Thursday, 12 October 2017

The joys of autumn & foraging for a seasonal display

I've been thinking a lot about autumn lately (or 'fall' for my overseas friends) and I've been trying to put my finger on what it is about autumn that warms our cockles so. Many of us have our favourite season but autumn seems to be such a firm favourite for so many. While we know it is a rich and beautiful season visually, it also fills many of our other senses - it brings warmth to our bellies, our homes and even to the clothes we wear. Essentially, Autumn is one big giant hug! I don't know about you but when the trees start to change to hues of amber, red and gold and the fires are lit I crave slow-cooked stews, as well as pumpkin soups, apple crumbles, chai lattes and hot cocoa. (FYI I never said I was good at making any of the above, but I am very good at eating them!)

Then there's the cosy clothing! Opaque tights are very much like marmite, we either love them or hate them but I personally take great pleasure knowing my legs are as furry as Ralphy's underneath my tights, and yet nobody knows...well except poor hubby when he comes a-snuggling and thinks I just have long furry socks on. In fact I enjoy dressing for Autumn more than any other month. I love mimicking the colours from the season in my clothes - the warm berry and rust tones, the hats, gloves and all thing soft and fluffy. Have you noticed that when you mimic the colours in nature you seldom get a clash? well OK it doesn't work every time but it often does!

One thing I've wanted for oh-so-long is a duffle coat, but I've always found them to be too expensive so I was over the moon with my new camel duffle coat from Laura Ashley. It's cosy, affordable and the neutral colour means it goes with everything - including my vast collection of scarves and hats! I love the hood and rope fastenings. Hubby thinks I look like a cute female Paddington bear in it :-) 

This weekend hubby and I (and Ralphy of course) went foraging in Pishiobury Park in Sawbridgeworth, because aside from clothes, food and scenery the other thing that also feels the change at this time of year is our homes. Winter duvets go on, the blankets come out, the fire kicks into action and the hot-water bottles earn their keep. So one of my favourite things to do is to forage for seasonal bits and pieces to decorate the house with! and you don't have to go far to find hidden gems ... 

Take the kids / dog / hot-flask / basket and head into the garden, the local park or venture out on a countryside walk and you'll find plenty of pine cones, autumn leaves, fallen dried oak branches, berries, rose hips, dried thistles and dried cow parsley - all of which are all perfect for creating a beautiful seasonal display.

Now depending on your style, you can make quite a stylised display OR you can just do as nature intended and go for the natural looks-like-it-just-fell-from-the-tree approach, which as you can see I much prefer. It's fuss free and just suits my little home. I also picked up a few mini pumpkins from the local supermarket! I can't tell you how happy I was when I sat down in front of the fire afterwards ... It just looks so cute and lovely.

I'm always drawn to little wooden nature ornaments so my toadstools and mushrooms blended in perfectly too! and don't forget some little tealights and candles too (but be careful they're not near anything flammable!)

Most of what you pick will already be dried out, or it will dry nicely. And if you use greenery to give it a splash of colour you can always replace it with more when it withers.

Just be careful what berries you use and make sure they are our of reach from children and your furry friends. Happy foraging friends!

JM x

Camel duffle coat £150 Laura Ashley Rust Beret Fatface
Log basket (on sale!) £36.40 Laura Ashley
Pumpkins from Waitrose

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