It’s apple-picking time! The views are particularly lovely in the Chiltern Hills at this time of year. We have two Spartan apple trees, one which is more fruitful than the other. The apples go to a local nursery who presses them and makes juice for drinking. It lasts all year, until the next crop needs picking. 

The skies are leaden at the moment, which makes the trees almost glow with colour. Blackberries are mostly gone. The old superstition that you don’t pick them after October 1st because of “witches spit on them” doesn’t hold up now that winters are warmer. We’re waiting for a frost in the garden but it’s a mixed blessing when it does happen. All the dahlias and other tender plants will die away, taking their vibrant colours with them. 
One good thing about winter here this year is the amount of berries on the holly. Already there are so many, even on our variegated holly bush, which is making like a Christmas tree at the bottom of the garden. There will be lots of foliage for winter decorations, when the time comes. I’m resisting temptation at the moment though. No talk of winter until after November 5th! 

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