Friday, 17 October 2014

Autumn in Our Garden

I actually started this post before we went on our trip to Iceland, but I didn't get around to posting it up as I did some last minute knitting of hat and mitts for myself to wear in Iceland!
October means it's time for us to harvest the pumpkins from the old allotment.  This one is destined to be our Jack O'Lantern. 

 This is our harvest of strangely shaped butternut squashes! :)
We had some glorious sunny weather at the beginning of October and I took full advantage of it by working at the new allotment planting early-sprouting purple broccoli,
garlic "Marco"
and over-wintering "Red Winter" onions.
I also worked in the garden after work and on my days off.
I have replanted my hanging basket and pot by our front door.
On the patio I replanted the pots with winter plants, although the summer ones were still in bloom I felt that colder weather could be just around the corner, so it was time to change them.

The back garden is still looking lovely, although a little wetter today as we have had heavy rain this week.

When we visited Perch Hill I bought these tulip bulbs and have planted them in the large pots that I grew the sweet peas in during the summer.
They are the Brandy Snap Tulip Mix
I have also planted Narcissus "Delight" and Scilla Siberica with the tulip bulbs and added violas and a dwarf wallflower "Harlequin" to each pot.
I have decorated them with my homegrown "Jack Be Little" pumpkins.
These are edible, so they are only being used as decorations until the frosts.

I still have some roses in the garden.  This one "Fairy" will continue to flower until the frosts arrive.

There is even a foxglove in bloom!
I have started digging over the flower beds and removing the dying foliage.
In other patio pots I have planted violas and cyclamens.
I buy these cheaply from the supermarket each year
and they always grow well.
In the greenhouse the tomato plants were nearing the end of their fruiting days, so I have removed them and hung up the remaining trusses on wire for them to ripen.

The chillis are still ripening.
 I have moved my fuchsias into the greenhouse for protection from the cold and I still get to enjoy the flowers.  I also have geranium cuttings and plants on the staging.
 The chrysanthemum cuttings, Abundant Collection, that I bought in the spring from Sarah Raven are now starting to bloom in the greenhouse.  Unfortunately they are covered in aphids, so I am having to spray them with white oil!
Orange Alloiuse,

 John Riley

and Froggy have flowered so far.
 I carefully check the blooms over for aphids before bringing them indoors!
i still have half of the garden to work on before the winter, but unfortunately my back is bad this week, so I can't do any digging or heavy work! :(  Guess I will just have to sit and knit! :)

Thursday, 16 October 2014


The next day of our holiday we were up early, the excitement of having seen the aurora the night before and the fact that we were in Iceland and had lots of exploring to do got us out of bed early.  After a huge buffet breakfast we took a dawn walk along the coast.

 My romantic husband left two hearts in the volcanic sand.
 That morning we had a Golden Circle tour planned and our first stop was at Almannagjá, the location of the first Icelandic Parliament in the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
 Such a stunning place!

 We walked across the rift valley from the North American tectonic plate to the Eurasian tectonic plate.

 Our next stop in the Þingvellir National Park was the place we had stood at to watch the Aurora Borealis the night before.
 At our 3rd stop we could see the clouds of ash in the distance from a current eruption of a volcano elsewhere on the island.  We had stopped here to see Gullfoss.
 The biggest waterfall I have ever seen.
 The glacial meltwater thundered over the waterfall dropping 32 meters in two stages.  We got a little damp in the spray!

 In the distance we could seen Iceland's longest glacier.
 Our next stop was at Geysir.
 I love places like this!  We watched the geysers for sometime.
 The largest, Strokkur, erupts every 5-7 minutes.

This tour was all part of our package holiday and was very well organised by Grayline Tours.  I would recommend them to anyone planning a trip to Iceland.
 After a couple more stops it was time to head back to Reykjavik, where we walked around the centre and had a bite to eat before returning to our hotel.  From our window we could see the Imagine Peace Tower light that had been lit that day by Yoko Ono.
 The next morning we were up and out again early on and walked around the peninsula.
We had a look in a local supermarket as I had heard that Icelandic supermarkets sell wool.  There wasn't any in this one, but I did find knitting needles and crochet hooks next to the ketchup! :)
 We continued with our walk enjoying the peace and quiet.
 As we returned to Reykjavik we saw another supermarket and hit the jackpot!
 Lots and lots of Icelandic wool - 100% wool!  I wish English supermarkets were so well stocked!
 I soon filled up the basket we had picked!  My husband suggested getting a bigger trolley ... then thought that probably wasn't a good idea! ;)
 One happy knitter with three bags full.  Reminds me of a certain nursery rhyme! :)
 Laden down with wool we headed to the old harbour for a picnic in the glorious sunshine.
 I joked that my husband could only have bread and cheese, because I had spent all our money on wool. ;)
 We decided we needed to off load the wool, so we headed towards the hotel passing these pretty houses

 and we popped into this RC cathedral on the way.
 At the hotel we refreshed ourselves with a coffee
and drunk in the beautiful view.
 I also admired my purchases.
 Next we headed back into the city, past the City Pond
 to Hallgrímskirkja,
 where we went to the top of the tower
 for a 360' view of Reykjavik.

 Back down to earth again we headed to the shops and discovered a wool shop on the main street.  I bought some reindeer antler buttons here.
Sadly we were nearly at the end of our trip to this amazing country.
 As night time approached it was time for us to head back to our hotel.

 We had a very early start the next day as our flight was at 6.45am!
We have decided that we will return one summer to Iceland as there is so much more to see.