Fall is around the corner, we already had some cold days and lit the wood stove twice this week, but today is a sunny warm day again, ideal to work in the garden. Our tomato plants are still covered in unripe ones. They don’t taste anything like the sweet juicy red ones, rather acidic and won’t reach full growth or optimum ripeness with the fall temperatures. So instead of admitting defeat, I decided to enjoy them as a tasty green treat: a homemade green tomato chutney. My husband and I are already looking forward to this tasty side dish with its deliciously, sharp, puckering and astringent flavour.
For my daughter’s wedding (table) decorations, even her bride’s bouquet, we used Serpevivum, a lovely plant already growing in one of the stone plant pots in our garden when we bought our house here in the South of France. It soon became my favourite next to Santolina. It is a plant that really lives forever in any condition (except wet soil and waterlogged roots), thriving on rocky, sandy soil with low fertility, its ideal growing conditions, and one that keeps on producing offsets.
We have had chicken ever since we moved to the South of France, mostly for the eggs. I do always like a handsome rooster in the coop too, just for the pretty sight of it. Our Orpington rooster alas, we found one afternoon dead in the coop, so all we had left was our flock of pretty Orpington chicken. Although we read that this breed has good mothering instincts and certain breeds (Orpington!) are more likely to turn broody in the summer months (although it can happen at any time of the year), we were in for the eggs….
Every year I’m eagerly looking forward to the first burst of spring color, brightening up those showery spring days and bringing the sunshine into my life with a gorgeous collection of daily surprises. Dense carpets of wild flowers appear as spring takes hold of my garden, they brighten up the late-winter gloom.
It’s been a while, but as tons of family paid us a visit, there wasn’t much time to write. So here’s a quick hello from me, now that spring has sprung upon us in full force. I just had to share these dazzling spring flowers and creepy crawlies we’ve encountered whilst crossing the rejuvenation of nature on our path this last month.
Last Saturday was our big day: we could fetch my early birthday present from my kids: our Orpington chicken! We got 7 large, fluffy hens and a magnificent rooster we called Lancelot, they are top-notch reliable chicken. Of course we want to keep them for eggs, but they are known as wonderful pets too (and many see them as excellent meat providers or fair table fowl). Yep, fallen in love!
We’re still chopping up wood for our wood stove. In France they say “having a wood stove warms you up three times”: chopping the trees, sawing the trunks/splitting them and the heat of the fire of your wood stove, real thermal comfort.
Vibrant orange colours pop up near Halloween and so do these charming, tasty, ever so popular here in France as top selling fall crop, miniature pumpkins. With its vigorous vines they are an arts-and-crafter’s dream, just visualise them as the cutest but smallest Jack O’Lanterns.
Fall is prime apple season. The wonderfully warm, crisp scent of harvest apples, their heavenly aroma, makes delicious, healthy and mouthwatering desserts come to mind. Apples loaded with fibre, help preventing type 2 diabetes and protect against Parkinson’s, on top of that they maximise your antioxidant intake.