seasons :: all is safely gathered in

Come, ye thankful people, come;

Raise the song of harvest home.

All is safely gathered in

Ere the winter storms begin.

God, our Maker, doth provide

For our wants to be supplied.

Come to God’s own temple, come;

Raise the song of harvest home.

There is something very comforting and reassuring about the words of harvest home – gathering in for the winter ahead, reaping the rich rewards of our earlier efforts of sowing and growing – picking fruits and berries from the hedgerows – and then making, baking and preserving – what could feel better and feed the soul at the same time. It is as nature intended.

I have spent the week here ‘gathering in’; apples for cooking, blackberries for pies, ripening tomatoes in the sun and stacking logs for the wood store – and thinking ahead, I have been foraging for useful Christmas decorations – pine cones, hydrangea heads and a few lengths of willow for a wreath.

I feel now that I am well gathered!

We have lived very simply here over the last two weeks at the cottage – only buying enough food for a few days ahead and mainly fresh food – vegetables, dairy and bread. We don’t keep stocks of anything very much in the caravan just a little salt and pepper, a jar of dried pasta, some rice, a carton of lentils and tomato passata and a few teabags. You might even find a tin of baked beans, if you are lucky.

But with Brexit upon us I have been thinking long and hard about what action, if any, I should take to stock my larder at home. There will be panic buying – I have no doubt – judging by the food shopping frenzy at Christmas – it seems it is a very British thing – but I hate to be a part of that. On the other hand the words in the hymn ‘all is safely gathered in‘ suggests to me that it is a wise move to gather in before the winter storms and what could be more of a storm in the making than Brexit.

At the beginning of this year I decided not to keep large stocks of food in my cupboards at home so that it would never end up as out of date waste and I have loved the emptiness and the fact that we have not needed huge amounts of food in hand or added to the ‘waste’ mountain; but now I feel I must heed the words of the hymn and gather in for my family. So when I return home I will be buying a few extra tins and long dated dry products, ready for the long winter months, ready for Brexit whatever shape that takes.

It has been the most wonderful few days here in Scotland, dry sunny days, not too hot, just perfect for gardening; it has been oh so quiet, just us and a few birds, who have also been busy gathering in – so before we return home, and I am sad to be leaving, here are a few pictures from around the garden…..

back soon – have a lovely weekend and welcome new followers. x

19 thoughts on “seasons :: all is safely gathered in

  1. Thank you so much for your post and the wonderful pictures. I really enjoyed it and it has helped me to feel connected to the natural world which I find difficult in my little flat on a very busy and polluted main road. Thank you. Rachel.


    1. Hello Rachel and thank you for your comment. I am sure your little flat has many other advantages for you but it is such a shame about all the pollution these days. My elder daughter has been looking for a Nursery place for when she has to return to work and so many of them are located on busy main roads. She eventually found one located down a quiet side road – hopefully with less pollution. Our village school at home has over the limits of accepted pollution because it is on the main road through the village and the traffic is increasing due to a Morrisons being built there a few years ago.
      Oh there I go again on my soap box! You are right though about being able to connect with the natural world and here in Scotland we have our little hideaway that we can experience it so well.


    1. What I didn’t mention is the purple clematis is actually flowering on the wrong side of the trellis and Eric our caravan neighbour gets all the beauty of it!
      The Hydrangea is not a climbing one – I seem to have lost the tag but I think it is Perle d’Automne – it has gone quite mad this year although it is about 8 years old and been rather spindly before.


  2. Your garden looks so beautiful. So happy you’ve enjoyed your stay. Do you feel ready to go back home? Sometimes you must feel like you want to stay for longer, especially as it’s a place you’ve bought to retire to. How long do you think it will be before you can live in the cottage again?


    1. I am home now, but it was hard to leave and it was such a warm sunny day – made it worse. I have no doubt after a day or two at home it will be like a distant memory! Our plans for the cottage keep being put on hold for many reasons but last year and this have not been good for our family so many ‘happenings’ – I am ever hopeful though.


  3. Such beautiful photos. Your post is a post of two halves. The first being Autumnal, the second still very much summer!

    I love the idea of stocking up and gathering extra food for the cold months. x


    1. Being at the cottage surrounded by so much nature, watching the farmers out in the fields harvesting the crops and hay, made me think a lot about the practice of harvest and the festivals that were once such an important part of life. With Brexit looming I am also aware of the story of the 7 years of plenty and the seven years of famine, so I feel I need to be prudent and begin to gather in a bit more – just in case.


  4. The natural world in in full autumn bounty mode just now, isn’t it! We were picking sloes this week for sloe gin – hardly an essential supply but still…
    Sadly we have come to the same conclusion about laying in some stocks. I have been buying a few painkillers, and basic stocks of bread flour, yeast, tinned and dry foods. I think I should add frozen veg to that. We have a good supply of tomatoes from the 9 plants in the greenhouse – I’ll probably make tomato sauce and freeze that, plus a ratatouille with our own courgettes. Plentiful eating and cooking apples, and a reasonable amount of frozen rasps from this summer. The onion crop was poor – lots of small onions, and I haven’t lifted any carrots yet. Wondering if there’s still time to sow spinach. Apart from Brexit, it’s concentrating my mind on growing more useful veg for next year to make a dent in what will undoubtedly be higher prices.


  5. It’s been a beautiful autumn so far, hasn’t it? So colourful and productive and the trees and hedgerows are really coming into their own at the moment.


  6. Your photos are beautiful, as always. I hope you have got used to being back home now, after having such a relaxing time away. I think I’ll be buying a few extra tins etc in now…just to be on the safe side!


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