August is... the late night whirr of a combine harvester, eating every meal outdoors, sticky fingers from making jams and jellies and slow afternoons in the sunshine.
Did you know? The Anglo-Saxons called the month of August Weod monath, meaning weed month, as it is the time of year when weeds are most rampant. Spend ten minutes every evening to keep on top of them!
Dates for your diary: 31st August is Bank Holiday Monday, so make the most of the extra day and organise a seasonal celebration with loved ones.
August in words:
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat.
Things to do at home and in the garden:
- It's time to start preserving soft fruit to enjoy past the summer months. If you grow your own it's usually a frantic rush to pick everything before it goes over, but if not you can pick up some good deals at pick-your-own farms or local shops. Try jams, jellies, fruit cheeses, cordials and fruit vinegars to really make the most of the fruit.
- While you're at it, why not preserve some summer vegetables too? Courgettes and green beans are delicious as a side to cold meats and salad once they've been pickled in vinegar, or if you've got a little more time try chutneys or relishes.
- Keep on top of those weeds (see above)!
Lavender is also ripe for the harvesting during August, so if you've got any growing in your garden, pick as many stems as you can and tie together in bundles with string. Hand in a warm place inside your home and leave to dry. Then pull off the dried flowers and place in small muslin bags. These are perfect for putting under your pillow if you struggle to sleep at night, or make sweet-smelling additions to sock drawers.
Eleanor is obsessed with stories. She writes for a number of online spaces including This is Your Kingdom, edits Creative Countryside, curates #aseasonalyear and teaches at Chalk House. In addition, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing. You'll find her roving the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds or planning her next rural adventure.