Showing posts from September, 2013

Hedgerow harvest

There's an expression you commonly hear in Scotland at this time of year (indeed, my husband, who was originally from Speyside, used to say it nearly every day in September). "Aye, the nights are fair drawing in." Roughly translated, it means: "Yes, the evenings really are getting darker." It's a time of year I love. You still get lots of sunshine, the weather is still mild, even if it is raining, and the hedgerows are full of blackberries, elderberries and sloes. It's the perfect time of year to go for a walk AND come back with something to eat. Where I live, in the Cotswolds, the hedgerows tend to be the classic mixture of mainly hawthorn, with field maple ( Acer campestre ),  native hazel ( Corylus avallana ) and wild rose ( Rosa canina ). You find brambles, ivy and Travellers' Joy ( Clematis vitalba ) scrambling about too, with the inevitable elders ( Sambucus nigra ) that seem to self-seed everywhere in the Cotswolds. A mixed hedge supports a