Ten Great Ideas For Decorating With Gourds

If you’re like me, every October, when those big boxes of ornamental gourds land at the grocery store, your mind whirls with possibilities. The cute little shapes seem to embody the essence of fall. The problem is that once you get them home, the gourds are a bit lacking somehow. Sure, they look OK on their own in a bowl, but if you really want to get creative, design-wise, you’ll need to add some key seasonal ingredients. Continue reading

Why Leaves Change Color and Other Fun Fall Facts

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Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

-Albert Camus

I like to think of fall from an Alice In Wonderland perspective; that is, autumn is a time when we shrink in proportion to our gardens while the leaves ‘bloom’ above us.  And each year, nature unveils new surprises, dazzling us with colors and combinations so vivid and daring as to leave little doubt as to her ability to create designs far superior to our own. Continue reading

Take Time, Slow Down and Smell the Leaves

There’s no better time than autumn to get outside and smell the leaves. The cooler temperatures and colorful show offer a great opportunity to reconnect with the natural world. With its unmistakable earthy aroma, fall offers us a chance to renew our spirits and to recharge.

I take pleasure in all the leafy details of the season: the delicate remains of the tooth-edged brown oak, the fiery red maple formed like a palm and the heart-shaped yellow linden. Held aloft on the fragrant air, these simple shapes flutter down from bare branches to form crazy quilts on the still-warm soil. As I walk, a crisp, crackling sound rises from beneath my feet.  I savor the heady aromas; fragrant cinnamon, orange spice and the powerful scent of dry leaves roasting in the autumn sun.

What is it about decaying leaves that summons up our deepest memories? How can one whiff of a rotting oak stir our reflection, catapulting us back into the giant leaf piles of our youth?

My view is that the answer lies not only in fall’s foliage, but also in something less tangible – its smell. More inscrutable than seeing or hearing, the experience of smelling opens pathways to a deep-seated awareness that lies dormant in us all. Untouched by human language, this awareness, once awakened, recalls the child we once were and who still exists inside us.

Floating upward through the annals of time, the distinctive smell of autumn leaves reconnects us to this child, reminding us of our own particular story, our unique pathway through life and our timeless link to the natural world.