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Dahlias and damsons

It really does feel like we are on the threshold of autumn. We've had a few glorious calm days, where the sun warming your skin still feels like midsummer. But the chill of autumn is there in the mornings and the leaves are beginning to turn. The August storms have taken their toll, the gourd climbing frame toppled but they have continued their rampage across their cutting beds. On the plot the fruit seems much earlier than usual this year, the pears are almost over and the hedges are dripping with blackberries. The dahlias are in their full stride, glorious in their prolific beauty. The amaranthus are growing huge, the scabious and cosmos also flowering their socks off until the frosts arrive. The grasses are looking magnificent and the seed heads ripe for picking to harvest seeds and for drying to use over the winter.

We hosted five 'pick your own flowers' days in August and had a wonderful time meeting local customers and sharing our flowers. We are hoping to run a few more dates in September so do get in touch if you fancy joining us.

I'm busy harvesting for drying and updating the website with dried flower goodies. I'm also looking into autumn and winter workshops and once our new workshop is installed in October I'm hoping to host small groups in this space. You, my subscribers, will be the first to know!

Blackberry Gin recipe

1kg blackberries

400g sugar

1 vanilla pod split lengthways

1litre gin

2 litre kilner jar

2 x 750ml bottles

Make sure the jar is clean and add the blackberries, sugar and vanilla in layers and pour over the gin. Shake the jar every day until the sugar has dissolved and then once a week for around 8 weeks. Strain through muslin into bottles and seal. Enjoy the berries in a boozy crumble and the gin after 3 months.

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