Collecting

With each passing day I can feel colder weather approaching. Autumn is a beautiful time marked by some of my favourite seasonal celebrations, Halloween and fireworks night are always such fun. I am feeling the increasing urgency to gather everything in, in preparation for the winter that lies ahead.With that in mind, we have been collecting lots from the garden recently.

We have a small wooden box divided into even smaller sections that we use for collecting and displays. Middle daughter C and I had fun in the garden this week making the collection pictured below. It lasted just long enough for me to take the photo, then it was destroyed by a rampaging baby. He sampled lots of the flowers too!

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The Sweet-peas have been amazing this year. At the height of the summer I was picking bunches every other day. I had never had great success with them before, but this year they were planted in a very fertile bed in full sun and they thrived. So we are saving lots of seed for next year. These seed are so fiddly to pop out of their papery wrappings.

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The Runner beans have also been good. If I had a bigger freezer, we could be kept in beans for months. I did make pickled runner beans one year, but it’s not particularly an experience i want to repeat! So we have eaten a lot of fresh beans. Have you tried beans with balsamic vinegar?

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I love planting runner beans with children. The seeds are a great size for little hands to cope with and the huge size of the final plants is exciting for kids. At the outdoor playgroup I am involved in (more about this soon) we planted a runner bean den. It was a willow structure planted up with beans which rambled all over it and created a cosy green place for children to hind. That I definitely will be doing again.

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Earlier this week we visited the woods where our cabin is. We had an autumn walk, filling our pockets with interesting finds along the way. We always do an autumn display of conkers, acorns, beautiful leaves, figures of woodland creatures and autumn themed books.

I enjoy observing the seasons in this way and I think it is useful for the children to help them understand the cycles of the year. We also do a display for winter, but despite my good intentions to follow this through for Spring and Summer too, these never seem to happen. On reflection I think it is because at those times of year, my attention is focussed outside and decorating the house does not seem as important. During autumn and winter, more time is spent indoors and anything that brings the outdoor in, is vitally important for our well-being.

Our eldest girl, E, did the seasonal table all on her own this year, isn’t it lovely.

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