkness onward. This morning was particularly beautiful, with swirls of icy mist hanging over the mountains and the air still and warming around the cottage. The berries on the Pyracantha are turning deep in colour, as the Blackbird and Thrush both eye them up! The Larch tree betond the Lodge is getting ready to shed its needles and the Purple Beech in the foreground hangs onto her leaves well into the middle of Spring! Autumn is colourful and delightful and definitely my favourite season! Parsley grows through the winter in this old, bottom-less bread-bin, tucked into the raised stone bed…a good source of Iron and Vitamin C. Tiny Lichens are beginning to grow on this Birch tree…I love the delicate colours of the Lichens! Bamboo and Beech compliment each other on the driveway…both are a source of energy and usefulness at Bealtaine. Bamboo lends itself well to many projects and makes fantastic tapers for using in the cottage, between the fire and candles! Bamboo is also a wonderful medium to use when making wreathes, as it is very pliable when first cut and will bend into a circular shape with ease. It can then be wrapped around with other plants and wood. Beech, seen here with Forsythia, grows into fairy tree shapes, all twisted and gnarled, reminiscent of the Arthur Rackham Fairy story illustrations…these are indeed beautiful trees! Red Dogwood comes into its own at the entrance to the Fairy Wood. Do I believe in Fairies? Indeed I do…don’t you? Can you believe these cheeky little Perlagoniums, refusing to give up and go to sleep? Tomorrow I shall lift them from their big pot and put them to bed for the winter!