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Sunday
Nov122017

The winter list.

Does anyone else do winter lists? Is this a thing? Anyway a winter list is a compilation of things I want to/need to do during the dark season, like renovation/house projects but also fun activities like ice skating or finally taking another pottery course. It´s actually part of a survival strategy for winter that is supposed to keep me from plopping myself onto the sofa after work and slowly but surely sinking into a seasonal depression. Anway on this year´s winter list is getting myself a flower subscription to make those dreary months a little more cheerful. My first bouqet arrived on Friday and it makes me so happy whenever I look at it. If all bouquets are this dreamy this is well invested money indeed. (My subscription is from here. No, this is not a sponsored post). 

We are pretty much done with the garden work. Today we lifted the dahlias and I need to do another round of cutting down the perennials in the walled garden next weekend. Oh and plant the bag of bulbs I bought a few weeks ago. And then, done. It feels pretty good I have to say. I love gardening but I need a break. 

In case you wondered how my new chooks Frida and Marie were doing, they are just fine! They are growing so much and I expect a first egg from Marie any day now. However it´s the first time I got baby chooks so late in the year, so I actually have no idea when they will start laying. I just know that right now we´re getting one egg a day from this lazy bunch and frankly that´s a bit underwhelming. 

This weeks bread: Pumpin (above) and beet sourdough - both from this brilliant book. We´re a bit addicted to the pumpkin bread around here which is kind of a good thing because I still have so many pumpkins in my barn waiting to be used up! There shall be lots more pumpkin bread in our near future.
Have a happy week!

Sunday
Nov052017

Soak up the sun. 

Last year we started going on autumn breaks (and I hope we can make this a tradition). We have friends who come and hold down the fort while we are away (thank you!!); they take care of Ludwig too so that means we can actually hop on a plane and go somewhere a little farther away than we would with dog-in-tow. Last year we went to Portugal and this year...to Sicily! 

Our resort was built around a grove of citrus fruit, so beautiful! They had so many olive trees too; you could actually help with the harvest which will be underway for a few more weeks by the looks of it.

And there was a small but beautiful beach in a private bay. Fun story: I didn´t swim in the sea during our week there because I was concerned that it was too cold. I did swim in the pool daily though which I somehow thought would be warmer? Anyway on our last day they had a thermometer dangling in the pool which read 14 degrees Celsius. Ha! I guess the sea would have been the better choice. I did think that pool water was seriously freezing! 

As we had been to Sicily together before (15 years ago! We´re old!) and did most of the touristy thing back then this holiday was really all about rest and relaxation. On one overcast afternoon we took a little roadtrip to the Madonie national park and the higher mountain area was stunning with the changing leaves! So different than the usual landscape in Sicily. That´s actually an iphone pic because I sadly didn´t have my real camera with me (WHY.). 

We also strolled through nearby Cefalù one afternoon which turned out to be quite a lovely little town. 

One evening shortly before sunset we drove to a nearby beach and the clouds were insanely beautiful. Such good light. So I thrust my camera in my husband´s hand and told him to take snap a few pics so that there will be photographic evidence in our yearbook that I was on this holiday too. :) Yay for autumn breaks!

Wednesday
Oct182017

Golden October. 

We´re having a weird warm spell over here right now and I´ve packed my scarves and woolen hats away for the moment. Not complaining! I think the garden is a bit confused though. Anyway the asters are still pretty enough!

Love this color, just not on Ludwig maybe. 

I´ve put most of the veggie garden to sleep and harvested all my pumpkins. I grew four different varieties this year, the violinas (large) and delicatas (stripey) for the first time. Also I got about a dozen corn cobs in the end. Now what do I do with them? Serious question. Corn on the cob isn´t something you usually get to buy in Germany.

Chard still going strong (unsurprisingly). The cavolo nero is another thing I´ve grown for the first time this year, and honestly I´m not sure whether I like it that much... but maybe I just have to find the right recipe. Otherwise we still have celeriac, Brussels sprouts, carrots and beets to harvest! The garden keeps on giving. 

I wanted to put the dahlias to sleep before we go on holiday next week, but I´m not sure I can possibly do that. They are so pretty right now! I just hope we won´t have a killing frost while we are away.

More autumn flowers.

The time of year when I rake in the evening and it looks the same again in the morning. Sigh.

Lu blending right in with the autumn colors. 

I got two new chickens! Meet Frida (the black one, obviously) and Marie. Frida is beautiful but still a baby! So tiny! Anyway thankfully they are settling in quite nicely. Ah, chickens. One day soon I will write a blog post about raising chickens. (Spoiler: It´s not easy.)

Bonus picture! It´s quince time! I made quince sauce yesterday (just like you would make apple sauce, I use 4 parts quince and 1 part sugar) and it´s so delicious, I can´t stop eating it! A golden October indeed.

Sunday
Sep242017

Choosing to see beauty.

Hello. I am still here. Here´s the thing, I have a hard time taking out my big camera these days. I feel like my pictures are terribly repetitive and that there isn´t much to show and tell you right now. The garden is a bit of a mess (as it should be at this time of the year, but still...) and whenever it occured to me to take pictures for the blog I thought "nah, I need to fix this first". But let´s be honest, it won´t get any prettier from here on. And then again, isn´t photography all about choosing to see beauty? This is what I thought when I took these pictures today in the evening. Maybe there are a thousand not-so-nice-things out of the frame, but here you are, focusing on the good part. (It´s also maybe a good way to go through life in times like these.) 

It´s the time of year when I am suddently desperately in love with the walled garden again, because asters. It´s a love-hate-relationship for sure. They annoy the heck out of me all year long and then in September I´m all like ooooh, how pretty. Maybe I should just accept that this part of the garden is very pretty in spring and then in autumn again and not-so-great in between? 

Chickens. Not in their run. They have for some reason become master escapers. It´s not like they don´t have a massive run. But the grass is always greener on the other side, yes? I´d planned to let them free range in the garden over the winter anyway so I´m not terribly motivated to do something about the escaping. Chickens. Hysterical creatures. What can I say except that I love them so.

These hydrangeas along the wall are just perfect this year.

Quinces! Not as may as last year, but enough. Soon.

I still haven´t killed the zinnias, my cosmos decided to bloom after all, and please come and help me eat all this chard and kale and cabbage.

I like to think these dahlias were one of my better ideas.

That´s all for today. Talk soon. 

Tuesday
Aug292017

A garden throughout the season.

This summer has not been what I expected in a few ways. I am trying to be okay with that. The concept of summer is probably a bit like the concept of birthdays, one does look forward to them but in the end they often disappoint. Anyway. I took pictures of my late summer garden and I am going to post them here even if they are probably mighty repetitive by now. However I somehow like that my garden is being documented here throughout the season. 

I still like this pot of pelargoniums. And Lulu I like too.

There´s this late summer light again that I love so much.

This is the year of almost zero apples and almost zero plums. My little boscop tree however is a fine exception.

The roses are back! I got two additional ones along the fence this year. 

I don´t know how many people have asked me what plant this is. It´s called Succisella inflexa 'Frosted Pearls' and it´s absolutely my new favorite. So happy and weird at the same time. 

Yesterday I looked at the dahlias and thought "I really should take a few pictures, they are so nice" and that´s how this blog post came to pass.

Quite pretty if I may say so myself. Next year I´ll even plant more and I think I´ll skip the very big and heavy ones - they sure are pretty but aren´t conducive to what I am trying to achieve here.

The very first ripe pumpkin. Soup tomorrow.

Never enough sunflowers.

No I couldn´t bring myself to kill the zinnias. They are still doing so well. We´re going to have to buy brussels sprouts in the super market this winter. Not a terrible trade-off if I can look at this beauty a little while longer.