Gardening, cooking, and beekeeping – it’s all about timing, knowing 'when the time is right'. With the seasons getting a bit jumbled (and weather being a finicky thing at the best of times), we have to rely on our own observations, rather than the gardening magazines, with their Autumn to-do lists. I just hope that I have got my timings right!


One thing I remember my Grandad telling me: when the time is right, you should prepare your potted plants for winter. I think the time is right, now. They need a soil blanket around them. So this week, I have been methodically preparing all of my potted herbs. I have taken them out of their small pots and put them into the next size up - with a lovely covering underneath, around, and on top of each plant. That covering is peat free compost (I use Fertile Fibre) which should protect their roots from the cold. I hope.

Herbs being repotted for winter in peat-free compost.

I have many pots of herbs – obviously – so I am on a mission! If you look at the photograph, you will see one small pot with the herb in it and one with the same herb transferred into a larger one. I took the opportunity to give it a bit of a tidy too. Some ends were cut off, old branches snipped out.

And the time has also been right for cutting back a massive Sage bush in our own garden. I do not enjoy the flavour of Sage very much (except for the fruit ones) so have not been as assiduous in using it as I might have been. Sage likes air around its feet! A bit like humans... And I am hoping that the autumn winds around it will help. So I cut it right back as it really was getting quite manky.

What to do with all that Sage though once removed? Time for a quick herbaceous recipe!

Sage Butter Recipe

Sage butter recipe

I make it into oils, butters, cheeses etc., keeping it preserved as well as making for delicious little flavoursome ingredients for cooking throughout the coming months.

The easiest way is to make herb butter. Here’s a VERY quick recipe – blink and you’ll miss it:
1. Take your herb.
2. Wash it.
3. Dry it very well.
4. Chop finely.
5. Put your finely chopped herbs into ramekin dishes, ice cube trays, or anything else you fancy really.
6. Gently melt some butter, then pour it over the herbs, filling whatever containers you have chosen. Make sure the leaves are completed covered – nudge down any protruding tips under the surface.
7. Then freeze. - and defrost when you fancy something fried in, or spread with, butter and Sage!

If you want to know how to do it in detail, you can head to my Youtube page: 



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Written by Sara of Hawkwell Herbs