All around us farmers have been busy harvesting, and the fields are striped and neat. Wasps, bees and flies swamp the blackberries on our east-facing wall. Seed heads become interesting; grasses mature, hydrangeas burnish and leaves turn. We pick lots of airy cosmos and mix it with gypsophila, snapdragons, zinnias and michaelmas daisies. We harvest yellow-stemmed alder from our paddock and scarlet-berried rowan from the hedgerows to arrange for the funeral of a nature-loving man. The dahlias flower proudly on.