Outdoor Treasures For Your Table

Learn to see nature with new eyes, bringing in treasures which reflect seasonal beauties. Have lovely fresh centerpieces all year round. A simple, fun & free way to adorn your home with outdoor treasures.

If you like simple and natural beauty, then you will love adorning your table and home with seasonal treasures from the outdoors. Forget costly silk flowers""let the inside of your home reflect what's going on outside. Not only is this harmonious with nature and lovely to behold, but simple to do and absolutely free!

The first thing you need to do is to see nature with new eyes. Don't just look for pretty flowers to bring in""this is great when flowers are blooming""but learn to see what else catches your eye as you explore your yard. You might notice some interesting twigs sticking up out of the snow in the middle of winter""these would look equally striking in a clear vase on your table. Perhaps some of your summer growing vegetables display colorful foliage""snip a few to bring in. What about pinecones and interesting rocks? Or colorful, fallen Autumn leaves to spread along your mantle? Try going out at least once a month on a treasure hunt, looking for whatever strikes your fancy. It's amazing how something as simple as a tree branch can add such beauty to your home.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN EACH SEASON:

In the Fall, you might find Autumn flowers still blooming, as well as bush or tree branches with colorful leaves. You may also want to bring in curly, fallen leaves, pinecones, pumpkins, squash and gourds of all shapes, sizes and colors. You can harvest brilliantly colored leaves directly from the trees and press them as you would make pressed flowers. (Press them in a flower-press or between the leaves of a thick book on wax paper for a week or so.) These you could lay on your table, piano or mantle, spreading them loosely as if they had fallen there.



In the Winter you may want to bring in spent flower stalks with interesting seedheads, such as Black-Eyed Susans or Yarrow. Keep your eye out for interesting twigs, bush and tree branches. I noticed one of my bushes has smooth wine-colored branches shooting to the sky. I cut several of these and had a neat winter vase of them. At Christmas I adorned the vase with red & green ribbon. You may also want to bring in pinecones and evergreen branches during this festive season. Decorate them with ribbons and ornaments for a special Christmas touch.

In Spring we're all eager for the flowers to bloom. As soon as your Spring bulbs are blooming, you'll want to bring some in. Before then, you may find an interesting bush or tree branch with green or fuzzy buds on them. Also look for perennial foliage; you should be able to snip a little without hurting the plant. And keep an eye out for flowering bush and tree branches, such as Forsythia or Dogwood. You can choose to put only one branch in a vase, or display an armful of them. Or, Martha Stewart-style, you can display a single twig, fern or flower in a single vase, using several vases in a row or cluster.

In Summer you should have all the fresh flowers you'll need, if you garden at all. But don't forget to bring in something different once in a while, such as a tree branch with interesting leaves, or neat foliage such as ferns. Now's the time to keep an eye on your vegetable garden as well""Swiss Chard, for example, makes a beautiful arrangement and comes in many different bright colors. You may even want to grow extra, just for adornment.

Also in Summer and in Fall, be sure to collect flowers and herbs for drying. You can tie them and hang them upside down, somewhere where all can see and smell them. They are quite charming while drying. Later, when they're ready, you can make some dried-flower and herb arrangements for the in-between times when nothing outside seems suitable.

Most of these treasures can be arranged in your flower vases, but obviously, some will need to be displayed more creatively. You can fill a pretty plate or tray with interesting rocks, pinecones, dried flowers, fall leaves, etc. You can use candy dishes, interesting jars, or even plain Mason canning jars, depending on the arrangement. Learn to look around the house for unusual containers, such as pottery bowls or jars, or baskets, a teapot, or a simple tin can. Try putting your find in several containers to see what different effects they make. Soon you'll develop an eye and creative mind for displaying nature's beauties in your home. Don't forget to adorn other places besides your table, such as the mantle, piano, shelves, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. And be sure to put in a fresh arrangement in your guestroom for company. What a welcome they will find!

It is fun searching for these treasures and displaying them creatively. Enjoy your hunts, and the beauties in your home will be admired by all, all year round!

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