Seasonal Pleasures

Anne here, where it's the middle of winter, and I'm contemplating seasonal pleasures. I know, you don't often think of pleasures in winter, but there are pleasures to be found in all seasons, and I'll share mine here and hope you'll share some of yours. HobbitFire

We had a big storm last night and as the wind whistled around the eaves and rattled the windows and rain pelted down, it was so lovely lying in bed snuggled up in the warm, reading. 

Another of my winter pleasures is a real fire. I don't have one in my house, but several friends do, and when I can, I enjoy it so much. (The photo is from Hobbiton in NZ which I visited a few years ago.)

A friend just phoned me and asked if I wanted a bucket of cumquats —her tree is apparently loaded. I said no thanks — I don't eat fresh cumquats and I didn't want to make marmalade or jam, as I'm trying to cut down on sugar. She tried to coax me by pointing out her sister had made a delicious sauce with them that went beautifully over ice-cream, and that she also made cumquat liqueur.  I stayed strong.

My parents also had a cumquat tree and made cumquat liqueur. I say "they" but really I was the one who made it, under my mother's instructions. She was a waste-not-want-not type and you can't let fruit go to waste, even if nobody wants to eat it. You see making cumquat liqueur involves pricking each cumquat with a darning needle and making dozens of small holes in each so the brandy can soak in. That was my (very boring) job. Also adding the sugar and brandy. My parents nobly did the drinking part.

SnowdropsI'm also planting the last of the bulbs — it's a bit late for some, but when you're given bulbs, you plant them. And my dad's snowdrops are in flower — they're certainly one of the pleasures of this time of year, and more bulbs are pushing up, reminding me that spring is around the corner. My daphne is also in flower, perfuming the air. And my dad's alstroemerias are flowering already and in our Mediterranean-style climate will flower for most of the year.

Flowers are such a joy in winter — well, they are all year round, but in winter they're a special treat. Back in March I bought a red cyclamen to have in the house. Seeing it in the widow every morning, catching the morning sunshine, cheered me up so much that when the flowers finished several months later, I put it out in the garden and bought another few. Obviously it liked the outside cold, because it's now giving me another small flush of flowers and is back inside. 

I grew up with a grandmother who was still very much a very thrifty countrywoman whose head (and habits) were from the Victorian era. Visits to her and Pop almost invariably involved carrying out seasonal jobs. (They were big believers in keeping children busy.)

In summer we picked and bottled all kinds of fruit — and being the youngest of my generation, my small hands were in special demand for packing in the apricots, just so. We also picked blackberries and made jam. Peaches

When lavender flowered, it was my job to pick the flowers, dry them, and then restock all Nan's millions of lavender bags — she had several in every drawer and cupboard shelf. That involved unpicking the seam on one side, emptying out the old lavender, replacing it with fresh and then sewing the little bag up again.

One ritual I recall from when I was very small was fluffing the flock. Nan's pillows and cushions — and I think some of her mattresses — were stuffed with flock — a material made of soft shredded fabric, I think — a bit like cotton wool. Over time the flock would form clumps that would get harder, and a lumpy pillow was not a pleasant thing. So we'd unpick the pillow or cushion, tease out each lump so that it was soft again, and re-stuff and resew the pillow. Not my favorite job.

MorningWindowsillIn autumn we kids would go gathering nuts — mainly chestnuts and walnuts, I recall. We had a couple of almond trees at home, but gathering from the 'wild' was more fun. The chestnuts were my favorite, and we'd roast them in the fireplace, peel off the burnty skin and eat them, trying not to burn our mouths. My favorite part of walnuts was trying to crack them so that the shells formed two perfect coracles and then we'd have boat races in the creek.

Another autumn pastime was mushrooming. It was a real excursion, and we'd all head out for the day with baskets and small knives and search for delicious field mushrooms. A lot of people are wary of mushrooming these days, fearing poisoning, but the adults in the family all knew which ones were safe, and taught the kids.

I haven't even touched on summer pastimes. I got an e-zine this morning that was all full of different kinds of ice-creams. And wench Pat was talking about growing tomatoes. Home-grown, sun-ripened tomatoes are so delicious. 

Friends in the northern hemisphere are sweltering, while some here are freezing. So wherever you are, and whatever season you're experiencing, what are some of your seasonal pleasures? From now or in the past.

120 thoughts on “Seasonal Pleasures”

  1. We’re in our summer here and it’s been really wet this year. This past weekend, we had three tornadoes touch down in our area that were preceded by a 100mph wind shear. All of my hydrangeas and other flowers are on the ground and they were just starting to look great. I do love my summer flowers 🙁
    We put in a fireplace when we moved here because it’s my winter necessity. 😉 It’s so calming to me to sit in front of a crackling fire with a blankie on my lap and a great book in my hand.

    Reply
  2. We’re in our summer here and it’s been really wet this year. This past weekend, we had three tornadoes touch down in our area that were preceded by a 100mph wind shear. All of my hydrangeas and other flowers are on the ground and they were just starting to look great. I do love my summer flowers 🙁
    We put in a fireplace when we moved here because it’s my winter necessity. 😉 It’s so calming to me to sit in front of a crackling fire with a blankie on my lap and a great book in my hand.

    Reply
  3. We’re in our summer here and it’s been really wet this year. This past weekend, we had three tornadoes touch down in our area that were preceded by a 100mph wind shear. All of my hydrangeas and other flowers are on the ground and they were just starting to look great. I do love my summer flowers 🙁
    We put in a fireplace when we moved here because it’s my winter necessity. 😉 It’s so calming to me to sit in front of a crackling fire with a blankie on my lap and a great book in my hand.

    Reply
  4. We’re in our summer here and it’s been really wet this year. This past weekend, we had three tornadoes touch down in our area that were preceded by a 100mph wind shear. All of my hydrangeas and other flowers are on the ground and they were just starting to look great. I do love my summer flowers 🙁
    We put in a fireplace when we moved here because it’s my winter necessity. 😉 It’s so calming to me to sit in front of a crackling fire with a blankie on my lap and a great book in my hand.

    Reply
  5. We’re in our summer here and it’s been really wet this year. This past weekend, we had three tornadoes touch down in our area that were preceded by a 100mph wind shear. All of my hydrangeas and other flowers are on the ground and they were just starting to look great. I do love my summer flowers 🙁
    We put in a fireplace when we moved here because it’s my winter necessity. 😉 It’s so calming to me to sit in front of a crackling fire with a blankie on my lap and a great book in my hand.

    Reply
  6. I think this summer is / has been special in the UK. Despite covid we have had a feast of sport. The English football team reached the final of the Euros …. only to lose on penalties! GB is doing well for medals in the Japanese Olympics and Wimbledon tennis provided the usual thrills and spills. Summer in the garden is also interesting. I have been trying to make my garden bird friendly and pollinator friendly and now have a bumble bee nest (carder bee I think) next to the rhubarb. Hoping they don’t sting but will probably find out while harvesting some rhubarb! Anne, I envy you for the alstroemeria flowering in winter. I have two varieties, the low growing (princess lilies) and the sort with long stems used for cut flowers. Both only flower in summer here …. do you ever get frost in Melbourne?
    Thanks for sharing your pleasures.

    Reply
  7. I think this summer is / has been special in the UK. Despite covid we have had a feast of sport. The English football team reached the final of the Euros …. only to lose on penalties! GB is doing well for medals in the Japanese Olympics and Wimbledon tennis provided the usual thrills and spills. Summer in the garden is also interesting. I have been trying to make my garden bird friendly and pollinator friendly and now have a bumble bee nest (carder bee I think) next to the rhubarb. Hoping they don’t sting but will probably find out while harvesting some rhubarb! Anne, I envy you for the alstroemeria flowering in winter. I have two varieties, the low growing (princess lilies) and the sort with long stems used for cut flowers. Both only flower in summer here …. do you ever get frost in Melbourne?
    Thanks for sharing your pleasures.

    Reply
  8. I think this summer is / has been special in the UK. Despite covid we have had a feast of sport. The English football team reached the final of the Euros …. only to lose on penalties! GB is doing well for medals in the Japanese Olympics and Wimbledon tennis provided the usual thrills and spills. Summer in the garden is also interesting. I have been trying to make my garden bird friendly and pollinator friendly and now have a bumble bee nest (carder bee I think) next to the rhubarb. Hoping they don’t sting but will probably find out while harvesting some rhubarb! Anne, I envy you for the alstroemeria flowering in winter. I have two varieties, the low growing (princess lilies) and the sort with long stems used for cut flowers. Both only flower in summer here …. do you ever get frost in Melbourne?
    Thanks for sharing your pleasures.

    Reply
  9. I think this summer is / has been special in the UK. Despite covid we have had a feast of sport. The English football team reached the final of the Euros …. only to lose on penalties! GB is doing well for medals in the Japanese Olympics and Wimbledon tennis provided the usual thrills and spills. Summer in the garden is also interesting. I have been trying to make my garden bird friendly and pollinator friendly and now have a bumble bee nest (carder bee I think) next to the rhubarb. Hoping they don’t sting but will probably find out while harvesting some rhubarb! Anne, I envy you for the alstroemeria flowering in winter. I have two varieties, the low growing (princess lilies) and the sort with long stems used for cut flowers. Both only flower in summer here …. do you ever get frost in Melbourne?
    Thanks for sharing your pleasures.

    Reply
  10. I think this summer is / has been special in the UK. Despite covid we have had a feast of sport. The English football team reached the final of the Euros …. only to lose on penalties! GB is doing well for medals in the Japanese Olympics and Wimbledon tennis provided the usual thrills and spills. Summer in the garden is also interesting. I have been trying to make my garden bird friendly and pollinator friendly and now have a bumble bee nest (carder bee I think) next to the rhubarb. Hoping they don’t sting but will probably find out while harvesting some rhubarb! Anne, I envy you for the alstroemeria flowering in winter. I have two varieties, the low growing (princess lilies) and the sort with long stems used for cut flowers. Both only flower in summer here …. do you ever get frost in Melbourne?
    Thanks for sharing your pleasures.

    Reply
  11. Summers where I live are hot and dry but there are things to enjoy. My sister’s blackberry bush is one of them. She doesn’t even have to try and that thing produces huge berries. I love being able to pick handfuls and eat them.
    I agree about the flowers in winter. I have a Christmas cactus that blooms in January, right when I’m getting tired of the dreary weather and it always cheers me up to see those pretty pink blooms.

    Reply
  12. Summers where I live are hot and dry but there are things to enjoy. My sister’s blackberry bush is one of them. She doesn’t even have to try and that thing produces huge berries. I love being able to pick handfuls and eat them.
    I agree about the flowers in winter. I have a Christmas cactus that blooms in January, right when I’m getting tired of the dreary weather and it always cheers me up to see those pretty pink blooms.

    Reply
  13. Summers where I live are hot and dry but there are things to enjoy. My sister’s blackberry bush is one of them. She doesn’t even have to try and that thing produces huge berries. I love being able to pick handfuls and eat them.
    I agree about the flowers in winter. I have a Christmas cactus that blooms in January, right when I’m getting tired of the dreary weather and it always cheers me up to see those pretty pink blooms.

    Reply
  14. Summers where I live are hot and dry but there are things to enjoy. My sister’s blackberry bush is one of them. She doesn’t even have to try and that thing produces huge berries. I love being able to pick handfuls and eat them.
    I agree about the flowers in winter. I have a Christmas cactus that blooms in January, right when I’m getting tired of the dreary weather and it always cheers me up to see those pretty pink blooms.

    Reply
  15. Summers where I live are hot and dry but there are things to enjoy. My sister’s blackberry bush is one of them. She doesn’t even have to try and that thing produces huge berries. I love being able to pick handfuls and eat them.
    I agree about the flowers in winter. I have a Christmas cactus that blooms in January, right when I’m getting tired of the dreary weather and it always cheers me up to see those pretty pink blooms.

    Reply
  16. What a lovely post, Anne!
    A lot of my young life was spent in hotels as that was where my parents both worked. My sister and I did spend the summer/Christmas holidays with my grandmother (Oma) in Auckland; there I remember picking parsley that she’d mix with butter and walks up Mount Eden.

    Reply
  17. What a lovely post, Anne!
    A lot of my young life was spent in hotels as that was where my parents both worked. My sister and I did spend the summer/Christmas holidays with my grandmother (Oma) in Auckland; there I remember picking parsley that she’d mix with butter and walks up Mount Eden.

    Reply
  18. What a lovely post, Anne!
    A lot of my young life was spent in hotels as that was where my parents both worked. My sister and I did spend the summer/Christmas holidays with my grandmother (Oma) in Auckland; there I remember picking parsley that she’d mix with butter and walks up Mount Eden.

    Reply
  19. What a lovely post, Anne!
    A lot of my young life was spent in hotels as that was where my parents both worked. My sister and I did spend the summer/Christmas holidays with my grandmother (Oma) in Auckland; there I remember picking parsley that she’d mix with butter and walks up Mount Eden.

    Reply
  20. What a lovely post, Anne!
    A lot of my young life was spent in hotels as that was where my parents both worked. My sister and I did spend the summer/Christmas holidays with my grandmother (Oma) in Auckland; there I remember picking parsley that she’d mix with butter and walks up Mount Eden.

    Reply
  21. A very enjoyable post. Before I became housebound I enjoyed the seasons, but inside there’s only one season, I’m surpised when some post reminds me it’s summer here in the midwest.
    And, by the way — housebound because of a reacrion to some drugs necessary for control of my diabetis.

    Reply
  22. A very enjoyable post. Before I became housebound I enjoyed the seasons, but inside there’s only one season, I’m surpised when some post reminds me it’s summer here in the midwest.
    And, by the way — housebound because of a reacrion to some drugs necessary for control of my diabetis.

    Reply
  23. A very enjoyable post. Before I became housebound I enjoyed the seasons, but inside there’s only one season, I’m surpised when some post reminds me it’s summer here in the midwest.
    And, by the way — housebound because of a reacrion to some drugs necessary for control of my diabetis.

    Reply
  24. A very enjoyable post. Before I became housebound I enjoyed the seasons, but inside there’s only one season, I’m surpised when some post reminds me it’s summer here in the midwest.
    And, by the way — housebound because of a reacrion to some drugs necessary for control of my diabetis.

    Reply
  25. A very enjoyable post. Before I became housebound I enjoyed the seasons, but inside there’s only one season, I’m surpised when some post reminds me it’s summer here in the midwest.
    And, by the way — housebound because of a reacrion to some drugs necessary for control of my diabetis.

    Reply
  26. I’m also stuck at home following surgery for a year long complaint, so I understand where Sue is coming from. It’s summer here on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada and it’s been lovely! Not too hot, low 70’s most days. The no rain is not very good for the mainland wild fires but nice for the rest of us. Normally, in any season, I love walking for a couple of hours each morning but having to forgo that for this last year has helped me appreciate looking out the windows of our apartment and seeing the local flora and fauna. Lots of arbutus and oak trees, currently inhabited by hummingbirds. crows, a pair of doves that coo every evening, a small hawk that makes the most awful screeching noise, and the occasional eagle. We sometimes see a family of deer who like to laze about on the rock opposite our window. We very much hope to forgo the Canadian winter by driving down to Arizona (cancelled last year due to covid) so our fingers are crossed!
    Would like to thank Nicola for the book, postcard, and bookmark she sent me – looked forward to it and it certainly did not disappoint. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  27. I’m also stuck at home following surgery for a year long complaint, so I understand where Sue is coming from. It’s summer here on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada and it’s been lovely! Not too hot, low 70’s most days. The no rain is not very good for the mainland wild fires but nice for the rest of us. Normally, in any season, I love walking for a couple of hours each morning but having to forgo that for this last year has helped me appreciate looking out the windows of our apartment and seeing the local flora and fauna. Lots of arbutus and oak trees, currently inhabited by hummingbirds. crows, a pair of doves that coo every evening, a small hawk that makes the most awful screeching noise, and the occasional eagle. We sometimes see a family of deer who like to laze about on the rock opposite our window. We very much hope to forgo the Canadian winter by driving down to Arizona (cancelled last year due to covid) so our fingers are crossed!
    Would like to thank Nicola for the book, postcard, and bookmark she sent me – looked forward to it and it certainly did not disappoint. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  28. I’m also stuck at home following surgery for a year long complaint, so I understand where Sue is coming from. It’s summer here on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada and it’s been lovely! Not too hot, low 70’s most days. The no rain is not very good for the mainland wild fires but nice for the rest of us. Normally, in any season, I love walking for a couple of hours each morning but having to forgo that for this last year has helped me appreciate looking out the windows of our apartment and seeing the local flora and fauna. Lots of arbutus and oak trees, currently inhabited by hummingbirds. crows, a pair of doves that coo every evening, a small hawk that makes the most awful screeching noise, and the occasional eagle. We sometimes see a family of deer who like to laze about on the rock opposite our window. We very much hope to forgo the Canadian winter by driving down to Arizona (cancelled last year due to covid) so our fingers are crossed!
    Would like to thank Nicola for the book, postcard, and bookmark she sent me – looked forward to it and it certainly did not disappoint. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  29. I’m also stuck at home following surgery for a year long complaint, so I understand where Sue is coming from. It’s summer here on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada and it’s been lovely! Not too hot, low 70’s most days. The no rain is not very good for the mainland wild fires but nice for the rest of us. Normally, in any season, I love walking for a couple of hours each morning but having to forgo that for this last year has helped me appreciate looking out the windows of our apartment and seeing the local flora and fauna. Lots of arbutus and oak trees, currently inhabited by hummingbirds. crows, a pair of doves that coo every evening, a small hawk that makes the most awful screeching noise, and the occasional eagle. We sometimes see a family of deer who like to laze about on the rock opposite our window. We very much hope to forgo the Canadian winter by driving down to Arizona (cancelled last year due to covid) so our fingers are crossed!
    Would like to thank Nicola for the book, postcard, and bookmark she sent me – looked forward to it and it certainly did not disappoint. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  30. I’m also stuck at home following surgery for a year long complaint, so I understand where Sue is coming from. It’s summer here on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada and it’s been lovely! Not too hot, low 70’s most days. The no rain is not very good for the mainland wild fires but nice for the rest of us. Normally, in any season, I love walking for a couple of hours each morning but having to forgo that for this last year has helped me appreciate looking out the windows of our apartment and seeing the local flora and fauna. Lots of arbutus and oak trees, currently inhabited by hummingbirds. crows, a pair of doves that coo every evening, a small hawk that makes the most awful screeching noise, and the occasional eagle. We sometimes see a family of deer who like to laze about on the rock opposite our window. We very much hope to forgo the Canadian winter by driving down to Arizona (cancelled last year due to covid) so our fingers are crossed!
    Would like to thank Nicola for the book, postcard, and bookmark she sent me – looked forward to it and it certainly did not disappoint. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  31. Oh Theo, what a shame. I love hydrangeas. I hope they recover.
    I love your “winter necessity” — I am currently dithering between getting a real fire and a gas heater. The gas is practical and instant, but a real fire is what my heart yearns for.

    Reply
  32. Oh Theo, what a shame. I love hydrangeas. I hope they recover.
    I love your “winter necessity” — I am currently dithering between getting a real fire and a gas heater. The gas is practical and instant, but a real fire is what my heart yearns for.

    Reply
  33. Oh Theo, what a shame. I love hydrangeas. I hope they recover.
    I love your “winter necessity” — I am currently dithering between getting a real fire and a gas heater. The gas is practical and instant, but a real fire is what my heart yearns for.

    Reply
  34. Oh Theo, what a shame. I love hydrangeas. I hope they recover.
    I love your “winter necessity” — I am currently dithering between getting a real fire and a gas heater. The gas is practical and instant, but a real fire is what my heart yearns for.

    Reply
  35. Oh Theo, what a shame. I love hydrangeas. I hope they recover.
    I love your “winter necessity” — I am currently dithering between getting a real fire and a gas heater. The gas is practical and instant, but a real fire is what my heart yearns for.

    Reply
  36. Quantum, I’m not much of a sports watcher — I only keep up because other friends are and talk about it and I try to look and sound intelligent by nodding and saying Mmmm, and gosh, and yes.
    I don’t think bumble bees sting, but I guess you’ll find out in rhubarb season. *g*
    My dad’s alstroemeria are amazing. They are the tall ones that last in a vase for ages, and they’re a lovely clear red. Wish I could add a photo here, but I can’t. You can maybe make them out in this photo of a bunch of autumn flowers on my blog.
    https://www.annegracie.com/the-glories-of-autumn/
    They’re also very hardy. When we were selling their house, I dug up a clump from his garden, shoved them in a pot and dumped them in a corner of my garden. His soil was sandy as they lived beside the sea. They flowered in the pot and grew through the bottom of it. I moved the pot and then I had two clumps. They flower from early spring until winter and I love them to bits. We don’t have bitter frosts — just an occasional one, and they survive that, but Melbourne has a Mediterranean kind of climate, and also, I’m relatively inner city, so the garden is small and surrounded by houses and trees.
    Best of luck making your garden more bee friendly. They love lavender, and buddleas.

    Reply
  37. Quantum, I’m not much of a sports watcher — I only keep up because other friends are and talk about it and I try to look and sound intelligent by nodding and saying Mmmm, and gosh, and yes.
    I don’t think bumble bees sting, but I guess you’ll find out in rhubarb season. *g*
    My dad’s alstroemeria are amazing. They are the tall ones that last in a vase for ages, and they’re a lovely clear red. Wish I could add a photo here, but I can’t. You can maybe make them out in this photo of a bunch of autumn flowers on my blog.
    https://www.annegracie.com/the-glories-of-autumn/
    They’re also very hardy. When we were selling their house, I dug up a clump from his garden, shoved them in a pot and dumped them in a corner of my garden. His soil was sandy as they lived beside the sea. They flowered in the pot and grew through the bottom of it. I moved the pot and then I had two clumps. They flower from early spring until winter and I love them to bits. We don’t have bitter frosts — just an occasional one, and they survive that, but Melbourne has a Mediterranean kind of climate, and also, I’m relatively inner city, so the garden is small and surrounded by houses and trees.
    Best of luck making your garden more bee friendly. They love lavender, and buddleas.

    Reply
  38. Quantum, I’m not much of a sports watcher — I only keep up because other friends are and talk about it and I try to look and sound intelligent by nodding and saying Mmmm, and gosh, and yes.
    I don’t think bumble bees sting, but I guess you’ll find out in rhubarb season. *g*
    My dad’s alstroemeria are amazing. They are the tall ones that last in a vase for ages, and they’re a lovely clear red. Wish I could add a photo here, but I can’t. You can maybe make them out in this photo of a bunch of autumn flowers on my blog.
    https://www.annegracie.com/the-glories-of-autumn/
    They’re also very hardy. When we were selling their house, I dug up a clump from his garden, shoved them in a pot and dumped them in a corner of my garden. His soil was sandy as they lived beside the sea. They flowered in the pot and grew through the bottom of it. I moved the pot and then I had two clumps. They flower from early spring until winter and I love them to bits. We don’t have bitter frosts — just an occasional one, and they survive that, but Melbourne has a Mediterranean kind of climate, and also, I’m relatively inner city, so the garden is small and surrounded by houses and trees.
    Best of luck making your garden more bee friendly. They love lavender, and buddleas.

    Reply
  39. Quantum, I’m not much of a sports watcher — I only keep up because other friends are and talk about it and I try to look and sound intelligent by nodding and saying Mmmm, and gosh, and yes.
    I don’t think bumble bees sting, but I guess you’ll find out in rhubarb season. *g*
    My dad’s alstroemeria are amazing. They are the tall ones that last in a vase for ages, and they’re a lovely clear red. Wish I could add a photo here, but I can’t. You can maybe make them out in this photo of a bunch of autumn flowers on my blog.
    https://www.annegracie.com/the-glories-of-autumn/
    They’re also very hardy. When we were selling their house, I dug up a clump from his garden, shoved them in a pot and dumped them in a corner of my garden. His soil was sandy as they lived beside the sea. They flowered in the pot and grew through the bottom of it. I moved the pot and then I had two clumps. They flower from early spring until winter and I love them to bits. We don’t have bitter frosts — just an occasional one, and they survive that, but Melbourne has a Mediterranean kind of climate, and also, I’m relatively inner city, so the garden is small and surrounded by houses and trees.
    Best of luck making your garden more bee friendly. They love lavender, and buddleas.

    Reply
  40. Quantum, I’m not much of a sports watcher — I only keep up because other friends are and talk about it and I try to look and sound intelligent by nodding and saying Mmmm, and gosh, and yes.
    I don’t think bumble bees sting, but I guess you’ll find out in rhubarb season. *g*
    My dad’s alstroemeria are amazing. They are the tall ones that last in a vase for ages, and they’re a lovely clear red. Wish I could add a photo here, but I can’t. You can maybe make them out in this photo of a bunch of autumn flowers on my blog.
    https://www.annegracie.com/the-glories-of-autumn/
    They’re also very hardy. When we were selling their house, I dug up a clump from his garden, shoved them in a pot and dumped them in a corner of my garden. His soil was sandy as they lived beside the sea. They flowered in the pot and grew through the bottom of it. I moved the pot and then I had two clumps. They flower from early spring until winter and I love them to bits. We don’t have bitter frosts — just an occasional one, and they survive that, but Melbourne has a Mediterranean kind of climate, and also, I’m relatively inner city, so the garden is small and surrounded by houses and trees.
    Best of luck making your garden more bee friendly. They love lavender, and buddleas.

    Reply
  41. Oh, Misti, I envy your being able to pick blackberries. It was a huge pleasure when I was a kid, but blackberries are regarded as a weed here — they take over the native vegetation, so most councils poison them, and we almost never see them growing wild any more.
    I replaced the photo of my scarlet Virginia creeper with one of my window sill where the cyclamen stands. It gets a little early morning sunshine and it makes me smile every morning when I get up.
    My mum used to grow Christmas Cactus too and I think of her every time I see them.

    Reply
  42. Oh, Misti, I envy your being able to pick blackberries. It was a huge pleasure when I was a kid, but blackberries are regarded as a weed here — they take over the native vegetation, so most councils poison them, and we almost never see them growing wild any more.
    I replaced the photo of my scarlet Virginia creeper with one of my window sill where the cyclamen stands. It gets a little early morning sunshine and it makes me smile every morning when I get up.
    My mum used to grow Christmas Cactus too and I think of her every time I see them.

    Reply
  43. Oh, Misti, I envy your being able to pick blackberries. It was a huge pleasure when I was a kid, but blackberries are regarded as a weed here — they take over the native vegetation, so most councils poison them, and we almost never see them growing wild any more.
    I replaced the photo of my scarlet Virginia creeper with one of my window sill where the cyclamen stands. It gets a little early morning sunshine and it makes me smile every morning when I get up.
    My mum used to grow Christmas Cactus too and I think of her every time I see them.

    Reply
  44. Oh, Misti, I envy your being able to pick blackberries. It was a huge pleasure when I was a kid, but blackberries are regarded as a weed here — they take over the native vegetation, so most councils poison them, and we almost never see them growing wild any more.
    I replaced the photo of my scarlet Virginia creeper with one of my window sill where the cyclamen stands. It gets a little early morning sunshine and it makes me smile every morning when I get up.
    My mum used to grow Christmas Cactus too and I think of her every time I see them.

    Reply
  45. Oh, Misti, I envy your being able to pick blackberries. It was a huge pleasure when I was a kid, but blackberries are regarded as a weed here — they take over the native vegetation, so most councils poison them, and we almost never see them growing wild any more.
    I replaced the photo of my scarlet Virginia creeper with one of my window sill where the cyclamen stands. It gets a little early morning sunshine and it makes me smile every morning when I get up.
    My mum used to grow Christmas Cactus too and I think of her every time I see them.

    Reply
  46. Sorry to hear you’re housebound, Sue. I think my passion for indoor plants and the colorful cyclamens was a reaction to the nearly four months of lockdown we did last year, where we could only go out for food shopping and medical appointments, and only venture 2 miles from home. Having flowers and growing things inside made it so much nicer.
    Take care.

    Reply
  47. Sorry to hear you’re housebound, Sue. I think my passion for indoor plants and the colorful cyclamens was a reaction to the nearly four months of lockdown we did last year, where we could only go out for food shopping and medical appointments, and only venture 2 miles from home. Having flowers and growing things inside made it so much nicer.
    Take care.

    Reply
  48. Sorry to hear you’re housebound, Sue. I think my passion for indoor plants and the colorful cyclamens was a reaction to the nearly four months of lockdown we did last year, where we could only go out for food shopping and medical appointments, and only venture 2 miles from home. Having flowers and growing things inside made it so much nicer.
    Take care.

    Reply
  49. Sorry to hear you’re housebound, Sue. I think my passion for indoor plants and the colorful cyclamens was a reaction to the nearly four months of lockdown we did last year, where we could only go out for food shopping and medical appointments, and only venture 2 miles from home. Having flowers and growing things inside made it so much nicer.
    Take care.

    Reply
  50. Sorry to hear you’re housebound, Sue. I think my passion for indoor plants and the colorful cyclamens was a reaction to the nearly four months of lockdown we did last year, where we could only go out for food shopping and medical appointments, and only venture 2 miles from home. Having flowers and growing things inside made it so much nicer.
    Take care.

    Reply
  51. Janert, commiserations on being housebound also. But how lovely to have such a range of wild creatures within sight. I have a special fondness for hummingbirds — I developed it first as a small child, I think from books. But I only saw my first real live hummingbird when I stayed with Mary Jo a few years ago and she had hummingbirds sipping nectar from the flowers in her hanging baskets just a few feet away. Magic!
    Best of luck to all in North America with the wild fires. It’s a terrible scourge. And let’s hope the world manages to get CoVid under control soon.

    Reply
  52. Janert, commiserations on being housebound also. But how lovely to have such a range of wild creatures within sight. I have a special fondness for hummingbirds — I developed it first as a small child, I think from books. But I only saw my first real live hummingbird when I stayed with Mary Jo a few years ago and she had hummingbirds sipping nectar from the flowers in her hanging baskets just a few feet away. Magic!
    Best of luck to all in North America with the wild fires. It’s a terrible scourge. And let’s hope the world manages to get CoVid under control soon.

    Reply
  53. Janert, commiserations on being housebound also. But how lovely to have such a range of wild creatures within sight. I have a special fondness for hummingbirds — I developed it first as a small child, I think from books. But I only saw my first real live hummingbird when I stayed with Mary Jo a few years ago and she had hummingbirds sipping nectar from the flowers in her hanging baskets just a few feet away. Magic!
    Best of luck to all in North America with the wild fires. It’s a terrible scourge. And let’s hope the world manages to get CoVid under control soon.

    Reply
  54. Janert, commiserations on being housebound also. But how lovely to have such a range of wild creatures within sight. I have a special fondness for hummingbirds — I developed it first as a small child, I think from books. But I only saw my first real live hummingbird when I stayed with Mary Jo a few years ago and she had hummingbirds sipping nectar from the flowers in her hanging baskets just a few feet away. Magic!
    Best of luck to all in North America with the wild fires. It’s a terrible scourge. And let’s hope the world manages to get CoVid under control soon.

    Reply
  55. Janert, commiserations on being housebound also. But how lovely to have such a range of wild creatures within sight. I have a special fondness for hummingbirds — I developed it first as a small child, I think from books. But I only saw my first real live hummingbird when I stayed with Mary Jo a few years ago and she had hummingbirds sipping nectar from the flowers in her hanging baskets just a few feet away. Magic!
    Best of luck to all in North America with the wild fires. It’s a terrible scourge. And let’s hope the world manages to get CoVid under control soon.

    Reply
  56. Wood is the best for a fire, but it’s a lot of work, even if you buy your wood split which we don’t. We split our own and it’s time consuming and a lot of work, but so very worth it because the fire burns constantly. We bank it at night and I start it again in the morning. We’ll have one until we can’t split the wood anymore, I guess. We did make sure when we put the fireplace in that we have the gas conversion in place.
    We’re getting more storms tonight. Rain at an inch an hour…I never thought I’d say I’m tired of rain…

    Reply
  57. Wood is the best for a fire, but it’s a lot of work, even if you buy your wood split which we don’t. We split our own and it’s time consuming and a lot of work, but so very worth it because the fire burns constantly. We bank it at night and I start it again in the morning. We’ll have one until we can’t split the wood anymore, I guess. We did make sure when we put the fireplace in that we have the gas conversion in place.
    We’re getting more storms tonight. Rain at an inch an hour…I never thought I’d say I’m tired of rain…

    Reply
  58. Wood is the best for a fire, but it’s a lot of work, even if you buy your wood split which we don’t. We split our own and it’s time consuming and a lot of work, but so very worth it because the fire burns constantly. We bank it at night and I start it again in the morning. We’ll have one until we can’t split the wood anymore, I guess. We did make sure when we put the fireplace in that we have the gas conversion in place.
    We’re getting more storms tonight. Rain at an inch an hour…I never thought I’d say I’m tired of rain…

    Reply
  59. Wood is the best for a fire, but it’s a lot of work, even if you buy your wood split which we don’t. We split our own and it’s time consuming and a lot of work, but so very worth it because the fire burns constantly. We bank it at night and I start it again in the morning. We’ll have one until we can’t split the wood anymore, I guess. We did make sure when we put the fireplace in that we have the gas conversion in place.
    We’re getting more storms tonight. Rain at an inch an hour…I never thought I’d say I’m tired of rain…

    Reply
  60. Wood is the best for a fire, but it’s a lot of work, even if you buy your wood split which we don’t. We split our own and it’s time consuming and a lot of work, but so very worth it because the fire burns constantly. We bank it at night and I start it again in the morning. We’ll have one until we can’t split the wood anymore, I guess. We did make sure when we put the fireplace in that we have the gas conversion in place.
    We’re getting more storms tonight. Rain at an inch an hour…I never thought I’d say I’m tired of rain…

    Reply
  61. I’m so glad that they arrived safely and that you enjoyed them, Janet! I loved visiting Vancouver Island at this time of year a few years ago and your comments brought back happy memories. I hope you’ll soon be recovered.

    Reply
  62. I’m so glad that they arrived safely and that you enjoyed them, Janet! I loved visiting Vancouver Island at this time of year a few years ago and your comments brought back happy memories. I hope you’ll soon be recovered.

    Reply
  63. I’m so glad that they arrived safely and that you enjoyed them, Janet! I loved visiting Vancouver Island at this time of year a few years ago and your comments brought back happy memories. I hope you’ll soon be recovered.

    Reply
  64. I’m so glad that they arrived safely and that you enjoyed them, Janet! I loved visiting Vancouver Island at this time of year a few years ago and your comments brought back happy memories. I hope you’ll soon be recovered.

    Reply
  65. I’m so glad that they arrived safely and that you enjoyed them, Janet! I loved visiting Vancouver Island at this time of year a few years ago and your comments brought back happy memories. I hope you’ll soon be recovered.

    Reply
  66. A lot of my seasonal pleasures involve food and flowers! We are just coming into tomato season here, and New Jersey is famous for its tomatoes. I got quite a few blackberries from the bush in my yard. I didn’t plant it, the birds did, and if it gets too big and wild I may have to cut it down. I also picked some wild mushrooms last weekend, a hobby I learned from my father, but then continued learning on my own through a mycology club.
    Every year we look forward to the arrival of a pair of hummingbirds that hang around our backyard. Watching them never gets old. And just this past week the monarch butterflies have made an appearance.
    Flowers in winter are indeed wonderful. My favorite winter-blooming houseplant is amaryllis, such spectacular blooms.
    Although the flowers and garden bounty are wonderful, by August I’ve had enough of the heat and start looking forward to cooler autumn weather.

    Reply
  67. A lot of my seasonal pleasures involve food and flowers! We are just coming into tomato season here, and New Jersey is famous for its tomatoes. I got quite a few blackberries from the bush in my yard. I didn’t plant it, the birds did, and if it gets too big and wild I may have to cut it down. I also picked some wild mushrooms last weekend, a hobby I learned from my father, but then continued learning on my own through a mycology club.
    Every year we look forward to the arrival of a pair of hummingbirds that hang around our backyard. Watching them never gets old. And just this past week the monarch butterflies have made an appearance.
    Flowers in winter are indeed wonderful. My favorite winter-blooming houseplant is amaryllis, such spectacular blooms.
    Although the flowers and garden bounty are wonderful, by August I’ve had enough of the heat and start looking forward to cooler autumn weather.

    Reply
  68. A lot of my seasonal pleasures involve food and flowers! We are just coming into tomato season here, and New Jersey is famous for its tomatoes. I got quite a few blackberries from the bush in my yard. I didn’t plant it, the birds did, and if it gets too big and wild I may have to cut it down. I also picked some wild mushrooms last weekend, a hobby I learned from my father, but then continued learning on my own through a mycology club.
    Every year we look forward to the arrival of a pair of hummingbirds that hang around our backyard. Watching them never gets old. And just this past week the monarch butterflies have made an appearance.
    Flowers in winter are indeed wonderful. My favorite winter-blooming houseplant is amaryllis, such spectacular blooms.
    Although the flowers and garden bounty are wonderful, by August I’ve had enough of the heat and start looking forward to cooler autumn weather.

    Reply
  69. A lot of my seasonal pleasures involve food and flowers! We are just coming into tomato season here, and New Jersey is famous for its tomatoes. I got quite a few blackberries from the bush in my yard. I didn’t plant it, the birds did, and if it gets too big and wild I may have to cut it down. I also picked some wild mushrooms last weekend, a hobby I learned from my father, but then continued learning on my own through a mycology club.
    Every year we look forward to the arrival of a pair of hummingbirds that hang around our backyard. Watching them never gets old. And just this past week the monarch butterflies have made an appearance.
    Flowers in winter are indeed wonderful. My favorite winter-blooming houseplant is amaryllis, such spectacular blooms.
    Although the flowers and garden bounty are wonderful, by August I’ve had enough of the heat and start looking forward to cooler autumn weather.

    Reply
  70. A lot of my seasonal pleasures involve food and flowers! We are just coming into tomato season here, and New Jersey is famous for its tomatoes. I got quite a few blackberries from the bush in my yard. I didn’t plant it, the birds did, and if it gets too big and wild I may have to cut it down. I also picked some wild mushrooms last weekend, a hobby I learned from my father, but then continued learning on my own through a mycology club.
    Every year we look forward to the arrival of a pair of hummingbirds that hang around our backyard. Watching them never gets old. And just this past week the monarch butterflies have made an appearance.
    Flowers in winter are indeed wonderful. My favorite winter-blooming houseplant is amaryllis, such spectacular blooms.
    Although the flowers and garden bounty are wonderful, by August I’ve had enough of the heat and start looking forward to cooler autumn weather.

    Reply
  71. My grandchildren were visiting and I was out in the garden with my granddaughter, harvesting tomatoes and hunting elusive squash (they hide in my garden). Even though I relish the taste of fresh tomatoes, sharing that experience is something that I’ll savor even as I enjoy whatever bounty I manage to preserve for the winter days. Hot summer mornings, the smell of crushed basil and tomato leaves and my granddaughter’s face keeps summer always fresh in my mind.

    Reply
  72. My grandchildren were visiting and I was out in the garden with my granddaughter, harvesting tomatoes and hunting elusive squash (they hide in my garden). Even though I relish the taste of fresh tomatoes, sharing that experience is something that I’ll savor even as I enjoy whatever bounty I manage to preserve for the winter days. Hot summer mornings, the smell of crushed basil and tomato leaves and my granddaughter’s face keeps summer always fresh in my mind.

    Reply
  73. My grandchildren were visiting and I was out in the garden with my granddaughter, harvesting tomatoes and hunting elusive squash (they hide in my garden). Even though I relish the taste of fresh tomatoes, sharing that experience is something that I’ll savor even as I enjoy whatever bounty I manage to preserve for the winter days. Hot summer mornings, the smell of crushed basil and tomato leaves and my granddaughter’s face keeps summer always fresh in my mind.

    Reply
  74. My grandchildren were visiting and I was out in the garden with my granddaughter, harvesting tomatoes and hunting elusive squash (they hide in my garden). Even though I relish the taste of fresh tomatoes, sharing that experience is something that I’ll savor even as I enjoy whatever bounty I manage to preserve for the winter days. Hot summer mornings, the smell of crushed basil and tomato leaves and my granddaughter’s face keeps summer always fresh in my mind.

    Reply
  75. My grandchildren were visiting and I was out in the garden with my granddaughter, harvesting tomatoes and hunting elusive squash (they hide in my garden). Even though I relish the taste of fresh tomatoes, sharing that experience is something that I’ll savor even as I enjoy whatever bounty I manage to preserve for the winter days. Hot summer mornings, the smell of crushed basil and tomato leaves and my granddaughter’s face keeps summer always fresh in my mind.

    Reply
  76. I live in Texas. I do not have a garden – just some plants in pots on my patio. Actually, I have begonias that are over 10 years old. When we have cold weather, I simply move the plants in the garage. So, even my annuals stay with me. I have them so confused, they don’t know they are annuals.
    Thanks for this post. You have reminded me of the joys of living in a place that has a true change of seasons. It sounds so cozy.
    Hope everyone is well and safe and taking care.

    Reply
  77. I live in Texas. I do not have a garden – just some plants in pots on my patio. Actually, I have begonias that are over 10 years old. When we have cold weather, I simply move the plants in the garage. So, even my annuals stay with me. I have them so confused, they don’t know they are annuals.
    Thanks for this post. You have reminded me of the joys of living in a place that has a true change of seasons. It sounds so cozy.
    Hope everyone is well and safe and taking care.

    Reply
  78. I live in Texas. I do not have a garden – just some plants in pots on my patio. Actually, I have begonias that are over 10 years old. When we have cold weather, I simply move the plants in the garage. So, even my annuals stay with me. I have them so confused, they don’t know they are annuals.
    Thanks for this post. You have reminded me of the joys of living in a place that has a true change of seasons. It sounds so cozy.
    Hope everyone is well and safe and taking care.

    Reply
  79. I live in Texas. I do not have a garden – just some plants in pots on my patio. Actually, I have begonias that are over 10 years old. When we have cold weather, I simply move the plants in the garage. So, even my annuals stay with me. I have them so confused, they don’t know they are annuals.
    Thanks for this post. You have reminded me of the joys of living in a place that has a true change of seasons. It sounds so cozy.
    Hope everyone is well and safe and taking care.

    Reply
  80. I live in Texas. I do not have a garden – just some plants in pots on my patio. Actually, I have begonias that are over 10 years old. When we have cold weather, I simply move the plants in the garage. So, even my annuals stay with me. I have them so confused, they don’t know they are annuals.
    Thanks for this post. You have reminded me of the joys of living in a place that has a true change of seasons. It sounds so cozy.
    Hope everyone is well and safe and taking care.

    Reply
  81. I live in Ireland and for the last few years we haven’t had seasons as such. It’s Summer now. We’ve just had a mini heatwave and I found it hard to cope with. Heat and I do not do well together!! But back to normal now, it’s bucketing down tonight and yesterday was the same.
    Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours of the trees and grasses at this time. The mellow evenings are lovely and when I hear the cuckoo it reminds me of being young and playing outside with my brothers until nearly ten o clock at night. There’s a peace about this season for me that I can’t really express. Don’t have the right words.
    I have an open fire Anne that we light all winter long. It’s lovely to look at but I hate cleaning it out and the sitting room seems to be always under a fine layer of dust.
    Enjoyed the post.

    Reply
  82. I live in Ireland and for the last few years we haven’t had seasons as such. It’s Summer now. We’ve just had a mini heatwave and I found it hard to cope with. Heat and I do not do well together!! But back to normal now, it’s bucketing down tonight and yesterday was the same.
    Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours of the trees and grasses at this time. The mellow evenings are lovely and when I hear the cuckoo it reminds me of being young and playing outside with my brothers until nearly ten o clock at night. There’s a peace about this season for me that I can’t really express. Don’t have the right words.
    I have an open fire Anne that we light all winter long. It’s lovely to look at but I hate cleaning it out and the sitting room seems to be always under a fine layer of dust.
    Enjoyed the post.

    Reply
  83. I live in Ireland and for the last few years we haven’t had seasons as such. It’s Summer now. We’ve just had a mini heatwave and I found it hard to cope with. Heat and I do not do well together!! But back to normal now, it’s bucketing down tonight and yesterday was the same.
    Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours of the trees and grasses at this time. The mellow evenings are lovely and when I hear the cuckoo it reminds me of being young and playing outside with my brothers until nearly ten o clock at night. There’s a peace about this season for me that I can’t really express. Don’t have the right words.
    I have an open fire Anne that we light all winter long. It’s lovely to look at but I hate cleaning it out and the sitting room seems to be always under a fine layer of dust.
    Enjoyed the post.

    Reply
  84. I live in Ireland and for the last few years we haven’t had seasons as such. It’s Summer now. We’ve just had a mini heatwave and I found it hard to cope with. Heat and I do not do well together!! But back to normal now, it’s bucketing down tonight and yesterday was the same.
    Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours of the trees and grasses at this time. The mellow evenings are lovely and when I hear the cuckoo it reminds me of being young and playing outside with my brothers until nearly ten o clock at night. There’s a peace about this season for me that I can’t really express. Don’t have the right words.
    I have an open fire Anne that we light all winter long. It’s lovely to look at but I hate cleaning it out and the sitting room seems to be always under a fine layer of dust.
    Enjoyed the post.

    Reply
  85. I live in Ireland and for the last few years we haven’t had seasons as such. It’s Summer now. We’ve just had a mini heatwave and I found it hard to cope with. Heat and I do not do well together!! But back to normal now, it’s bucketing down tonight and yesterday was the same.
    Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours of the trees and grasses at this time. The mellow evenings are lovely and when I hear the cuckoo it reminds me of being young and playing outside with my brothers until nearly ten o clock at night. There’s a peace about this season for me that I can’t really express. Don’t have the right words.
    I have an open fire Anne that we light all winter long. It’s lovely to look at but I hate cleaning it out and the sitting room seems to be always under a fine layer of dust.
    Enjoyed the post.

    Reply
  86. Thanks Karin. I used to make tomato ketchup every year, as well as bottling pureed tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, but I’ve got out of the habit over the last few years. I’d love to do a foraging course, not only mushrooms, but all kinds of things. As for your hummingbirds, I am in envy. Birds are certainly a pleasure. For a few years I was regularly visited by a magpie couple, who would bring their gawky awkward scruffy-looking baby down to meet me (and be fed — I know what the real attraction was *g* ) My reward was to be carolled at —it’s a glorious sound, and if I hear it in the morning it feels like a good omen for the day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYEYc8Ge3nw
    I’ve never thought of having amaryllis as an indoor winter flower — lovely idea. But I’m definitely hooked on the cyclamens.

    Reply
  87. Thanks Karin. I used to make tomato ketchup every year, as well as bottling pureed tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, but I’ve got out of the habit over the last few years. I’d love to do a foraging course, not only mushrooms, but all kinds of things. As for your hummingbirds, I am in envy. Birds are certainly a pleasure. For a few years I was regularly visited by a magpie couple, who would bring their gawky awkward scruffy-looking baby down to meet me (and be fed — I know what the real attraction was *g* ) My reward was to be carolled at —it’s a glorious sound, and if I hear it in the morning it feels like a good omen for the day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYEYc8Ge3nw
    I’ve never thought of having amaryllis as an indoor winter flower — lovely idea. But I’m definitely hooked on the cyclamens.

    Reply
  88. Thanks Karin. I used to make tomato ketchup every year, as well as bottling pureed tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, but I’ve got out of the habit over the last few years. I’d love to do a foraging course, not only mushrooms, but all kinds of things. As for your hummingbirds, I am in envy. Birds are certainly a pleasure. For a few years I was regularly visited by a magpie couple, who would bring their gawky awkward scruffy-looking baby down to meet me (and be fed — I know what the real attraction was *g* ) My reward was to be carolled at —it’s a glorious sound, and if I hear it in the morning it feels like a good omen for the day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYEYc8Ge3nw
    I’ve never thought of having amaryllis as an indoor winter flower — lovely idea. But I’m definitely hooked on the cyclamens.

    Reply
  89. Thanks Karin. I used to make tomato ketchup every year, as well as bottling pureed tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, but I’ve got out of the habit over the last few years. I’d love to do a foraging course, not only mushrooms, but all kinds of things. As for your hummingbirds, I am in envy. Birds are certainly a pleasure. For a few years I was regularly visited by a magpie couple, who would bring their gawky awkward scruffy-looking baby down to meet me (and be fed — I know what the real attraction was *g* ) My reward was to be carolled at —it’s a glorious sound, and if I hear it in the morning it feels like a good omen for the day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYEYc8Ge3nw
    I’ve never thought of having amaryllis as an indoor winter flower — lovely idea. But I’m definitely hooked on the cyclamens.

    Reply
  90. Thanks Karin. I used to make tomato ketchup every year, as well as bottling pureed tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, but I’ve got out of the habit over the last few years. I’d love to do a foraging course, not only mushrooms, but all kinds of things. As for your hummingbirds, I am in envy. Birds are certainly a pleasure. For a few years I was regularly visited by a magpie couple, who would bring their gawky awkward scruffy-looking baby down to meet me (and be fed — I know what the real attraction was *g* ) My reward was to be carolled at —it’s a glorious sound, and if I hear it in the morning it feels like a good omen for the day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYEYc8Ge3nw
    I’ve never thought of having amaryllis as an indoor winter flower — lovely idea. But I’m definitely hooked on the cyclamens.

    Reply
  91. Rita some of my cherished memories are wandering the vegie garden, picking a peapod and eating the peas fresh, spotting the lurking zucchinis, and picking tomatoes still warm from the sun and slicing them up fresh on toast. Your grandchildren will have lovely memories of you and your garden, too.

    Reply
  92. Rita some of my cherished memories are wandering the vegie garden, picking a peapod and eating the peas fresh, spotting the lurking zucchinis, and picking tomatoes still warm from the sun and slicing them up fresh on toast. Your grandchildren will have lovely memories of you and your garden, too.

    Reply
  93. Rita some of my cherished memories are wandering the vegie garden, picking a peapod and eating the peas fresh, spotting the lurking zucchinis, and picking tomatoes still warm from the sun and slicing them up fresh on toast. Your grandchildren will have lovely memories of you and your garden, too.

    Reply
  94. Rita some of my cherished memories are wandering the vegie garden, picking a peapod and eating the peas fresh, spotting the lurking zucchinis, and picking tomatoes still warm from the sun and slicing them up fresh on toast. Your grandchildren will have lovely memories of you and your garden, too.

    Reply
  95. Rita some of my cherished memories are wandering the vegie garden, picking a peapod and eating the peas fresh, spotting the lurking zucchinis, and picking tomatoes still warm from the sun and slicing them up fresh on toast. Your grandchildren will have lovely memories of you and your garden, too.

    Reply
  96. Annette, I love begonias. They seem to have gone out of fashion at the moment, which I think is crazy. I have a couple of the tall ones that I’ve grown from cuttings, and when they come out in flower, it’s such a joy.
    I love confused plants, and why should they be annuals if you don’t want them to be? *g*

    Reply
  97. Annette, I love begonias. They seem to have gone out of fashion at the moment, which I think is crazy. I have a couple of the tall ones that I’ve grown from cuttings, and when they come out in flower, it’s such a joy.
    I love confused plants, and why should they be annuals if you don’t want them to be? *g*

    Reply
  98. Annette, I love begonias. They seem to have gone out of fashion at the moment, which I think is crazy. I have a couple of the tall ones that I’ve grown from cuttings, and when they come out in flower, it’s such a joy.
    I love confused plants, and why should they be annuals if you don’t want them to be? *g*

    Reply
  99. Annette, I love begonias. They seem to have gone out of fashion at the moment, which I think is crazy. I have a couple of the tall ones that I’ve grown from cuttings, and when they come out in flower, it’s such a joy.
    I love confused plants, and why should they be annuals if you don’t want them to be? *g*

    Reply
  100. Annette, I love begonias. They seem to have gone out of fashion at the moment, which I think is crazy. I have a couple of the tall ones that I’ve grown from cuttings, and when they come out in flower, it’s such a joy.
    I love confused plants, and why should they be annuals if you don’t want them to be? *g*

    Reply
  101. Teresa, the English wenches have found some of the hot weather they’ve had to be exhausting, too. I think part of the problem is that not only are people not used to heat, the buildings are often not designed for it.
    Autumn is my favourite season, too — and your description is lovely. I often think of the quote “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” though in my case the mists aren’t there. But there is a mellow benevolence to autumn, I think.
    I take your point about cleaning out the fire. It was my job when I was a kid — for most of my childhood we lived in houses with real fires. But I haven’t had one since I was living in a student share house. So my dithering continues. *g*

    Reply
  102. Teresa, the English wenches have found some of the hot weather they’ve had to be exhausting, too. I think part of the problem is that not only are people not used to heat, the buildings are often not designed for it.
    Autumn is my favourite season, too — and your description is lovely. I often think of the quote “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” though in my case the mists aren’t there. But there is a mellow benevolence to autumn, I think.
    I take your point about cleaning out the fire. It was my job when I was a kid — for most of my childhood we lived in houses with real fires. But I haven’t had one since I was living in a student share house. So my dithering continues. *g*

    Reply
  103. Teresa, the English wenches have found some of the hot weather they’ve had to be exhausting, too. I think part of the problem is that not only are people not used to heat, the buildings are often not designed for it.
    Autumn is my favourite season, too — and your description is lovely. I often think of the quote “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” though in my case the mists aren’t there. But there is a mellow benevolence to autumn, I think.
    I take your point about cleaning out the fire. It was my job when I was a kid — for most of my childhood we lived in houses with real fires. But I haven’t had one since I was living in a student share house. So my dithering continues. *g*

    Reply
  104. Teresa, the English wenches have found some of the hot weather they’ve had to be exhausting, too. I think part of the problem is that not only are people not used to heat, the buildings are often not designed for it.
    Autumn is my favourite season, too — and your description is lovely. I often think of the quote “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” though in my case the mists aren’t there. But there is a mellow benevolence to autumn, I think.
    I take your point about cleaning out the fire. It was my job when I was a kid — for most of my childhood we lived in houses with real fires. But I haven’t had one since I was living in a student share house. So my dithering continues. *g*

    Reply
  105. Teresa, the English wenches have found some of the hot weather they’ve had to be exhausting, too. I think part of the problem is that not only are people not used to heat, the buildings are often not designed for it.
    Autumn is my favourite season, too — and your description is lovely. I often think of the quote “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” though in my case the mists aren’t there. But there is a mellow benevolence to autumn, I think.
    I take your point about cleaning out the fire. It was my job when I was a kid — for most of my childhood we lived in houses with real fires. But I haven’t had one since I was living in a student share house. So my dithering continues. *g*

    Reply

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