The end of summer is the victory season! It is the wonderful “big win" over the long battle with beetles, weeds, and dry spells, when we can relax and enjoy the fruits of our labors. How natural and beautiful it is, then, to decorate our tables, mantles, countertops and doorways with the harvest!
How about filling a huge old wooden bowl with acorn squash, gourds, small pumpkins, colorful cabbages, and even red potatoes? Slip in some red oak branches (with the acorns still attached), sprigs of golden wheat, or twists of bittersweet to fill in the spaces and add color.
Or fill a tall container (a tin bucket, an old crock or churn, a hollowed-out birch log, or a copper pitcher) with cattails, Japanese maple branches, sunflowers, or black-eyed Susans.
English ivy, bittersweet, and Washington hawthorn branches with their red berries all make a beautiful mantle display. Add chunky candles in a fall color and a few Osage oranges (They are green!) for accent.
With chrysanthemums, so plentiful this time of year, create a welcoming entry with pots or bouquets of yellow, orange, rust, or burgundy mums. Add a basket of shiny red apples and a stack of pumpkins around a rustic fountain or a weathered garden bench.
Think of the five senses—sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch—as highways into the city-center of the soul and mind. The more “roads” you can use, the greater the impact, so use as many textures, colors and shapes, fragrances, tastes, and sounds as you can to invite your guests into the soul of your home.
Have the coffee on, the music playing, the candles lit, the fountain flowing, the apples polished. Everything must say, “Welcome home! Now you can breathe!”