“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Yes, I like Octobers. Not just because it’s the month of my birthday, but because it’s the birthday of several Libran friends too, so there are regular drinks and meals out. October, to me, is the real start of autumn, but it’s not a time to put your feet up. With colder weather there’s no need to water the garden, but there’s plenty of tidying to do and leaves to collect and play with. I love pressing the leaves to use in craft and picture projects over the winter.
Well, according to my Almanac the 1st October was the start of English pudding season. So along with Apple day on the 21st, I think this is a sign that we need to be making a few apple based puddings now. We have a couple of small apple trees in the Bloomers garden. I’ve also been given fallen apples to use in chutneys. Apparently it’s been a good year for apples, so maybe we could make some apple juice too?
Talking of drinks, I’ve been looking at the use of our herbs in drinks. Apparently rosemary makes a good drink garnish. Or you can infuse it in a bottle of gin or vodka. I’m trying this now, in preparation for Xmas. I’ve also been told that marigold flowers infused in gin vodka or tequila give a peppery taste as well as a lovely golden colour. I’m going to try this with our lemon balm too. Have you ever tried a basil smash? To make this cocktail, you muddle the basil in a shaker with gin and ice. Then strain it into an ice filled glass. Surprise your guests with this very green drink. Perhaps for Halloween?
Although Old Town Bloom is known for its garden, it is more than just a collection of plants. It is somewhere for kids to play, people to sit and relax or picnic, or to walk round and see what they can find. The garden contains lots of activities. For example our lovely book tree and the reading circle. The reading circle is one of my favourite places. Partly because it is somewhere to sit and partly because it is a magical place for kids to be read to. The varieties of fungi that appear round the circle also add to its magical qualities.
We have the mud kitchen for ‘pretend’ play. Our tyres and Buggingham Palace, which have contained dinosaur world. Although the dinosaurs tend to escape all around the garden. Recently I caught them using a slide to escape from the top of Buggingham Palace. Our information sheets are dotted round, helping you spot the creatures visiting the garden. We also have car tracks that ran down the slope at the side of the garden. And of course there is our noughts and crosses board for all ages.
It's still worthwhile having a wander round the garden to look at the plants that are still in flower. The fuchsias, rockery plants, cyclamen and salvia are still in bloom round the garden. Even the ivy is in flower. All these are helping the last of the bees that are still around before the weather gets too cold for them.
Perhaps come and have a look on Fri 28th. Bloomers have an event in the garden then. So look out for details of this and come along to see what we are up to. I’ll be going along on my broomstick as it’ll nearly be Halloween..
The Blooming Old Gardener