Elsewhere.
Search.
Lives.

Reads.

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. 

Thursday
Aug102017

Late summer. 

What a wet and cold summer this has been around here, and now when I wake up early and open the windows, there´s definitely an autumnal chill in the air. Sigh. I am not ready. However in the garden, there´s still lots of goodness to enjoy, and I plan on doing so as much as I possibly can!

Those were the last snapdragons, but not the last blackberries (so many blackberries this year... I love it). And yes I still have strawberries thanks to a variety that produces all year (I think it´s called Ostara).

So many tomatoes, and I love that I have so many varieties this year. I mentioned in my last post that the plants did catch the blight, but I´ve removed all the affected leaves immediately which seems to have done the trick (the disease starts on the leaves and then moves on to the fruit). They are ripening beautifully and I think it will be one of the best tomato years yet! Yay for tomato houses!

I´m not terribly happy with the walled garden this year. It´s a little tired I think 5 years after the initial planting. The asters (and the bishopsweed ugh) have taken over most of the beds and I don´t love the color scheme any more. I´ve talked to my husband that I want to do a major "regrouping" this autumn and we are determined to make it happen. I know this means we have to live with a not-mature garden for a few years once again, but I don´t really mind. What´s a little tired too are the gates in here, so I´ve prepped everything for a new coat (it looks very classy now, I know). If you look very closely you can see a sneak peek at the new color I´ve chosen. Excited to see how it will turn out!

The lavender finally did get its haircut and looks a little shabby now, but it will grow back in autumn and look beautiful again in spring.

These hydrangeas are very beautiful this year. Hydrangeas like a lot of water so it´s not surprising that they´re thriving! This is the variety "Unique", planted 4 years ago and fully grown in now.

A few years back we planted a hedge of Rudbeckia nitida along the fence to our neighbors and they apparently love it there (the plants, not the neighbors... although the neighbors love the plants too). These are over two meters high! They are my husband´s favorite perennials, to be honest I don´t care for them all that much, but a girl´s got to make compromises and I have to admit that they are a joy to look at right now (that cutting back business though... it takes days).

More hydrangeas just on the opposite side of our garden, along the fence to our other neigbor. These are "Limelight", planted almost two years ago now, and growing in nicely.

I´ve always loved that "green door" to our veggie garden but I think I´ve never taken a picture of it?

These sunflowers were only supposed to grow one meter tall or so, but they seem to have not gotten that memo. Anyway I think they look like dancers on ther tippy toes, yes?

I´ve deliberately planted my chard in the shadow of the green beans so that it only would thrive once the beans are gone. This was very smart I must say. Overall I´ve gotten so much better at only planting what we can eat. I haven´t felt overwhelmed by the harvest even once this year. It´s a nice and steady supply of veggies, but nothing we can´t deal with.

I think I´ll have to take the zinnias out this weekend (because I need the brussel sprout plants behind them to receive more light!) so one last picture of the color explosion.

I love this border. What can I say.

Bonus picture! Something red in my garden, can you believe it? (If you are a long time reader you´ll know that I don´t really have red or orange flowers in my garden except one dark red rambler rose. I just really dislike the color red.) These were left over from a project outside my garden and for some reason, I do love them.

Have a very happy weekend!