The seasons have been strange and out of kilter this year. Summer days of warm sunshine came in April and May. By the end of July, summer seemed almost over. Now, as August limps out towards its last days, autumn is well and truly here. Trees are yellowing. Some of those most affected by the lack of early rain are dry, almost bare and may be dying. A huge old ash in our neighbour`s garden looks unlikely to survive.
Garden fruit is ripening early too. This week I have been picking pears before they drop. Today I harvested some apples from trees in the little wild orchard. I have cooked some and will give some away. The freezer is full.
These green dessert apples are crisp and juicy.
The first of the Bramley cookers.
I have been making jam in recent weeks. Small batches from fruit that needs using quickly. We have wholemeal toast and jam for breakfast, so this will be a good store for the months ahead.
Crab apples are falling fast, or being shaken from the tree by magpies and squirrels while rabbits and blackbirds feast on ripening fruit in the grass. There are plenty left on the tree, so I may try making crab apple and elderberry jelly this year.
Elderberry clusters are hanging heavy with their dark, jet-jewelled fruit.
There are still enough salad leaves for a fresh supply.
...and broad beans are growing well..........
....but this is the only poor, sad little courgette of the summer!