As I write this, it is a dreary sort of day in autumn. The kind of day that calls for hot tea and crumpets slathered with butter to go with a hot book. Instead, I’m reviewing garden chores that remain to be done and plans for Thanksgiving and house-guests. It all sort of goes together. As the garden is put to bed, the house is given a revamp. What the outdoors might lack, the indoors must make up.
As I cut back and clear in the garden, I set aside material that could be used in arrangements and wreaths. The fall colors inspire what I choose to display or create for the house and myself This applies to home décor, clothing as well as, seasonal menus. Taking my creative cues from nature works out mighty fine.
The instinct to make the home warm and cozy comes by necessity. The cold, dark months keep us indoors a great deal and while animals grow thicker, longer fur, humans bring out blankets and thick coats from storage. But look at the colors we choose! More often than not, they are tones matching those found in nature. Hues that echo the earth, trees, leaves, flowers, water and sunshine.
It stands to reason doesn’t it? While we may require shelter and safety from the elements, we cannot do without consistent contact with nature. We bring in plants, select nature inspired furnishings, take solace in basic, comfort food that tell tales of soil and rain and sun-kissed days.
In my own preparation for the winter, I have paperwhites and amaryllis putting out green growth and timed to bloom just as December brings the year to a close. Jars of jellies, sauces and chutneys sit poised to flavor meals with the essence of summer. Blankets and throws in shades of sage, bark and sand lay scattered anywhere one might feel inclined to curl up. Plant and seed catalogs are kept handy for dreams and plans. Pinecones, acorns and seedpods decorate tables. Shells collected at the beach are displayed as treasure. Clementines and tangelos piled high like diminutive suns perfume the air and tempt one to pause and savor a healthy snack. The kitchen is redolent with aromas of root vegetables and herbs simmering in stews and casseroles. I put out napkins printed with images of flowers that only a few months ago bloomed in my garden. Everywhere I look I see tributes to the natural world. This is what defines me.
It is plain and simple, we cannot thrive without a constant connection to nature. Far beyond our need for physical sustenance, we need the presence of trees, birdsong, sunlight, flowers, rain and the occasional rainbow. Its what keep us whole and balanced.
As we settle indoors in the comfort of warmth and beauty, lets honor the spirit of the garden within us and keep blooming.
Attention!In keeping with the topic of bringing nature indoors, I am very excited to announce that I have designed a botanical fabric. Please check it out here. It available in a variety of fabrics and also as wallpaper and giftwrap. Fabric for pillows (18×18 sq.inches) is also available here.
Product ideas from this fabric design can be viewed here.
Also –In time for the holidays, have added two more sets of botanical cards. See them here. Great for sending out holiday greetings, hostess gifts, teacher gifts, thank you notes, get well soon …
Please check out these links and give feedback! Plan your gift list!
(c)2014 Shobha Vanchiswar