Posts tagged Autumn
Autumn in the Garden

Clockwise from top left: beautiful pale petals taken as a cutting from my grandma's garden; bare branches towering over the house and garden; accumulating leaves over every inch of the grass; a very healthy and happy rosemary plant; seed pods on the track leading to our house - Bella tries to eat every single one; wonderful orange berries; interesting tree bark designs; a sedum plant in its final phase of colour; the soft scented roses still going strong.

Autumn in the garden can be more vibrant and colourful than many of the summer months, and our garden has delighted us with soft pink hues, deep orange berries and the earthy colours of falling leaves and seed pods. If I'm honest, it's looking a little tired and neglected at the moment, and could do with the weeds being removed as well as even more raking of leaves, but in a way it's quite fitting that in the latter months of the year the garden gradually slows and evolves into a more natural, organic space.

The warmth of October has meant that flowers that normally would be long gone still remain to brighten the gloomy skies of early November, but I know that soon we will only be left with the opulent green of the holly bush and the creaking of the trees as they sway high above in the blustery gales as we approach winter.

My plans for the months ahead in the garden simply involve general tidying and upkeep, perhaps pulling out some of the plants that are past hope of resurrection, although seeing the bare frame of a plant or tree crusted in early morning frost is a sight to behold. What do you enjoy about gardens in autumn? Do you sadden as the plants fall to the ground, or embrace the new shapes that are slowly appearing?

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Eleanor CheethamAutumn, Garden
An Autumn Wreath

Hanging a wreath to welcome visitors is such an easy way to bring nature into the home; it acts as a reminder, too, of the seasonal changes as we hurtle head first through yet another year. Creating an autumn wreath has long been top of my to do list, and last week, as the morning of Halloween dawned and copper and claret leaves fluttered around the garden, I decided I would put it off no longer. I spent a happy half hour searching for materials, and although I had been planning to create the wreath inside, it was so warm I remained in the garden, making the whole process seem even more peaceful and gratifying.

I started, then, by searching through the garden for branches and berries to use, and managed to find an interesting mix of hedgerow clippings and herb patch discoveries (rosemary proved a particularly useful filler, and smells delectable). I then picked a couple of pieces of holly and added conifer foliage for a brighter green colour to lighten the overall effect.

For the base I used a willow wreath that I bought from a local shop last year (see here for similar), but you could use a wire one if you prefer.

Wicker wreaths are so easy to work with, so in the end I used no string or method to attach everything together other than sliding in the stems and branches between the wicker. I began with the foliage and longer stems before adding the holly and berries at the end.

It really was as simple as that! What do you think of the finished wreath?

What I love is that I can remove and add foliage and berries as the month progresses and nature begins to adapt to the fall of the year. I'll be using the same base for my Christmas wreath too, but adapting the style and colours to fit the festive season.

Do any of you display wreaths throughout the year?

Wandering in the Woods

Hearing the crunch of crisp autumnal leaves under your wellies as you stomp through the countryside has got to be one of life's greatest simple pleasures. The russet and honeyed hues of nature can lift even the gloomiest of skies, but last weekend we were lucky enough to choose a day to revel in these seasonal joys when the sun sat still all day long, and warmed us through our many layers of clothing.

Nestled in the heart of Lincolnshire on the edge of the picturesque Wolds is a small wood where you can crunch leaves and wander beneath the vast canopy of trees to your heart's content. Usually a spot heralding the start of a biking route, Willingham Woods is actually a small slice of countryside where you can escape and explore all year round, though it holds a particular ethereal beauty during the autumn months. You can also take the opportunity (as we did) for an al-fresco hot chocolate still piping hot from the flask and somehow more enjoyable because it is consumed outside.

The rolling fields of the Wolds stretch out like a muddied patchwork quilt in the distance, but inside the wood everything is dense and earthy. Scarlet berries lace the branches that lead you down windy paths, and you are followed only by the rustle of pigeons as they spring from their perches high above the ground. Bella (the pup) was terribly excited as it was her first exploration of the woods, and seeing her paw at the leaves and test the waters of the stream was a joy and we felt like proud parents showing her off to the world.

It's not that having a dog forces us to do things and go places we wouldn't normally, it simply means we are more likely to create opportunities to explore both the surrounding countryside, and the seasons. What could be better than that?