Winter flowers. 

The garden is so bare and brownish right now, but amazingly there are still a few blooms that are hanging on for dear life. Somehow a single flower in an otherwise bare winter garden is such a beautiful thing, so I decided to take some picture today in the afternoon when suddenly the sun came out and the light was beautiful. Above are hollyhocks that decided to flower a second time. In November. Yup. 

This is Alcea "Parkrondell". I had a few of these in my garden but they´ve mostly disappeared by now. Such beautiful plants, I need to get a few more in spring. 

A rose bud at the end of November just is something special. 

Not technically flowers, but I love the foliage of my rambler rose, especially in combination with my newly (ish) painted gate. 

These are asters that have gone to seed. They look like snowflakes, yes? Winter flowers in the truest sense. 

Bonus picture(s) of my chooks (and Ludwig, can you spot him?). I find chickens are incredibly photogenic creatures. 
Also, this has nothing to do with anything, but I´m listening to Joni Mitchell´s "Both Sides Now" on repeat - it´s such a perfect November album. Enjoy what´s left of the this dark month!


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!


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 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!


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.


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.