Tuesday View (4th November)

The sun was out before me this morning! We have had a little early fog the last few days, but November has started off more like October – golden and glorious.

Here’s the golden view for today…

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And from a slightly different angle, standing at the bottom of the rockery and looking up towards the woods…

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It is still incredibly green for this time of year and our moss is flourishing. It feels so soft when we walk over it too.

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My kitchen is on the north side of the house  – normally fairly dark with the woods there, but as the leaves fall and turn golden the light indoors is quite lovely.

Do you notice different light indoors too in the autumn?

In a Vase on Monday: Candy Pink and Caramel Brown

It’s Monday again – and time to join Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to fill a vase with materials from our own gardens. But first of all let me wish you all a happy and pleasant November!

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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that my  giant Miscanthus hadn’t flowered this year. Then I saw the first pinky strands showing and now it has finally produced a grand total of three (yes, THREE!) flowers! They remind me a little of fireworks, which is appropriate with Bonfire Night approaching in the UK.

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After cutting back our singed fern on midsummer’s day, it grew back nicely so that I can now enjoy its autumn caramel tones. That’s a first for me. :)

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I added a single rose bud to the vase (from that rose again) and some of the perennial basil flowers, one of which (on the left) seems to have given up. I should have removed that piece, but somehow it adds character to the vase, don’t you think?

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One piece of zebra grass (I’ve had it for several years but it hasn’t grown much for me) and a few other grasses filled the vase out a bit. There’s also a Heuchera flower in there, and a pale pink Linaria – the last I think.

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To be honest, I am absolutely amazed at how much there is in the garden still – in November!

It has been very mild and sunny over the last few days, allowing me to take some of the photos outdoors, so I can only hope the rest of the month will follow suit.

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Do go and visit Cathy’s site and see what everyone has created.

And have a good week!

Focaccia with Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

I have a rather old rosemary plant with no space to repot and overwinter it. Last year I risked leaving it outdoors and took cuttings. It survived the mild winter, but has lost a lot of needles this summer and has barely put on new growth. So I have been harvesting a lot, and a new smaller plant is on my list for spring. So, what can I do with all my rosemary?

My trusty calendar for October had the answer:

Calendar

:)

Rosemary Focaccia

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  • 5oog (1 lb) strong white flour
  • 10g (1 tbsp) dried instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 325ml (1 1/3 cups) warm water

Mix all the ingredients well and knead for 5 – 10 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Place in a clean bowl and brush with oil. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour or two.

Divide into two, or if you like you could make up to 6 mini foccaccia. Flatten slightly and place on a lightly floured baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further twenty minutes. Preheat your oven to 250°C/475°F.

Topping:

  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and mixed into 5 tbsps olive oil
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) feta cheese, crumbled into large chunks
  • about 10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary

After the dough has rested a second time, use your knuckles to make little dimples in the top. Place the feta and tomatoes in and around these dimples and then brush the garlic oil all over – nice and generously! Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and the rosemary sprigs, which you can break up a little.

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Bake for 20-30 minutes until firm in the centre and golden and crispy on the outside.

Enjoy while still warm!

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(Tip: leftovers can be warmed in the microwave the next day and taste just as good!)

Have you ever made Focaccia?

Tuesday View (28th October)

I was actually quite surprised when I compared today’s view with last week’s – not as much change as I thought after all the wind and rain we had. We can see up into the woods now though (behind the acer).

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The acer still has so many leaves so I thought I’d take a few pictures of the last of the autumn colour before it all fades…

Binocular man on the right is being swaped by the Cotoneaster, which will have a drastic haircut once the berries have gone!)

Binocular man on the right is being swamped by the Cotoneaster, which will have a drastic haircut once the berries have gone!

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Focussing on the positive: these bright and warm colours are a tonic on cloudy days

Even with no sunshine the acer glows

Even with no sunshine the acer glows

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And the miniature cherry has managed to retain most of its leaves this autumn too, showing some nice colour

Prunus incisa 'Kojo-no-mai' with some Physalis to the left

Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ with some Physalis to the left and one of my favourite (no-name) Heucheras on the right

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We only had a few very brief rays of sunshine today, but to the north – as is so often the case – the sky was pale blue

Persicaria and Golden Euonymus in the rockery

Persicaria and Golden Euonymus in the rockery

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Enjoy the last few days of October!

Was it a golden month for you?

In a Vase on Monday: Saving and Savouring October

This morning the reality of the coming dark and foggy months meant I nearly didn’t go out and pick any flowers for a Monday vase. A cold and wet weekend has certainly put an end to any October glory… But Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday meme once again provided me with the motivation to try and find materials from my garden to bring indoors. Thanks Cathy!

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So glad I made the effort after all!

Physalis alkekengi is collapsing now but the seedheads will light up the south-west rockery for a few weeks to come.

Then there was Golden Euonymus fortunei, Heuchera, Lavender, Sedum, Hypericum…

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… Crocosmia leaves, Miscanthus, Verbena bonariensis, Persicaria, Teucrium hircanicum…

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… Centranthus ruber, and Dichromena latifolia (White Top Star Sedge).

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As you can see, getting a decent photo in poor light will be just as challenging as finding the plant material over the next few months!

Take a look at Cathy’s post at Rambling in the Garden, where she shares her vase for this week and links to many other lovely Monday vases.

Tuesday View (21st October)

An early morning photo today, with the mist in the background and pale filtered sunlight just breaking through low cloud…

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THE rose is still flowering, and the garden still looks very colourful.

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I thought I had better take my picture early as the storm that passed over the UK a couple of days ago was on the way to us. It took all day to get here though and as I write now the wind is howling and it is pouring with rain, thundering and lightning too… I’m glad I managed to tidy away a few more pots and cut down some soggy foliage earlier.

I’m also glad I got a few photos of the silvery dwarf Miscanthus in the sunshine…

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The pink asters have gone over now, but this snail doesn’t seem to mind

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I  noticed that the sedum also has a new admirer – the Cymbalaria , which has spread like mad this year, has fallen in love!

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A final picture today of one of my tomato plants. Yes! In mid-September I distributed some of my compost over part of the rockery and two self-seeded tomato plants appeared shortly after. They look so incredibly healthy. I don’t think I’ll see any tomatoes though!

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Have a good week – with calm weather!

In a Vase on Monday: a Tropical Touch

With a storm front on the way I decided to cut back my cigar plant drastically and bring some flowers indoors. The plant may survive a bit longer outdoors, but is far too big to be overwintered.

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This spring was the first time I bought a cigar plant, or Cuphea ignea, and I rather liked it simply for the incredible growth it put on; as a container plant in the full sun it did extremely well, barely wilting even on the hottest day, and producing red, cigar shaped flowers non-stop from July onwards. I can’t quite decide if I will grow one again though, as it is not really my “thing”!

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The dark green shiny leaves are also attractive, and are definitely worthy of a mention. Practically all other foliage in the garden has turned yellow or dropped already.

What was the most successful container plant you grew this summer, and is it still hanging on?

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme “In a Vase on Monday”. It is just beginning to get really challenging to find materials for a weekly vase now, as the number of flowers out there is dwindling!  Take a look at Cathy’s lovely autumny post this week as well as the other vases linked in the comments, and see how gardeners from around the world are filling vases as the seasons change.

:)