Friday, 6 September 2013

Herbs and petals

Blackberry picking is one of those autumn delights that everyone should try. I guess now it's probably classed as foraging but if you can find a patch of common land with wild blackberries growing, it's well worth the odd scratch from the brambles and purple stains to clothes and fingers as nothing goes as well with an apple crumble as a few blackberries. This year, due to the heat, I've made blackberry ice cream as well as the family favourite jam tarts.

A week of sunshine and hot temperatures has not only bought on new flowers but also allowed petals and herbs to be collected when bone dry, a real bonus for drying and storing them. This week I have harvested a handful of  the following to make a hearty pot pourri for drab winter months.

Bay leaves
White lavender
Rose petals (pink and orange)
Calendula (yellow and orange)

The temperatures soared up towards the 30*c yesterday and I was struck by the bizarreness of autumn fruits and spiders webs in the garden and the searing heat. Do spiders get sunburn or heatstroke?

 But this hot weather does mean there are plenty of butterflies in the garden still and I noticed how beautiful the underwing of this red admiral is.

(Nearly forgot, I returned from holiday to find the gherkins had grown very large, am going to pickle them anyway just in case it works, fingers crossed! Have discovered I can sterilize Kilner jars in the dishwasher, how easy is that?)