Whispers from the Past...& my September Garden

If you read this blog regularly, you may have picked up on the fact that I have a passion for history....
I think this is because I feel that the way we live now is influenced & entwined so much with the way people lived then. I love to imagine how life must have been for the ordinary person in different times...and searching for little clues and insights into those times is something I try to do whenever I can.
The electricity company has recently been doing some maintenance in the little cobbled street I walk down every day...they've dug a large hole...and as I passed it I suddenly began to see fragments of glass and patterned china everywhere! Nothing whole - I hoped so much for an intact bottle! - but I just couldn't leave these gorgeous pieces where they lay, to be covered up and lost for another hundred years...
I think, from the shape, that this was from a large cup or mug...
and this was probably a plate but I just adore it's bright blue pattern...still so clear after all this time! It's been raining today...so I'll be back in the morning to see what other treasures have been uncovered!

After a grey August and then a hot & sunny start to September, we seem to have settled into an early Autumn this week. High winds and heavy showers have tumbled my poor garden into the new season before it's quite ready I think...

the hydrangeas are fading fast...although I think they are especially beautiful when they are like this - living watercolours....

the ivy hedge is glossy & gorgeous...alive with wasps, hoverflies and, of course, our bees!

'The Girls' as I call them are still incredibly busy...we inspected the hive on Sunday evening. Paul wears the outfit & does the hard work while I sit on the bench and write down his comments (it's quite important to keep a record each time you inspect, to note changes in the colony and how much honey is being produced) We think there will be around 20lbs to harvest this year...we're  erring on the side of caution as we want to leave plenty for The Girls to survive on over the winter. Paul is going to inspect next time with a member of our local Beekeeper's Association, who will check the hive and advise him. He's still a novice and there is just so much to learn - absolutely fascinating.
My nasturtiums have trailed everywhere...making a verdant carpet studded with jewel-like blooms of deepest orange, red and yellow...

the colours of Autumn...like the blueberry bushes...

but there are still pockets of summer colour around - these primula, for example...

Of course, it's also harvest time. I am quite pathetically proud of my sad little sweetcorn...the first I have ever grown and, sadly, a testament to how right my Dad was when he said they would need more sunlight than is possible in our garden...

but I still love them!! Much more successful are the tomatoes...

and best of all the runner beans...we've eaten many already, lightly cooked minutes after picking, and absolutely delicious. They'll be giving us lots more wonderful meals in the next weeks - and I'll probably give some away too...

Slowly but surely, the season is turning..... there's a chill in the air at night and first thing in the morning now, and the twilight descends much earlier. But I don't mind a bit - all is as it should be. And Esther arrives next week, with my niece and older nephews!! But that's another story....

Happy September and I wish you a wonderful week xoxo


  1. Rachel,
    Its so wonderful that you rescued the bits of china from the earth! There's a wonderful jeweler in London,
    that makes earrings and necklaces from pieces she finds in the Thames, some are even Roman Glass.
    Your garden looks lush even in the waning days of summer.
    Can't wait to see your honey~

  2. Such a glorious garden!
    And I had no idea that you and Paul keep bees! That is so wonderful. I dream of having bees, chickens, nubian goats, and grey geese some day. And many more Cavaliers. :)
    Miss hearing from you, do drop a line when you get a chance!
    So fantastic that Esther is on her way, that will be such a lovely visit.
    lots of love,

  3. Oh wow what an enjoyable read. First of all, I think you should take a class in making mosaics (I think that's what it is). You chop china shards and glue/grout them to something, such as a table top. All that unearthed china could have a new life. I've seen tables done that way at crafts shows and they're phenomenally pretty.

    How fun to hear about the bees and their progress. Somehow I never knew they use the honey themselves to live on. OK I don't know squat about bees. But 20 pounds does sound like a lot for one hive considering it's the size of a very large turkey.

    Your corn is my favorite of the veggies despite, ok because of its raggle taggle appearance. It looks like an old lady with unkempt teeth. Or like a cluster of true individuals rather than the in-crowd.

    Your garden is really beautiful. You make me wish I had one. And someone with muscles and no shirt to observe tending it.

  4. Almost fall and still beauty to be found in your garden. Love bees, my dining room chairs are upholstered in a bee fabric. They are vital to our life in so many ways, not to mention the wonderful honey. Imagine how many trips the drones have made to gather the nectar for all that honey, it boggles the mind. I love to watch the bees in the garden their little faces pressed into the center of the Salvia flowers. Then back to hive with their bounty. Love to see a picture of your bees if you could get one. So many species of bees. You do a great job with your garden Rachel!

  5. Happy September, dear Rachel! Your garden is looking lovely, still, in all its September glory! How wonderful to discover remnants of the past in that big, large hole! What pretty fragments. It IS interesting to wonder where they came from and who they belonged to. It was nice to hear some more about your bees, too. Twenty pounds of honey, that's amazing! I don't know very much about the honey-making process, but it all sounds so wonderful! I am so excited for this time, next week. And you will soon have your sister and her family near. Hooray for September and the season of Fall! Cheers to all the surprises it will bring us! xoxo

  6. I don't know what it is lately, maybe the shorter days, maybe missing my girls, but the news of the world has been getting me down a bit more than usual. Then I come here and read the real news of the world -- lovely bits of china being unearthed, bees being nurtured, a little corner of the earth being lovingly tended, sweet little ears of corn being appreciated for the effort they took to grow. Seeing your beautiful heart on these pages and reading the comments of girlfriends with their beautiful hearts reminds me that the real world is alive and well! There's lots of excitement in store for you this September. I'm counting the days with you and wishing you wonderful times! xoxo

  7. What a lovely comment from Janie. That puts things into perspective doesn't it? I will have some of your beans please, next week! can't wait to see the beautiful garden and Alice and Paul and the bees and of course you. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  8. Oh, how lovely that you found antique pottery shards!! You could have your own "dig"! Just love that...'flow blue' piece, do you think? Such a rich heritage in your area!! Your plants are so green and healthy, Rachel!! I always enjoy your posts so much and can't wait to hear all about when your dear sister and Rosinda come! What an exciting September awaits for you all! Sending love, Sherry xxx

  9. hello sweet rachel and alice...

    so happy to see you at farmhouse kitchen...

    i loved this tour of your garden...so much fun to see it all...love the corn...john put in a huge rocked planter for me this summer which is going to be planted in corn next summer. i have planted corn every year of my life since i was 5. no matter where i have lived. even if it has meant the front yard... poor neighbors :-{

    we sure are enjoying our September...and i know you are as well...

    sending love to all

    kary and teddy

  10. Hello, I just wanted to comment on your lovely blog! I had such fun "browsing" through your pages. I live in Florida, originally from Connecticut. Have a wonderful day and I'll be back :)

  11. History is one of my passions too. Will try to comment on this post longer tomorrow. There is not enough hours in a day, unfortunately.

  12. Oh Rachel....somehow I missed this posting and I was looking back and saw it....how lovely. The Fall garden, for me, is both glorious and sad...in CO, it oftentimes is quickly taken away by a sudden frost or snow but it is at its most glorious, too....abundant and rich. I love all of the vegetables that are nestled amongst your gorgeous flowers- bouquets from Mother Nature. As for the pieces of china; I LOVE them!!! Have you ever thought of making them into jewelry? It can make lovely pieces OR they can be attached to a piece of pottery to house a lovely plant in your back yard.....
    This is another post I treasure.....lovely Rachel....like YOU!

    Joann in CO


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