Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Golden Days

September is moving on apace now, and every day I see more signs of early autumn. Summer is slipping ever so gently away and the garden is slowing and winding down. Plants are looking quite tired now, and there are fewer flowers to find. We had a warm, cloudless day on Sunday and I went into the garden to pick fruit and a few flowers. The fennel has gone to seed and is a lovely greenish, mustardy shade of yellow. When I put a seed head on the garden table it made the most wonderfully defined shadow.

On our recent camping trip to North Cornwall I bought a couple of pottery items. I always seem to come home with a little souvenir from our holidays, not usually expensive and often free, like shells, pebbles or flowers for drying. This time, however, some tactile, hand-made ceramics called to me in the softest bird's-egg shades of cream and pale blue. I have quite a few items of pale blue stoneware at home. I just love that colour. Here's a pretty little jug with the acid-yellow fennel complementing that sky blue.

Next to it is a little candle holder which I also bought. Yes, that's in pale blue too - you know me well, don't you? It's an ingenious candle holder because it also has a little section around it which you can fill with water and flowers. 

I put fennel, pale lilac scabious and bright purple verbena bonariensis in it.

Here's how it looks without the flowers. Clever, isn't it? I know I'm going to make good use of this!

Out in the sunshine I picked some more blackberries and raspberries, and started to pick the apples which are beginning to fall from the tree. Our little apple tree has really done itself proud this year and produced masses of apples. It certainly produced a lot of blossom back in April, so it's not surprising. I've taken many of the apples to work for my colleagues, as I can't use them all and hate to see any to go to waste.

The raspberries are having a second flush and are absolutely enormous, and the blackberries are a thornless variety. I love blackberries. For me they epitomise this late summer/early autumn season.

Later that day we met up with my brother and his family at Stonehenge which is less than an hour's drive away. Despite never having lived far away from this world-famous prehistoric site we have never been as a family, although both P and I can remember being taken there as children (back in the days when you could wander around the stones and touch them!). My two little nephews loved running in and out of the reconstructed neolithic huts.

I must admit they looked quite cosy - this one even had a little porch.

This one is very sweet, and quite tiny. Its wizard-hat shape made me smile.

It's a half-hour walk to the stones from the visitor centre, so we walked there and caught the shuttle bus back. On such a warm, sunny day there were lots of visitors, many international, and everyone followed a walk which encircled the stones. 

It's hard to see this iconic place with fresh eyes, but it is an amazing sight.

We've driven past and sat in traffic jams on the A303 many times over the years, and watched the tourists walking around the stones. It always looked as if they were quite a distance from them, but we were pleasantly surprised at how close the path went.

Salisbury Plain is a vast open area of chalk downland, and Stonehenge sits solidly in this timeless landscape, a link to our long-distant past. I love its gentle grassy hills and big skies.

I'm glad we finally made it here. This golden Sunday afternoon was one to treasure.

(Before I go I just want to say thank you for all your lovely comments on my recent blog posts. This month is turning out to be much busier than expected, and my visits to blogland are a bit patchy at the moment. I'm hoping to catch up properly soon!)


  1. Beautiful photos of Stonehenge. I read in the paper only yesterday that they've found another set of stones, still buried, over there. Wow.

  2. I love your new jug and candle holder - it's always nice to bring home souvenirs from on holiday. Great fruit harvest you've got there too. I must get out there and do a bit of fruit picking myself today. It's nice to know that you can still get quite close to Stonehenge. I drive past quite a lot but haven't been since, like you, you were allowed to touch them. Love the little huts. Have a great week. xx

  3. I love your shadow photos - just beautiful! I remember going to Stonehenge as a child. I must go back one day with the kids. We saw our own version here recently. They were smaller, but still impressive. I also usually pick up a small souvenir of pottery or something similar on my holidays. It's a wonderful way to enjoy the memories.

  4. I really enjoyed your post Cathy, what with your pretty pottery and flowers and then a trip to Stonehenge. I haven't been since they built the visitor centre. It looks very interesting especially on such a bright day. The traffic is usually dreadful round there though. Karen x

  5. Lovely pottery from Cornwall, I love that pale blue colour as well, and it's always nice to have something to remember a happy holiday by. The candleholder is a really clever idea, the mixture of flowers and candlelight is always beautiful. Stonehenge is magnificent isn't it. I saw the story about the newly discovered stones as well, it's a place so full of ancient history. CJ xx

  6. I love your new pottery and the photos of Stone Henge ! Fiona - Lucys Cottage x

  7. I love stonehenge, it's a shame you have to walk so far from the stones, as a child we walked through the stones. Pity I don't work with you all those lovely apples. Your photos are beautiful, the first three are stunning.

  8. You live in such a lovely part of the country Cathy, I always feel a little wistful reading your posts. That candle holder is a great find, such a clever design. Hx

  9. What lovely autumnal moments. Stonehenge is a fascinating place isn't it. I drive by it fairly regularly and always think that it is an amazing sight. xx

  10. Those are wonderful pictures of the fennel. I love it as it reminds me of the cow parsley. I share your love of pottery too, the candlestick looks so pretty. Your crop of Apple's look so good, how do you store them? I also have only been to Stonehenge once when it was all open. I didn't realise they have those huts there too. Sarah x

  11. Lovely photos, flower arrangement, and stonehenge must have been fascinating. Never managed to get there, its on the list :)

  12. It has been a while since we visited the henge, it is an amazing space - despite all the visitors surrounding you. Looks like you had a lovely day for it :)

  13. Another lovely blog post, I do so enjoy reading your blog. I love the ceramics you bought back from Cornwall, the candle holder looks wonderful with flowers in the base and I love flowers displayed in jugs, just beautiful. Like you I have spent many hours sat in traffic jams at Stonehenge, you have to love the A303! I am glad you enjoyed your visit though and those huts look fascinating. xx

  14. So many apples! In our next garden I really want an apple tree, I think autumn is that more autumny with home baked apple goodies :) The ceramics are lovely holiday mementos! I've never been to Stonehenge, but I feel it's somewhere I really should go at some point. Have a good week! x

  15. Loving the shadows from the fennel head. Lovely photos


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