Sunday 18 October 2015


We are enjoying some late bloomers in our garden.  This hydrangea was very uninspiring earlier in the spring and summer, but now it is stunning, with huge blooms in pretty shades of pink and cream.

A Virginia Creeper is making its way up the chimney and the leaves are changing colour.

One or two flowers are still blooming happily in the garden, though with frost in the forecast, their days are likely numbered.

Cosmos Purity is a firm favourite, which I originally grew from seed and it popped up again this year after I transplanted some plants from our last garden.

Coreopsis Moonbeam has lovely yellow flowers which bring rays of sunshine to the garden, even on dull days.  

Sedum Autumn Joy really is a joy to behold.  I love the contrast between the bright green leaves and the pink of the flowers.

Hydrangea Little Lime is putting on a show too, with flowers that started off pale greenish-white and are now turning pink.

I'm enjoying all of these autumn flowers and I'm thankful that they have done so well, as the garden has been very neglected this summer.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Christmas Cake

I've never started baking my Christmas cakes this early, but I felt a need to do so this year.  I found myself drawn to the baking aisle of the supermarket and stocking up on dried fruit and marzipan.

There is something quite therapeutic about the mixing of the ingredients and the aroma of the essence and spices.

The disadvantage of moving house is that I'm now trying to become accustomed to a different oven. This cake baked faster than any that I've made in the past and I had already cut down the time to three hours when I set the timer.  It came out a little too brown around the edges, but it was ready in 3 hours and 5 minutes.

I'm certain that once it has been regularly fed with brandy over the coming weeks, it will be a very moist and flavourful Christmas treat.  

I drafted this post about a month ago, but did not get back to publish it.  I've baked two cakes as usual this year, but this is the first time that I made them in early September.