Thursday, 13 November 2008

Firework cucumbers...

We found a couple of cucumbers last weekend when clearing the area around the piano* ready for fireworks! This was most unexpected, especially after the frosts and snow of the half term week; they were not protected by a greenhouse or any other cover except shrivelled up leaves.

They tasted great, though the smaller one was stunted and a little squishy at one end.

Things have slowed down on the gardening front this month - my homeopathic practice has been busy and I had three days away in Yorkshire with a friend, Liz, over half term. We travelled up early on Wednesday morning through snow around the M25 and Hertfordshire; so unusual to see it settled over trees still clothed in leaves. We wrapped up like polar bears in the car as the heater wasn't working!

We stayed at Liz's cousin's peaceful house in Baildon; it had a beautiful terraced garden with glorious beech hedges. We found wonderful autumn colours everywhere, including coppery bracken over much of Baildon and Ilkley Moors, and a welcoming log fire at the Cow & Calf Hotel at Ilkley, where friendly staff encouraged us to stay and relax for the afternoon following a delicious lunch.

We enjoyed the dramatic reds and oranges of Japanese maples, and more subdued browns pinks and dark reds of the beds at
Harlow Carr, the RHS garden just outside Harrogate, but were chilled to the bone by the bitter wind. We recommend the book section of their lovely shop; a cushioned, heated windowseat provided a splendid outlook over the garden, and warmed us up before our long cold drive home!
*area round piano - see photos in July postings. Alas, I haven't organised autumn plantings to dress it up this year...

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