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higher odds on getting a hard frost which, I think, is even more beautiful. Snow blankets and muffles the features in the garden turning all a soft virgin white - even rubbish heaps and messy areas are suddenly transformed into something clean
After the recent soft mists and bright days I'm going to formally declare that autumn is with us. Not picture book autumn, with flaring red leaves and dustings of frost, but a sort of pubescent autumn. This is a lovely time of year - everything
.But: they are not the easiest fruit to use: they are very hard and you can't eat them raw unless bletted (softened to mush by frost - like the medlar which is another neglected fruit). The Romans stewed them with honey (and surprisingly) leeks. In Syria it is used in lamb stew
and look at leaves now (take a morning off work if you have to). This is such a brief moment and all it needs is a sharp frost or a shower of rain and they will be instantly transformed from hanging jewels to a rustle on the pavement.
and it is one of my great pleasures. The dark green leaves go perfectly with the aged brick, in the spring it is covered with frothy white flowers and come the autumn the branches are laden with red berries. When the hard frosts come we then have a wonderful
foolish as to think that spring is here - we are more than likely to get whacked by frost or snow before then - but at least it is showing willing.One of the best things about this time of year is scent. Flowers are pretty rare but there are a few plants
and kept below their normal height. They're not much good if you're looking for flowers, but for sheer well-cut elegance you can't really go wrong. You know the sort of thing: yew hedges with razor edges, parasols of pleached lime and frost-dusted box