Every year we try to find the time, we try to rustle up some sloe gin, and it is unbelievably delicious. It is wonderful how such a sour berry with little initial promise can flavour gin so perfectly, taking away the harsh alcoholic edge and making the most mellow fruity scrumptious warming winter drink I have ever come across.This year the crop is outstanding, I have never seen such an enormous amount of sloe berries on the trees and it makes for relatively easy picking. The long spines that normally slow the whole process down are less of an issue when you can grab a whole handful of berries in one go and substantially decreases the picking to swearing ratio. One of our oldest birches was brought down by Hamish and his chainsaw this week, it had sadly given up the ghost in the summer and we thought it wise to bring her down before the winter winds did it for us and perhaps damaged the shed and anyone standing close by in the process. So now we have a gap in the garden and a big pile of birch wood for burning.
Whenever something dies in the garden it is a great opportunity to look at the space that it creates and think about new ideas, and maybe a makeover for the area around it.