Saturday, 22 September 2012

Around the Autumn Garden

Back to some sort of normality (I hope) next week, but I would not count on it!!  The carpenters are not working a full week next week as they are doing a bit of gallivanting, but promise to return later!! As I said before, post to follow soon.

The garden is not stopping, and although the courgettes (zucchini) are slowing down, they have certainly not stopped.  Now, of course, the figs are ripening as well, so fig jam and fig chutney is taking up time between decorating the the upstairs spaces.

As for hazelnuts, (or cob nut or filbert nut, depending where you live) this has been our best year ever; I suspect there are not many more nuts to come at this stage, but we have just over 11 kg (about 24 lb) from one tree!!  We see in the shops they are selling at €8 per kg!!!!  I also cooked and bottled 8 jars of tomatoes today for pasta sauce and there is no shortage of tomatoes still in the garden.  I love our own supply, but if only it would spread out a bit more and not all arrive at once!!  Guess I am becoming  a typical farmer, never satisfied!
When I took this photo I thought it was a lot, since then the collection has more than doubled!

As for courgettes, I have the round ones in both yellow and green this year

Meanwhile we still have some colour in the flower beds, although this is less than it was as the cooler months approach!

 Cosmos above and below

Callistephus chinensis above and below.  Common name Reine Marguerite or Aster
 A sunflower still hanging in, meanwhile the birds are having a ball eating the seed from the ones that are going over!

 The zinnias, top and bottom,are quite amazing; they just seem to keep flowering regardless.





 
See also - My Life Before Charente updated  September 20 2012 



104 comments:

  1. Hello Diane:
    What absolute bounty! Such a huge quantity of nuts as well as an on going supply of courgettes and tomatoes, two of our favourite foods. And it does sound as though you are very well organised in the kitchen.

    As for the flower garden, it seems that you have masses in flower for this late on but perhaps that is normal in your favourable climate.

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    1. Jane and Lance it is amazing how many different dishes you can do with both courgettes and tomatoes, they can be a basis for so many recipes.
      The weather has certainly cooled, but not enough for the majority of flowers to give up as you can see. The weather is not due to change a lot in the next 10 days, but we are hoping for some rain so maybe things will even improve! Hope you have a good weekend. Diane

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  2. You have a bountiful harvest of food and flowers. Well done!

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    1. Joyful I am amazed the garden has done so well despite the odd weather. I am pretty happy with it all. Have a good weekend. Diane

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  3. how wonderful! i would love having my own hazelnuts. my gardens have just about shut down.

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    1. Jaz we are very lucky with this tree, out of 7 years here we have really had only one bad year, it never ceases to amaze us. Take care Diane

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  4. Your carpenter stories remind me of Peter Mayle.

    Look at all of those nuts. Wow. Will you sell some of them? My parents used to get a lot of pecans from their trees and we froze some of the nuts.
    Sam

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    1. Sam at least with these carpenters we know how, when, where and why, or so far we do! They have not just disappeared and left us in the lurch to date. In fact we are very impressed with everything so far especially their work.

      It is not worth bothering to go to the effort of selling the nuts. We love them and they store pretty well so long as they are cool and can get air. We love them which of course helps! Keep well Diane

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  5. Wow all that fresh produce. I would be hopeless trying to preserve and store it , I'm glad you know how but it does sound like a lot of work but rewarding in the end. That is a haul of hazelnuts, yum yum. The zucchini are oozing freshness and the flowers are beautiful so is the photography.

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    1. diane b I am sure you would not be hopeless if you were faced with the problem of too much, you just have to think of winter and how nice it is to sit back and have so much to eat and most of it ready to use! Keep well and enjoy what is left of your weekend. Diane

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  6. What a colourful post!
    Well done Diane!
    All your work is quite rewarding now, congratulations!
    I have hazel nuts every day, they are so good for one's health!
    Cheers and enjoy your afternoon!

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    1. Noushka we also love hazel nuts, we should have enough to keep us going for a while :-) Have a good Sunday and take care Diane xx

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  7. I am terribly jealous of all those gorgeous nuts... what will you do with them??? Hope your helpers get back on track soon!

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    1. lostpastremembered we both love hazel nuts so most will probably just get eaten as is. I saw a nice hazel nut cake recipe the other day on a blog so that is another idea. Thankfully the two guys seem pretty reliable so I fully expect them back after their week away. Enjoy your Sunday. Diane

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  8. Great blog and lovely photos again Diane :) In fact hazelnuts are my favourite nut and I feel a jingle coming on 'Nuts, who-ole hazelnuts, Cadburys taken them and they cover them with chocolate'...........

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    1. Nigel knows the jingle well but I was not in the country so it is quite new to me. If you are down this way, pop in and we will give you a few hazel nuts. Have a good Sunday Diane

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  9. quelle abondance !! enjoy !
    happy weekend

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    1. This is Belgium, trying to do just that, you have a good Sunday also. Diane

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  10. I just love your garden with the colorful flowers still hanging in there. And all your glorious bounty will be so enjoyed this winter.

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    1. Gaelyn Nigel just told me I have overspent on the garden budget, but what I want to know is how much under we are on the food budget!!! Keep well Diane

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  11. Lovely Autumnal post! I adore this time of year:) Hope you are having a good weekend.
    ~Anne

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    1. Anne autumn is just fine it is the winter that follows that I cannot handle, I hate the cold!! Hope your Sunday is a good one Diane

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  12. Very beautiful, it doesn't look like autumn. Very colourful.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Filip Kristel thanks so much for your visit and comment, I am delighted as now I have found your blog. There are a few trees dropping their leaves but not really much change to autumn colours here as yet. Geniessen Sie den Tag, Diane

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  13. Hi Diane,

    A lot of work goes into such a beautiful garden. Well done!

    I hope this year has been easier, with Nigel there to help out.

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    1. Gaynor you are right it is hard work, Nigel is good at digging :-) Bonne journée, Diane

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  14. Wow, love those Hazelnuts, and so many from one tree. Nice to see all those flowers you have still blooming so nicely. Our weather is still nice, but can see that there will be a temperature drop by October first or so. Have a great week Diane, and hope your harvesting and canning is done soon.

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    1. Horts I will be happy when the bottling is finished it is very time consuming. Mmmmmm those hazel nuts are very good! You also enjoy your week Diane

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  15. What a great harvest from one tree. It is nice that your garden is still doing so well. Our garden in Maine is basically done as we have had two days with temps down to 32 degree F. and leaves are starting to change.

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    1. backroadjournal it is a wonderful tree, we love it :-) I am sure it will not be long now before the colours start changing here but I am hoping the warmth lasts as long as possible! Take care Diane

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  16. What a wonderful harvest! Every time I look at what you gather in the fall, I really enjoy it, because i have a feeling that nature in France can give so much more than nature can here in Canada. Although maybe I'm wrong - I don't have much of a frame of reference :)

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    1. Olga having never been to Canada I cannot comment on that, but I imagine generally that Canada is much colder than we are here in France. For all that I would like to be a bit further South as I hate the cold!! We have been lucky with our harvest though everything is much later than normal, I just hope for a late winter to compensate!! Take care Diane

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  17. I love hazelnuts, just love them! To be well-rounded I will also say that the fall vegetables are especially colorful and tasty.

    Good to see you again.

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Genie we also love them I am just hoping that I have the storage condition right for them as there are a lot! Have a good Sunday, bises Diane

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  18. Hello Diane,
    Oh my god, what a lot of nuts!! But they are delicious to eat.
    My wife cut them sometimes into pieces and then put into the chocolate dough for making muffins. It's so delicious,..hmmm..!!
    Your shot 8 is amazing!! Wonderful flowers with a beautiful light. Fantastic!!

    Many greetings,
    Marco

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    1. Marco I brought in another 500gr yesterday and I thought they were finished!! I am surprised that there are so many flowers still around but I am also happy :-) Thanks for the kind comment Take care, Diane

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  19. Win win situation for you Diane.
    Fantastic produce that you can eat throughout winter and won't have to pay for it either.
    Am particularily jealous for figs and tomatoes :-)

    Enjoy!

    Red

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    1. Red that reminds me I had better check the fig tree again, I have so much on my mind at the moment and the tree is in a corner that I do not go to much.... As for tomatoes we have masses of pasta sauce until next year!! I will be glad when the extra rooms are finished and the dust settles (literally)! Take care Diane

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  20. Your garden must be a wonder to behold. It is always wonderful to see what hard work can produce. No one can ever accuse you of being a slug-a-bed. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Mary my mother always said I had ants in my pants and could never sit still for a moment LOL. I will be delighted when the dust is finished from the carpenters and we have the 3 extra rooms. More space. to do more with my time ha ha. The sewing machine will be out and the easel, two things I have not spent any time on since I left S.Africa :-) Take care Diane

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  21. Hazelnuts are a local crop here too and they sell for €6 approx in the village shops. We don't have any of our own but I gather the ones left on the ground after our neighbour's finished his harvest, which is enough for us. Still some beautiful flowers too!

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    1. Jan all of our hazel nuts are off the ground. A always let ours drop before collecting. The only year I collected them from the tree they were not dry enough and did not keep well. Good to hear from you again. Keep well Diane

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  22. That is just soooo beautiful...
    All the colors. Wonderful.

    Norway import the type of nuts at the two photos at the top.
    That is a thing we use when we have Christmas parties.

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    1. Gunn, Last nights winds caused some havoc in the garden, glad I got these photos when I did!! Keep well Diane

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  23. We used to eat the 'cobnuts'when they still had a green frill around them...but there were always plenty left to store.
    My friend Madeleine's father had a nut oil business...he was long dead but she had all the machinery in the outhouses where he used to work and hazelnut oil was a staple of his business as walnuts did not take on local soil...only the American walnut with its rock hard shell...no use for oil but great for confectionary.

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    1. Fly I found that here they actually taste raw when still green, we prefer them drier. I did buy a bottle of hazel nut last year and I love the flavour. I did not realise that there were different walnuts for oil and for eating, you learn something new everyday, Have a good week. Diane

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  24. How wonderful, to have all those hazelnuts. The garden here in the UK has been a dead loss this year - too cold and wet most of the time. And today it is very cold, grey and raining heavily. The forecast is for the same all week - groan !!
    I did make a nice courgette and tomato soup yesterday, from a few tomatoes remaining from the stash given to us when we were last in France and two of those round courgettes given to us by Tim and Pauline. So we had a little bit of French sunshine on a miserable wet evening. I can't wait to go back for our annual woodsmoke and sunshine holiday !!
    I hope you have a good week and everything gets done !!

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    1. Jean the courgettes are still arriving as are the tomatoes. I have been making curried courgette soup which is very yummy. The hazel nuts are amazing they will keep us going for a bit 'me thinks' :-)
      N went for a cycle ride on Saturday and came home exhausted after doing 1/2 his normal distance. He was fighting the wind which ever way he went. Had quite a bit of rain last night but patchy during the day. The wind though is bad.
      I hope we will be in the new rooms within the next few days then I will do a post on them.
      Take care cheers. Diane x

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  25. We have a lot of hazelnuts too, but nothing like your crop. I plant the trees to attract the squirrels.... Do you gather the fallen nuts or pick them from the tree?

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    1. mark I am quite glad we have no squirrels or they would pinch all the bird food I put out over winter. We pick up the fallen nuts. I found that picking nuts from the tree they did not dry so well. Thanks so much for your visit, comment and following. Have a good week Diane

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  26. Hello Diane, thank you for stopping by to ask about me. I'm hanging in there with a bare thread. Mom's health is declining but she still has the "oomph" to go forward. Dad's Parkinson's disease is taking a toll on his brilliant mind (he has a Phd degree from Purdue University in Lafayette, IN). It is very sad to see them like this.
    Your garden looks great, thank you again for stopping by. God Bless.

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    1. I am so sorry that the news is not good. I know just how you feel but I was lucky (if that is what you call it), my Dad was only ill for 5 days before he passed on and my Mum went very suddenly with a massive stroke. I am glad that neither suffered though it was a shock for me.

      Thanks for letting me know how you are, take care, I am thinking of you Diane xx

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  27. Your flowers are beautiful and I would love to try those nuts! Greetings from Florida! Hugs!

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    1. Lavender Dreamer now if only you were a little closer...... thanks for the kind comment, last night rain and high winds did the garden no good so I am glad I took the photos of the flowers when I did! Have a good week. Diane xx

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  28. I did get into a bit of trouble last year when I was talking to a cob nut producer and called them hazel nuts. When I asked him what the difference was he said (if I remember rightly) 'centuries of tradition and the English Channel'. Whatever they're called, that's an excellent crop. I didn't grow any cosmos this year and so I'm envious of yours - it's such a cheerful flower.

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    1. Phil it is a bit like calling Cognac 'Brandy' they are not happy bunnies!!! The cosmos have taken a hammering from the last two days of rain and high winds:-( Have a good week Diane

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  29. Bravo, les récoltes sont la récompense de tout le travail de l'année! Hélas beaucoup de récoltes donnent beaucoup de travail! Mais bientôt le jardin et la jardinière prendront du repos!
    Merci de ces belles images d'un jardin à la fois utile et très décoratif avec tant de fleurs!

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    1. Merci Lucie pour le gentil commentaire. Il est difficile de travailler, mais nous allons profiter de l'hiver :-)) Bonne semaine. Diane

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  30. Oh is it autumn already? you know what...those hazelnut reminds me of those chipmunks. haha...
    Hope you're going to have a fabulous autumn, Diane.
    Have a lovely day.
    Kristy

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    1. Kristy I loved the chipmunks LOL. Autumn is just fine it is the winter afterwards that I hate!! Take care Diane

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  31. Wow - that's a lot of filberts! Lucky lady!

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    1. Pam we are thrilled with this years crop :-) Have a good day Diane

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  32. Tu pourras faire de nombreux gâteaux avec toutes ces noisettes. Quelle chance!!!!
    Tu me donnes à chaque fois envie d'avoir un jardin.
    A bientôt

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    1. Les noisettes sont étonnants cette année. Nous sommes très chanceux. Bonsoir. A bientôt. Diane

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  33. Your garden is doing well! I'd love to have that many filberts.

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    1. Marjie we are going to have a 'cracking' good time with that lot. LOL Take care Diane

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  34. Admiring all your beautiful hazelnuts, I am so envious, here it is not easy to find good ones, and they are incredibly expensive!! A treat, in fact!

    Ciao
    Alessandra

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    1. Alessandra they are not that cheap here either as other people I know appear to have not had good crops, our tree is obviously in a good spot!! Have a good day Diane

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  35. wow! very nice shots of nuts and flowers. what can I say but wow..really pretty Diane. I already miss a lot here:) Good to be back!

    Hope to hear from you here :http://www.me-mymestizas.com/2012/09/toys-that-teach-is-coming-to-town/

    my children's site:) thanks!

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    1. Laikka glad you liked the photos in this post. Thanks for the visit, take care Diane

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  36. It is lovely to see that your garden is doing so well and looking very beautiful and colourful. You have shared some lovely photographic compositions Diane, thankyou.

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    1. Thanks for the kind comments Linda. The rain over the last few days has given it a bit of a hammering but hopefully it will recover with the next few days of sunshine promised. Have a good day. Diane

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  37. Hi Diane, love your harvest really envy your fresh hazelnuts.
    And those flowers are so beautiful and gorgeous. Excellent click!

    Have a nice week ahead, regards. Take care my dear.

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    1. Thankls Amelia for your kind comments. Keep well Diane

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  38. A FABULOUS new look blog, it is BRILLIANT Diane, and you photos are beautiful. I flowers are wonderful, and I love COB nuts :-) :-0 :-) xx Take Care too,

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    1. Anne thanks I was not sure about the header shot but everyone seems to like it! Keep well and take care. Diane xx

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  39. Look at all those flowers in your garden still!! wonderful - and the chestnuts - that really signals Fall in my mind - lovely post as always :)
    Mary x

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    1. What chestnuts Mary!!! Only flowers, courgettes and hazel nuts (cob or filbert) in my photos!! Take care Diane x

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  40. What a beautiful garden..ours is over. Took in all the cabbage and have been freezing tomatoes.
    Our leaves are starting to change..I don't know what happened to summer.
    Take care and hope you are feeling so much better..Thinking of you..xoCarolyn

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    1. Carolyn the garden is hanging in to a certain degree, the last few days of heavy rain have knocked over quite a few plants but I am hoping the next few days promised sunshine might bring some back to life! The shingles has almost gone but still annoys from time to time especially the ear and with all the dust from the building the cough is worse!! I see the specialist again on Monday. Not sure now that there is anything they can do!! Take care Diane x

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  41. Hi Diane .. everything looks so healthy and I love cobnuts - I get them when I visit friends in Kent - fresh ... but we had hazel nuts at home - those that were left from the squirrels were always rather good ...

    Beautiful flowers ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary we thankfully do not have a squirrel problem but we do have what we suspect is a dormouse that wanders around here with pouched cheeks!! We love the nuts they are very yummy. Take care Diane

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  42. Wow, you really have an abundant harvest in your garden. It's getting cold here so my garden is coming to an end.

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    1. Chubskulit Rose the garden is hanging in pretty well but I am not sure how much longer for. I am hoping it will warm up again, last year November we still had butterflies flitting around. Have a wonderful weekend Diane

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  43. The nuts!!! I'm envious! What a crop! I love them, simply love them!

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  44. What an amazing amount of produce...I am very impressed! I am sure you are a busy bee with all your preserving, but I also imagine you are very organised about it too.

    I would love to make a veggie stew of those round courgettes. Or would you bake them instead?

    I do hope you have time this weekend to relax in your most wonderful garden.

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  45. Dear Diane, thank you for thinking of me and stopping by. I'm doing everything I can to help them. Parkinson's disease is a very difficult disease to deal with. Mom is hanging in there. Your flowers are looking great. Have great day.

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  46. Beautiful colours, both fruits and flowers.

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    1. Jm the vegetables seemed extra colourful this year, no idea why. Diane

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  47. wow, there are really so muchhhh hazelnuts there!! Good for you! tomatoes and courgettes too!looks like you had a wonderful harvest this round!

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    1. Lena we have never had so many hazel nuts as this year and everyone else seems to have had a bad harvest!! Take care Diane

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  48. Replies
    1. Auntie Bliss, I hope your chestnuts are not this small, these are only about thumb nail size! Diane

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  49. always love your garden posts :-) and what a great nut bounty

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    1. Rebecca we have never had so many nuts as this year, quite amazing all from one tree. Diane

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  50. how yummy, new hazelnuts and so big ones! can I pass by and help you opening them? I love them:-))so great to see the results of your gardening+work! sunny smiles from Holland!

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    1. Jana you are welcome any time, we still have two boxful of nuts to be opened :-) Hope the weather is better with you than here in France. Have a good week Diane

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  51. How lovely having your own hazelnuts! i don't think they grow here... at least I've never seen any out where we are. We have a bountiful almond harvest nowadays, which is great, but I sometimes miss hazelnuts and walnuts.

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    1. Kit you are right I don't remember hazelnuts growing in S.A. but why not, our weather here is quite similar to Jhb. Have a good week. Diane

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