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November garden.


We had the first frost here last night. We have been so lucky with the weather. It’s turned into a beautiful sunny day. I picked some of the crab apples yesterday and started making the crab apple jelly. There weren’t a lot to pick as I wanted to leave the smallest on for the blackbirds who love them in the winter. This was the tree before I harvested the apples.

I washed them and put them in my heavy bottomed pressure cooker pan and added just enough water to cover them. Then I cooked them until they were soft and pulpy.

I tied a muslin square over a pan and left the pulp to drain through over night. It’s best not to squeeze the pulp as it turns the jelly cloudy.

I added the juice of a lemon and some sugar and I brought the liquid to a rolling boil for about 30 minutes until it was at setting point. After skimming off the scum I poured it into warmed sterile jars. Its a beautiful clear pink colour. It will be lovely with cold meats and turkey at Christmas……

Looking around the garden this afternoon there were still some apples to pick and it was nice to see a few flowers hanging on.

Some of the roses were still in bloom and some even had buds to open..

I am surprised at the Penstemons. They have had a brilliant summer and continue to flower…

My Acer looks stunning when the light hits it, it’s such a bright red..

I am waiting for the frost to nip the leaves on the Dahlias then I will lift the tubers and store them for next year. Some have flowers opening daily…

The Rudbeckia have been glorious and are only just showing signs of dying down…It’s a shame they are only annuals.

In the rest of the garden are a few more plants such as the Dianthus and Osteospermum giving a brief display for us…

The Pieris on the steps have flower panicles forming too..

It’s also nice to see the Heucheras flowering again…

I am loathe to cut these down as I think the black seed heads look nice…

These Sanvitalia have been fantastic in the pots. They have dried out when we have been away and sprung back so quickly as soon as they were watered and are still going…..I will definitely buy more seed again for next year….

These Chrysanths were lovely earlier on but are definitely going over now…..

and these Sedum look beautiful, I think, in the low afternoon sun…

Plenty of berries on the Cotoneaster for the birds, although they haven’t come back very much yet to the garden.

the Geums have started flowering again…

..and the Hydrangea have flowered late but keep going strong….

I am going to pot this Fuchsia up tomorrow and bring it into the conservatory. It hasn’t been flowering for long and I want to keep it going if I can..

Lastly, I must pick the last of the Butternut Squash I grew up the trellis..We just love the soup…..

Well that is about all that’s left from the summer but hey-ho, it’ll soon be sowing time again ready for next year. :o))

More blog posts by homebird

Previous post: My harvest today....13th October.

Next post: Norfolk Coast in early November...



Hi Shiela, you have done well to have so much still flowering, I only have about 10 things with any flower on them, and most of them are fading, Derek.

10 Nov, 2013


Hi, it won't be long before everything has gone over here too. It's only thanks to the mild autumn so far that there is any signs of life left.....i pray for a very short winter

10 Nov, 2013


Garden still looks wonderful Homebird. And your jelly so yummy.

10 Nov, 2013


Thank you Klahanie. It's stretching the summer/autumn out for us before the winter really sets in. The jelly is yummy, I give a jar to each of the family. It doesn't last

10 Nov, 2013


loved seeing all your blog and will be adding to my favs as i was very grateful to see crab apple jelly being made...

hoping to give that ago next year...

you went through those steps very well in writing and the visual content very helpful...thank you.

10 Nov, 2013


Your garden still has lots to see, and that's nice in November :o)

10 Nov, 2013


Thank you Jane. I am hoping the quince get going next year and give us a crop of fruit because we love quince jelly even more than crab apple..

It's been a much better year hasn't it Hywel even though things were late to get going they caught up and are trying to continue.

10 Nov, 2013


The jelly looks wonderful! and what a lot of flowers you still have. Perhaps it will make the winter seem shorter.

10 Nov, 2013


It's good to able to use the fruits of your garden,I have never had crab apple apples! I love Butternut Squash soup though..Your garden is still looking lovely,H.bird..and the Sanvitalia is new to that just one plant,or are there a few in your pot? Really nice,I like very much :o) It's so lovely for us still to have so much colour ..I have Welsh poppies flowering again,and Jacob's ladder !No frost this morning,it disappeared hope our plants go on a bit longer :o)

11 Nov, 2013


I do hope we have a short winter Steragram. The jelly has a very nice flavour and the grandchildren love it on bread too. It doesn't matter what colour crab apples you use, the jelly ends up this lovely clear pink colour. I had some yellow crab apples given to me one year and expected the jelly to be golden but it too was this lovely clear pink.

Bloomer I can't really remember but I think I put about 3 or 4 plants in each pot. I love using the few bits I have in the garden for preserves. It would be nice to hear how others use what their garden produces.

11 Nov, 2013


Thanks H.bird..I might give them a try next year..I think they look so effective in a single colour,especially in your blue pot..

11 Nov, 2013


Lovely blog Sheila, always so much colour in your garden!How big does your apple tree grow? would like some fruit trees in my garden, and to be able to make that delicious looking jelly is spurring me on!!What is the name of the first Rudbeckia you've shown, the colour is lovely and the pink Penstimon, haven't got a pink one. I have some perrenial Rudbeckias..Alstrom gold(I think thats it's name) if you want some I can send you some.Divided my big plants and made loads of plants.... let me know.:-))

11 Nov, 2013


I'm amazed at how much you've still got going on and looking ever so healthy for this late in the year. Penstemon will have loved the perfect weather this year. Do you take cuttings or is it mild enough for them to survive?
I've never tasted crab apple jelly but it sure does look tasty!

11 Nov, 2013


My neighbour has given me a jar Homebird so I'm feeling very lucky!I remember my mother once making rowan berry jelly and that too was a wonderful colour but very bitter. I discovered since that its used with game dishes but we didn't know - it wasn't so good on bread!

11 Nov, 2013


Gralew, thank you. The Rudbeckia is Toto and the penstemon-beech-park. I have a couple of cuttings rooting in water as I am not very good at getting cuttings from penstemon a to root for me in compost. The crab apple is on dwarf root stock and should only reach 7ft in ten years.
Scottish thank you, I'm hoping the cuttings rooting in water will transfer to compost ok. I'm really not good at taking cuttings that survive from penstemons. I really can't make enough of the jelly for the family. I have to ration
Lol Steragram... I do hope you enjoy the crab apple jelly though.

12 Nov, 2013


Very nice photos of all the colour available to you in that lovely garden of yours. My Penstemons finished ages ago and so are my seedum starting to but the yellow Tagetta I left in the ground, and some of the other plants I dug up and potted are still giving me lush pinks, snow white, orange and deep red flowers (the red Geraniums and Begonias) seem to have loved there postions in baskets and tubs). Colour at this time of year in any garden is so precious.

13 Nov, 2013

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