Samhain, oak trees & chickweed

Samhain - A traditional Gaelic festival. It marks the halfway point between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. The end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. 

Here in the southern hemisphere, Samhain falls on the last day of April/1st of May. In the northern hemisphere it falls on the 31st of October/1st November. All hallows eve? Halloween! You're thinking of pumpkins right? Me too! 

This is the time of the year when the pumpkins you have been growing since spring are finally ready for harvest, they can be picked and stored ready to be turned into pumpkin soup to keep you cosy through winter. 

My pumpkins didn't get the memo. 

I have not planted any pumpkins in my relatively small garden, though the entire thing is full of huge pumpkin plants! They have just popped up by themselves and started growing, I assume from seeds hidden in the compost.  

Since they were not planted at the beginning of spring like any resonable pumpkin, they aren't ready for the pumpkin harvest festival.

Impressive, no? 

Impressive, no? 

We spent the afternoon going on a bushwalk halfway up the mountain. We picked bidens heads and kidney weed and cooked them up with some pumpkin for dinner, enjoyed by the fire (store pumpkin, like a commoner)

My garden helper: Crataegus.

My garden helper: Crataegus.

A friend gifted me some little oak trees from their garden a few weeks ago. Crataegus helped me dig a giant hole and make a goat proof fence for the little oak tree.

All summer I wished for a great, big, shady oak tree to sit under. I suppose Achillea and Crataegus can sit under it with their children. 

Delicious chickweed

Delicious chickweed

Chickweed! My favourite winter green. I could seriously (and infact, do) much on it all day long.

Chickweed grows wild around here in the shady places around the river. Somehow its seeds have made their way into our garden. There is now a wildly abundant chickweed patch growing amongst the mint, lemon verbena, and an undead gooseberry.  

Feeling grateful for all these welcomed seasonal changes.