The first day of Celtic Autumn has arrived.
Last night seen the hot water bottle come out of storage and be filled.
Rudbeckia has opened its beautiful deep orange petals…a marker of the time of year. This has been grown from seed, this year.
I started it off in the tunnel in February, from seeds I collected last Autumn.
As I walked the gardens, Sammy-Bear walked in front of me, finally stopping in the tunnel and rolling in the dirt!
For a white cat, he can be a dirty little rascal at the best of times!
On the plus side, he doesn’t seem to mind the rain, so cleans up well!
Seed-saving continues apace and the bees keep up the good work, even on a wet morning like today…
…this is where the tunnel works really well!
These are seeds from the three year old Purple Sprouting Broccoli, still in the pods, drying.
These seeds are big and plump and represent the very strongest, biggest, most productive and oldest of the Purple Broccoli.
Monsanto eat your heart out!
Pom-Pom Dahlias are making a show of themselves.
This is the first year I have grown these.
This Buddleia was grown from Bealtaine Cottage seed and planted in the tyres two years ago.
Many followers of Bealtaine cottage ask me for Lunaria (Honesty) seeds…and here are some drying on the veranda of the Lodge, hung up last evening.
This is a nice airy place to start off the drying process, though I may need to bring them indoors, if the wet weather prevails for much longer.
The Apple harvest continues to delight as the fruit appears so healthy and untarnished for another year.
I NEVER spray my Apple trees, or, for that matter, ANY of the fruit trees, and am rewarded with a bountiful, healthy crop year after year!
The rain settles onto the leaves of the Crocosmia Montbretia, a beautiful harbinger of Autumn!
A pot of tea beckons…
Sammy-Bear is sad to see me go indoors…
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Apples…one of the easiest fruits to grow.
These Apple Trees were planted seven years ago and have fruited every year.
They has never been sprayed.
There have never been any chemicals sprayed on or around them.
These trees are the perfect plants in the perfect place…a permaculture success.
The fruit is used as a base for a whole range of jellies, chutneys and jams.
Some of it is stored in the freezer.
Much is stored in a cool, dark, dry area where it can be accessed for use.
Apples are made into Toffee Apples at Samhain and for floating in barrels for dunking games.
Apple slices are dried as rings…simply hooped onto lengths of homegrown Bamboo and hung in the oven of the wood stove.
I use some of the Apples at the moment in home made Apple yoghurt, yummy stuff!
Of course, where would civilisation be without the seasonal Apple Pie?
I mulch around these trees every couple of years with sheeps wool left over from my spinning…there are parts of the fleece which are not used in the spinning process.
This is filled with goodness which is washed, through rainfall, into the soil.
During the summer as I mow the paths, I heap the cuttings around the base of each apple tree to mulch out weeds and feed the roots.
Grass is, after all, great fertilizer.
At the end of each growing season, I cut by all new growth by two-thirds.
All branches that grow towards the middle of the tree are cut out.
Most important of all…I plant lots of bee attracting plants and bushes around the orchards, especially the early Spring flowering bush, Ribes.
The Bees must be looked after!
Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.
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