Bed and Breakfast & Holiday Cottage

Bed and Breakfast & Holiday Cottage

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Autumn Forage

I’m learning to love autumn. So long as it is dry enough there is so much to enjoy still in the garden and woods and meadows here. The colour change is coming slowly this year though as usual the Liquidamber at the end of the wiggly beds is showing off and ‘Being The Best at Autumn’. I am laminating some of her leaves – I don’t know how I’ll use them, but I just have the urge to preserve the beauty.

There was a lot of preserving going on here while we were in Scotland. My friend Jacqui turns our soft fruit into jam for us and our new housesitter Katrina who has been a forager for years (it’s the thing now to be a forager I think, but she’s been doing it for ever) was very excited about the amount of food growing here and set about making all sorts of chutneys preserves jellies and jams. Happily she has left some for us so we get the fruits of our forest so to speak without having to do the tricky bit. But she has also left me feeling that I’m not really making the most of this plot. I’ve been all about making a beautiful, peaceful and healing place to be and not so much about feeding.

Of course there is so much healing and good about eating food from your own soil – it can’t be fresher and more full of goodness than that. So my new love for autumn is also a new love for home grown food and instead of groaning every time Willy brings in another twentysix beetroots, I think “What lovely little balls of goodness – how shall I cook them this time?” (OK I try to think that)  Even better though Willy has started cooking them too – he’s in the kitchen right now preparing something ‘unique’ with beetroot which we will have alongside our homegrown curly kale and some mushroom tart.

Outside, by the way, we appear to have a parliament of owls (Yes I did look that up) They are really quite chatty but sound so very much friendlier than the noise that comes out of Westminster. Which is nice.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Lichen Love

highlandsoct13 (1)
So after a busy summer here we are having a nice little break in the bonnie highlands of Scotland – and jolly bonny they are too. I include both spellings to clearly demonstrate my willingness to accept variations in spelling and grammar having been accused of previously being a grammar and spelling policeman-woman-person and conveniently switching my attitude when it came to a discussion of lichen today. OH likes to call it like-en, I call it litchen to rhyme with kitchen. Either is perfectly acceptable as I confirmed with a surprisingly high speed link to google from a far away place called Applecross.

The point was and is that the lichen here is truly beautiful. I have lichen envy. And moss envy too. I want to fill my garden in Worcestershire with these mosses and lichens and this will be testing my Gaia Gardening thinking to the max over the next few months because there is no way I’m going to manage it without her. We do have a little lichen on the old apples in the orchard and we do have a little moss here and there because the garden lies at the bottom of our own little valley and is quite damp – but I want MORE! However, you can’t order lichen and moss over the interweb so all I can do is slop some diluted yogurt around and hope my friend Gaia gets the idea.

In the meantime here are some pics of the lichen at The Walled Garden at Applecross which we stumbled across by accident though it appears it is actually quite a well known place with a well known kitchen in the old potting shed. We had a fabulous lunch and a lovely walk around the garden in the rain which we actually enjoyed just as much as our walk around Inverewe garden in the sunshine a few days ago.

This is my first visit to the Highlands and I am quite bowled over by its beauty. We’re staying in the fishing village of Plockton where last night we ate in the pub and listened to traditional music and where we have a sweet little self catering cottage called The Shed, which is really very nice but a little small for us as we are too old and unromantic to be living in such close proximity. Which reminds me of the eternal mystery of the ensuite bathroom….it never ceases to amaze me how many people book our room with the ensuite bathroom rather than the one with the bathroom next door. We really don’t need to be this close to….well whatever it is the other is doing in there….am off to turn the music up…..