Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Harvest flowers

I've been picking flowers to arrange in the house. I love fresh flowers, especially when I've grown them myself. There were enough dahlias for our church decorating but they are now growing on very short stems. This is the first year I've grown Californian poppies and they seem to have been productive all summer and last surprisingly well once picked.

Monday, 30 October 2017


The forecast frost arrived and I hope some of my flowers manage to survive, I have to admit though that a white and chilly world looks very beautiful.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Pretty sky

This is the view of the sky tonight photographed from the window of our big guest bathroom. I can spend ages just watching as the light changes. Next week this will be happening an hour earlier once the clocks have gone back.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Butterflies - still

I'd really planned to tidy up my borders a little ready for winter but I'm surprised to see that the bees are still out en masse on my knautia (a type of yellow scabious), borage and verbena, so I can't possibly do any cutting down (I even feel mean taking a few blooms inside for my flower arrangements).  I'm amazed to count at least three different types of butterfly enjoying the warmth of today's sunshine like the red admiral in my photo basking on the warm stone post.

Harvest pumpkins

I'm delighted that my pumpkins have survived until our church harvest lunch this Sunday. There is the possibility of a frost and so while it's still sunny I've picked them and they are having a brief moment of ripening in the late October sunshine (the larger orange ones are 'kuri').

Thursday, 26 October 2017


Puss has been a stranger to us this year, coming and prowling the fields but keeping even more distance between her and us than usual (she is a wild/feral cat born here on the farm before we arrived and never became tame). Today I walked down the garden and found her sunbathing in a sheltered spot in the cart shed.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Good morning

This morning as I went to collect the last few raspberries for breakfast I heard the robin singing his heart out high in our hawthorn hedge.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Already here

As I was washing up there was a huge flurry of bird activity and a flock of Fieldfares landed in the holly, I can't believe they've come so early. Last year I had to pick branches of holly and put them in water in the barn so that I could have the berried version for my Christmas decorating, the previous year in a 48 hour period they stripped every berry off every bush. I hadn't thought I'd need to watch out for them in October - I'm very happy to share the harvest, but they sadly are not.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The moon - just!

Just a small sliver of moon here at Hill Farm tonight. The nights are already drawing in and we've still to turn back the clocks.

Dark skies

The stormy weather has produced some amazing skies here, as they say 'every cloud has a silver lining' ...

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Middleport Pottery

For Dave's birthday we went to Stoke and visited the Middleport Pottery. It was a good plan for a day that threatened to be unpredictable as regards the weather. We booked a tour and this is something I'd definitely recommend, just leave plenty of time to see everything that's there.

Monday, 16 October 2017

More sheep

We've a new set of neighbours and I guess it would be rather mean spirited of me to comment that they look rather on the tatty side. Hopefully the nice grass will improve their appearance!

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Happy men

We went to The Horseshoes tonight to celebrate Dave's birthday - a little early but the only day Tom was around (that's the problem with his jet set life working in the travel industry!) It was fun to be out as a family, it must be the first time in ages and they were lucky enough to have me as chauffeur!!

Friday, 13 October 2017

A good hare day

Today I went on a course to make a little felted hare. He looks rather on the skinny side but it was a case of getting him done in the 3 hours then rushing home to welcome a last minute booking. There were four of us taking part at Sticky Fingers in the recently opened Sudbury Courtyard.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Blustery weather

A blustery day saw me walking up to the top of the farm, it threatened a downpour but I captured this wide, wide view of our landscape.


I am anxiously keeping my eyes on the pumpkins and dahlias hoping they will last until the end of this month when they are needed to decorate St Peter's and St Blaise for our harvest lunch.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Autumn in the garden

Our scarecrow is looking slightly worse for wear after a summer spent outside, but now he is surrounded by berries which are ripening on both the holly and the hawthorn.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Men on a mission

Dave and our neighbour set off to investigate the large number of mole hills which are appearing in our top field.

Sunday, 8 October 2017


Our neighbour is busy ploughing and late into the evening I can hear the tractor making its way up and down the fields.

Mr Squirrel

With his back turned it took me a moment to realise that I was looking at a squirrel. They are actually quite a rare sight here at the farm. When he turned I could see he was eating damsons!

Saturday, 7 October 2017

The third cut

Amazingly this is the third cut of grass this year (the most we've ever had and testimony to a rather cool damp summer). A mad rush of action saw it all cut and cleared in just a couple of (noisy) days!

Friday, 6 October 2017

Morning light

When I went outside (raspberry hunting) this morning the oak trees were highlighted against a deep grey sky. I love this timeless view.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Foxes beware

Today is definitely autumnal and across the field the hunt spend a lot of time looking for a scent. The hounds meanwhile just seem to be enjoying a run out in the fresh air.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

The end of summer

Getting breakfasts ready for our guests today I had to hunt around for the raspberries and our seemingly endless supply of alpine strawberries are also starting to dwindle. I guess I really need to embrace autumn but our huge yellow pumkins aren't very helpful breakfast fare!