Jobs In The Garden – secure the garden furniture, collect kindling and cut the lawn for the last time this year. Happy Wintering!

Jobs In the Garden – November

The abrupt change in temperature; the bitter winds and driving rain; leaving work in the dark, it’s all confirmation that November is truly with us. It’s the last chance to do the late autumn jobs in the garden. Here at rattan garden furniture central, we’ve been making a ‘to do’ list of jobs that really need to be attended to before winter sets in.

But, before you get on with the really serious jobs, grab a coffee and plonk yourself down on your rattan patio furniture and turn the outdoor garden table into a work station. If you follow these ideas, you’ll be able to tidy up and make some nice Christmassy treats as you go.

Jobs In The Garden – Country Firelighters

I started making these last year and they really are a lovely way to spark a flame. They look pretty good nestled in a wicker basket next to the fire too – much better than one of those smelly boxes of commercial firelighters.

You are after a good mix of dry cuttings – twiggy bits and leaves. A good variety will look best and I always include a fair amount of herb cuttings for the aroma. Through in some holly and tie with some coloured string or raffia, and these make impromptu Christmas gifts too.

For my bundles this year, I shall be gathering:

Lemon balm
Rosemary twigs
Holly sprigs
Dried grasses
Sage twigs
Ivy

Gather a thick handful and wrap some binding – I use a dark red garden twine or raffia, if I have it to hand. Tidy the ends so that the bunch is about 10-15 cm high, chop off the straggling bits and there you have it, a beautiful smelling country firelighter made entirely from those bits you’d have been cutting back and throwing on the compost heap!

Jobs In The Garden – Dry Salted Herbs

Sticking with the herby theme – here’s a chance to grab the last of the British herb season into a jar. The herby mixture will see you through the winter and makes a lovely unusual Christmas present.

40g herbs (eg chives, parsley, tarragon, mint, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano)
10g salt
Zest of a lemon or orange
Crushed garlic and/or chilli (optional)

Finally chop the herbs – a combination of any of these is great but you can theme your mix (rosemary, orange, chilli and garlic – is lovely with fish; sage, rosemary and thyme, garlic and lemon is a great topping for roast spuds) .

Put the chopped herbs into a bowl. Add the zest and your garlic (one clove crushed) or fresh chili (chopped) if desired.

Mix with the salt. Cover with a tea towel. Leave in a warm place (I put mine by the range) of 2-3 days. The house will smell divine. Stir occasionally. Pour into a sterilized jar. It will keep for several months.

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