September is a wonderful month in the UK, as late summer tips into autumn. The lazy days of high summer are over and it’s time to slip on a sweater for early morning walks, find a sunny spot to sit in instead of a shady place and plan ahead for autumn.
Here are our favourite things to do this month.
The glorious colours of autumn are just beginning to show but the days are still warm and sunny making it the perfect time of year to pull on some sturdy shoes and take a walk. We’re lucky in England to have so many public rights of way that allow everyone to hike across fields, through woods and along rivers. If you walk across arable farms such as Slamseys in September, you’ll see the winter wheat crop being sown, which will slowly grow until it’s harvested next summer.
No matter how many years it’s been since you went to school, do you still have an urge to sharpen your crayons and organise your pencil case at the beginning of the school year? September is a good time to sign up for a class to learn something new or revive an old skill.
Book a printing class at Slamseys and learn how to make screen prints, lino prints or intaglio prints. There are classes for beginners and rusty novices, printing on fabric or paper.
The autumn term starts with one of my favourite workshops the seasonal Creative Inspiration Day, which is about getting started with creative projects, exploring shape, colour and pattern, printing a selection of prints and filling a sketchbook full of ideas, all inspired by autumn.
Whether you’re the sort of person whose shelves are filled with home-made chutneys, jams and bottled fruit or you just make a few jars of jam for the satisfaction of spooning your own jam onto a scone, September is the time to capture the last of the summer produce in a jar.
Transform a glut of tomatoes into Passata with this recipe from The Shady Baker.
Use autumn fruiting raspberries to make this Raspberry Vinegar Sore Throat Soother from Life in Mud Spattered Boots or use blackberries picked from the hedgerows.
While the damson crop is at its peak, make this Damson Jelly from The Quince Tree.
Wash out the jars and bottles and start boiling.
Collect things that take your fancy like feathers or shells, scraps of fabric or wool, souvenirs from your summer holiday or foliage from the hedgerow.
Arrange your collection and appreciate it. Record in your visual diary or sketchbook.
Make an old-fashioned nature table or a new-fangled digital one.
Make ephemeral displays outside that slowly disintegrate or press flowers and leaves to preserve forever.
Make time to savour September, to enjoy the simple pleasures. Maybe even switch off social media and go Scroll Free, which will give you more time to enjoy being outside, learning, preserving and collecting.
Have fun in September.