Tuesday View (October 29th)

Where have all the leaves gone?!


Well, a lot have already been raked up, a load that was dumped in our front drive by the wind on Sunday has also been tidied away, and the green sack in the lower right-hand corner of the photo contains another load! (The compost heap is looking very autumnal!)


The ground on this side of the rockery now has a thick winter blanket to protect it over the winter, and I didn’t have to lift a finger! When the last leaves come down they will be spread over the top of the rockery.

Do you cover plants with mulch/leaves etc for the winter?

I Spy, … again!

A couple of weeks ago I posted a photo with a butterfly hiding in it. I really hadn’t seen it when pressing the shutter. Today another one for you…. Can you see who crept into the picture without me noticing?

(You can click on the picture to enlarge it!)


Glad to note she’s a native! 😉

Have a lovely Sunday!

Update: a couple of interesting links on ladybirds and their invasive Asian counterpart the lady beetle.

Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22554162

Pictures for comparison: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Asian_Lady_Beetle_vs_Ladybug

Beyond the Garden Gate

Now that the large maple at the bottom of the garden has shed its leaves, the panorama of the wooded hillside beyond enticed me to go out with my camera…


A lovely blue sky!


The autumn colours are perhaps more subtle than in some areas, but for us the patchwork effect across our mixed woodlands is breathtaking…


The Euonymus bushes all along by the canal are a lovely mix of pink and orange now.


And that sky just got better and better!


Let’s hope we have a sunny winter this year!

Tuesday at Two (October 22nd)

Lots of rain and even a couple of thunderstorms have caused the leaves to start falling rapidly. We can notice a difference almost daily now.


The Acer, which we think we have now identified as Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Seiryu’, is dropping its leaves too, but beneath it my statue is now visible once more!


And the asters are also past their best, although that hasn’t stopped the odd bee drop by.


Are you still seeing bees in your garden?

Carrot Cake

Another excuse for cake came up last week. And since it was my choice (yes, it was my birthday!) I decided to make a cake with a real treat on top (and inside too).

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!


It’s a favourite of mine without any decoration, but the frosting makes it special. I added some pretty crystalised sugar too. 😉 Here’s a closer look!



For the cake:

  • two 20cm (8 inch) cake tins, greased and floured
  • 235g (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 235g (1 cup) brown sugar/granulated sugar mix
  • 235g (a scant 2 cups) self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 25 – 30ml (2 tbsps) orange juice
  • 25ml milk (about 2 tbsps) (may not be necessary)
  • zest and juice of 1 organic lemon

Cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then orange and lemon juice and zest. Fold in sifted flour and salt very gently. Fold in grated carrots. Add extra milk if batter is thick – it should drop off the spoon. Divide between two sandwich tins and bake for at least 40 minutes, or until golden and firm in the middle.

For the frosting :

  • 150g (3/5 cup) cream cheese
  • 50g (about 1/2 stick)butter
  • 200g (1 3/5 cups) icing sugar
  • Squirt of lemon juice (optional)

Beat the frosting ingredients until smooth. Use as filling and topping once the cake has cooled completely. (Decorate with sparkly sugar for a special occasion!)

Here’s a slice just for you!


What’s your favourite cake? And do you like frosting?

Tuesday at Two (October 15th)

Where did last week go?

The same way as the leaves on the Maple at the bottom of the garden I suspect. With a gust of wind and heavy rainshower a few days ago the tree was suddenly half naked. But the positive side is that it opens up the view beyond the garden, and the leaves on the ground seem to reflect light on a grey day like today.


Here’s an extra picture taken in the sun just two days ago.


Do you feel autumn is rushing along too fast?