Crafting, Garden

Tomorrow is autumn – what happened to the year?

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Tomorrow is the official first day of autumn, how did that happen?

Funny how it just sneaks up on you, one minute you are loving the lovely sunlight in the garden, next you think wow, isn’t the light an amazing golden colour then BAM… you see those first orange leaves. It was when we were out last weekend that we saw the first trees that had begun to turn and it was gorgeous. We had taken a wee trip down into the borders to go to a woodworking course and the drive down was just gorgeous.

The course, was one we had been due to attend on the 28th march 2020, but of course we all went into lockdown on the 24th so it got cancelled but we finally got to go enjoy ourselves (carefully and in a socially distanced way) last weekend and it was a fantastic day. But I digress, I was talking about the trees :). Or hell, should I just talk about everything and wrap up a long waffling blog of what we’ve been up to? Not done that in a while.

Yeah lets chat about the course, cause it was awesome fun and you know Kate and I love an opportunity to learn new things. It was a greenwood working course, which, even though we both have previous woodworking experience, neither of us have worked with the older, green woodworking skills or in fact materials. It’s run by a craftsman down in Harestanes – http://www.thebigtreesociety.co.uk/

So it was all about learning to make something from tree trunk to finished product, in our case we made little three legged stools.

It literally started with an axe and splitting a bit of tree trunk

I say little, they are actually quite substantial. Eoin was keen to teach us the history and culture of the work we were doing, not just the physical how to do it, which is really cool. But also it was really nice to be making something using older tools and techniques, like the shave horse and draw knife to make the stool legs.

So we learned that these stools are a really common West Coast of Scotland / Ireland style of furniture common in most homes until recent mass produced items became the norm. You guys know what Kate and I are like, so we absolutely loved being able to place what we were doing with the history of the craft and homes around us.

Our stools almost finished. Just some levelling off and sanding

We had a brilliant day and already we are itching to go back and do more. Just have to see how things go with the COVID-19 situation.

Thank you to Eoin, Gayle the amazing tutors and to the fantastic other participants for being great company. Eoin even managed to get a group photo at the end – which was not easy with everyone having to keep 2 metres apart all day. Luckily it was 3 sets of two on the course. Thanks to Eoin for this great shot of us all with our stools.

Photo by Eoin – The Big Tree Society

So yeah, much fun for us recently. And a wee bit of drama too. The previous weekend, we’d had a bit of a storm which blew an absolute hoollie in the garden. You know the usual, pots upturned, tall plants snapped, that kind of thing. Although luckily these days, I don’t even have to wonder if the greenhouse will be there 🙂 (god I love that rhino), but… when we go up in the morning there was one thing out of place… the tree.

luckily it fell to one side rather than damaging the fence or even any other plants – we were lucky

To be fair, we knew this was going to happen at some point so it wasn’t a complete surprise. The tree had been dying for a long time now and the trunk had become pretty rotten. So that was a wee job that had to be done before work (6:30am tree disposal – always fun).

So we now have a space where the tree was which took a little bit of getting accustomed to but we will replace the tree at some point. Luckily, nothing else was damaged, not even the other plants in that bed.

Of course, even though the season is drawing to a close, there is still some bits and pieces going on in the garden and we are still having harvests galore. Carrots and beetroot are still going strong and I’m now thinking about how I can extend that over autumn and winter. Got a wee experiment going with some carrots sown in the greenhouse and some in the bed, just for fun. I want to see how they do over winter and if we can have some nice early carrots to harvest in spring.

I had planned to get going on this a few weeks back, but I’m running late, only just got the foxgloves sown – oops… but to be fair, I had been struggling to work out how I was going to find the space. It’s one of the things I discovered over spring this year, with so many seeds trays, pots and propagators, I was actually really struggling for surface space in the greenhouse. It got so bad that I ended up binning so many healthy plants because I just couldn’t look after them. And even though the season is coming to an end for the tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse, it will still be a few weeks before I have the staging back up, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage the foxgloves etc. But… it made me realise that it was time for a wee upgrade for the greenhouse.

So I gave her a wee treat and Olive now has some lovely new shelves. That was hilarious trying to fit them, let me tell you. NOT the time of year to be adding shelves to a very full greenhouse – there was a lot of scratching of heads and we tried to fit shelves without wrecking the tomato plants ha ha ha. But we knew that we could finalise things once the greenhouse was empty, this way it just gave me the much needed surface space.

It took so long to put the three shelves up, that even the time lapse video we took was 10 minutes long and I had to shorten it for this week’s YouTube video – man that was a job and a half.

Feel free to go have a giggle at us trying to put up shelves around the tomatoes plants

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