There’s change in the air


In the second week of August I noticed a change in the air which could mean only one thing.  Autumn is on its way. If like me, you are lucky enough to sleep with doors and windows wide open, it’s that moment when you wake and need to put a cardigan on.  There’s an indescribable but unmistakable chill and freshness in the air as Mother Nature lets out a large sigh after her energy spent yielding. 

And what a summer it has been.  We have had a great dry summer down on the South Coast, with a bit of a glitch in August which has given the earth a great soaking and push for the final harvest.  The harvest has certainly been fruitful. The hedgerows are laid with fruit as far as the eyes can see. I can’t remember a time when I ate so many blackberries.  I have such a fruitful yield that I have decided to have a go at Blackberry Vodka.  I will have to wait till Christmas to taste the fruits of my labour.  I thought I would include the recipes.


Sterilise a Kilner jar and add 350g of granulated sugar, 350g of berries of your choice and a litre of medium quality Vodka.  Stir every day till the sugar fully dissolves and then stir weekly for a few months.  Keep in a dark dry cupboard.  The infused Vodka will be ready after 3 months and will last as long as you can resist. It’s a good idea to place a bit of masking tape on your Kilner jar with your recipe proportions in case you want to adjust it a little next year.   

I am going to have a go with Damson Gin and Sloe gin this year too – in for a penny, in for a pound.  It is also a fabulous excuse to take Amos (the dog) off for a good woodland hike to gather the fruits. Damsons are ready about now but you may have a job to find a wild damson tree.  Sloes are ready from now till January, some say you need to let the frost get them first, some say they are fine to pick now. 


Very similar method to the berry vodka,  just make sure you prick the damsons or sloes with a fork or needle.

1 lb of  damsons or sloes, 4 oz of white granulated sugar and 75cl of medium quality gin

2-3 drops of almond essence only with the sloe gin

Shake the kilner jar till all the sugar has disolved.  Leave it in a dark cool cupboard for 3 months.  You need to strain the grog through muslin anytime between 3 months and a year later.  The longer you leave it the better.  The grog will last years!

Happy harvesting and infusing y’all


It’s gonna be a merry Christmas

Go Brighton Go

Britain in Bloom award ceremony will take place later this month in Birmingham. 

Brighton and Hove have entered as well as areas such as Brunswick and Kemp Town. 

We were involved with the Brunswick trail getting St. Nicholas Church ready for judging and as always assisting Peggy Thomas in whatever way possible at the Waterloo Street Community Gardens. 

I really hope we win as I feel the council have done some magnificient planting this year. 

The Old Steine, Level and Fountain have never looked better and the wild flower planting along the Lewes Road was uttlerly inspired. 

It cheered up many a journey to Lewes for us and hundreds of other commuters. 

It really does bring home the importance of bringing the community together and making it an area to feel proud of.

The council are always keen to get feedback from residents about the work they have been doing within the plants and parks sector.  After many phone calls and redirections I found the person to speak to about this and he told me that if you email cityparks@brighton/ they keep all your feedback on record and therefore can show management that the work is not going unnoticed by the electorate!  It’s how the system works.  So if you fancied emailing that would be just great.

Copyright © 2019 Heidi Joyce, Implementation by Bitvolution.