Winter White: Wedding Blooms Of White Delight

Winter White:  Wedded In Floral Bliss Of White
Winter White: Wedded In Floral Bliss Of White

The Winter wedding. At a time where snow flakes dance and the world is layered in frozen snow, visions of a Winter white wedding bedecked in blooms of hues of white evoke a pureness of the season itself.

It is interesting to note that the term “White Wedding” refers to a traditional formal or semi-formal wedding originating in Britain.  The term itself “originates from the white colour of the wedding dress, which first became popular with Victorian era elites after Queen Victoria wore a white lace dress at her wedding”. Of course the term would evolve to cover the Western wedding traditions (Fashion’s Iconic Dress Of White: The Wedding Dress). The color of white represents purity in its neutrality. Perhaps a sign of a fresh beginning. How befitting, as a New Year and Winter and its effects settle in, to layer a wedding in white blooms. Whether massed in a wedding bouquet with natural elements of Winter,  a boutonnière gracing a groom’s lapel or bedecking tables of celebration, blooms of white in the Winter are stunning and striking in their own simplicity and sophistication. Of course, flowers of white and various hues therein are elegant during any season. Yet Winter is white. Visions of white and a Winter wedding are dreamy combinations, for certain. Beautiful and lovely, a visual appreciation of pure white delight…..

Snowy White Delights:  Winter Flowers
Snowy White Delights: Winter Flowers
Winter White Flowers Of Wedded Style
Winter White Flowers Of Wedded Style
Hues Of Winter White:  Wedding Style
Hues Of Winter White: Wedding Style
Elegance Of White:  Winter Weddings
Elegance Of White: Winter Weddings
Whites & Pastel Flowers Of Sweet Appeal:  Winter Weddings
Whites & Pastel Flowers Of Sweet Appeal: Winter Weddings
Crisp Elegance Of Winter White:  Wedding Flowers In Hues Of White
Crisp Elegance Of Winter White: Wedding Flowers In Hues Of White
Sophistication of White:  Winter Flowers Of Pure  White Hues
Sophistication of White: Winter Flowers Of Pure White Hues
Wedding Bouquets bedecked With Winter White Appeal
Wedding Bouquets bedecked With Winter White Appeal
Black And White:  Elegance And Sophistication of Winter White Blooms
Black And White: Elegance And Sophistication of Winter White Blooms
WInter's Celebration In Floral Delight Of White
WInter’s Celebration In Floral Delight Of White
Sweet Elegance Of Wedded Appeal In White
Sweet Elegance Of Wedded Appeal In White

Consider the elegance and simplicity of blooms of white. Pure beauty of neutral appeal.  Forever a classic visual when paired with a bride swathed in white.  Timeless with enduring appeal.  Winter white delights, indeed…

Onward,

Kristin

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”
-Leonardo di Vinci

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Tropical Inspiration: The Glossy Banana Leaf & The Striking “Martinique” & “Braziliance” Pattern

Striking Tropical Leaves:  The Banana Tree
Striking Tropical Leaves: The Banana Tree

The striking appeal of the tropical banana leaf endures to inspire within the interior. The airy, tropical feel that is presented with the long, glossy leaves of voluminous and graceful appeal endure to present an visual appeal within our interior worlds…

The Banana “Tree” is a fast growing, herbaceous perennial arising from underground rhizomes. A member of the genus Musa (part of the family Musaceae) it is believed that there are almost one thousand varieties! Imagine! Believed to have originated within the jungles of Southeast Asia, bananas are thought by some horticulturists to have been one of the first fruits of the earth. Who knew? The fleshy stalks of these glossy green plants are formed by upright layers of leaf sheaths that constitute as functional “false” trunks, which produce the leaves. The true stem begins underground, growing upward and pushing its way out through the center. The glorious plant of nature arises to grace our world with its decorative and tropical appeal.

The Banana Leaf:  Glossy, Striking Appeal
The Banana Leaf: Glossy, Striking Appeal

For those fortunate to live in a warm climate that can grow this tropical delight outdoors, how lovely! Yet it is the indoor banana plant (Musa Oriana) that many of us must rely upon to provide us with the tropical surrounds it offers. Consider indoor, towering ornamentals of non-fruit bearing banana “trees” or dwarf varieties (Musa Ornata) that add the appeal of the tropics. Although these plants still require warm temperatures perhaps relocating these potted delights to the great outdoors within Summer’s warmth will assist in a thriving tropical beauty when brought back within the interior at Summer’s end. For certain, after the leaves wave in the last of the Summer breezes, consider the beauty of the banana leaf within the interior. Pure tropical delight, indeed. An appreciation of the tropical plant and its iconic artistic patterns follows…

One cannot pay tribute to this glossy and stunning large tropical leaf without acknowledging the iconic patterns created by the artistic minds of two designers: Don Loper & Dorothy Draper.

First, Don Loper’s iconic “Martinique” printed wallpaper that graced the walls of the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1942. Don Loper (April 1906-November 1972) was “an American costume and necktie designer, screenwriter, choreographer, associate producer, actor and an assistant to MGM musicals producer Arthur Freed. His talents varied, his creation of this distinctive pattern endures to carry his name onward. Considered one of the most recognizable patterns in the world, the original “Martinique” Banana Leaf paper was hued in colors of burgundy, muted green & deep mustards with a hint of brown. A timeless, bold and exaggerated pattern of distinction that has rightly earned its place as one of the most iconic wallpapers within the history of the 20th century. Timeless, for certain.

Decorator Don Loper & His Original "Martinique Banana Leaf Wallpaper"/Beverly Hills Hotel 1942
Decorator Don Loper & His Original “Martinique Banana Leaf Wallpaper”/Beverly Hills Hotel/ 1942
Decorator, Dorothy Draper's "Braziliance Palm" Wallpaper/Greenbrier Hotel, West Virginia/1940's
Decorator, Dorothy Draper’s “Braziliance Palm” Wallpaper/Greenbrier Hotel, West Virginia/1946

Secondly, the tropical gift of Dorothy Draper (November1889-March 1969). Draper is considered a “pioneer in interior design, dominating the field from 1925 to 1960 when she was named the most influential tastemaker in America”. Draper, known as high-society interior designer, was hired to refurbish and renovate the Greenbrier Hotel & resort in West Virginia in 1946. Used as a hospital during World War II, Draper would transform the grand hotel with “a bold new personality, using color and oversized patterns that reflected “luxury and elegance”. Said to have been one of the largest redecoration project in the history of American hotel history at that time, Draper would refer to the hotel as the “Jewel” in her “Crown”. Alas, it is Draper’s “Braziliance Palm” that would provide a tropical appeal, as did Loper’s. Both unexpected, perhaps, and both fresh and daring papered distinction. The main difference between the two patterns, perhaps, lies in the color hues and the addition of Draper’s “Sea Grapes” or “Seagrapes” (Coccoloba Uvifera). “Sea grapes” are flowering plants native to tropical America, including Florida, the Caribbean and nearby islands. These “Seagrapes” paired with the bright, vibrant emerald green hue and black accents vs. the more muted palate of Loper’s with its brown hued accents. Both, equally striking and distinctive. Both enduringly timeless additions of tropical flair that have been repeated within interiors as papered walls, textiles and countless other layerings of style. Tropical inspiration that certainly never fades throughout time…

Leaves Of Style:  Banana Leaves
Leaves Of Style: Banana Leaves
Papered Style Of Tropical Appeal: Iconic Banana Leaf motifs
Papered Style Of Tropical Appeal: Iconic Banana Leaf motifs
Graceful Leaves Of Patterned Appeal:  The  Motif Of The Banana Leaf
Graceful Leaves Of Patterned Appeal: The Motif Of The Banana Leaf
Light & Airy Tropical Appeal:  The Banana Leaf
Light & Airy Tropical Appeal: The Banana Leaf
Events & Entertaining With Tropical Appeal:  The Banana Leaf & Its Motif
Events & Entertaining With Tropical Appeal: The Banana Leaf & Its Motif
Setting A "Tropical Mood":  The Appealing Banana Leaf
Setting A “Tropical Mood”: The Appealing Banana Leaf
Nature's Inspiration On Fashion:  The Influence Of The Classic Banana Leaf Pattern
Nature’s Inspiration On Fashion: The Influence Of The Classic Banana Leaf Pattern

Consider the beauty of the banana leaf. The bold pattern of distinction of the graceful banana leaf endures even in the realm of the fashionable world. Alas, although we may not adorn ourselves with the patterned appeal of the striking, iconic patterns of the “Martinique” or the “Braziliance Palm” , an appreciation of fashion’s influence by nature and pattern is at hand. Acknowledging the longstanding influence of artistry in fashion, indeed. And of the addition of the banana leaf at weddings and events? The glossy leaf of tropical appeal brings with it a memorable appeal of celebration. Tropical delight.

For certain, whether it is a variation of the plant that graces our interior or exterior worlds, textiles or papered appeal, the distinctive, broad leaves offer a tropical appeal that is certain to endure in delighting. Tropical inspiration of striking appeal, indeed…

Kristin

Arbors: Airy Structures Of Shelter & Exterior Style

Airy Structures Of Exterior Delight:  Arbors
Airy Structures Of Exterior Delight: Arbors

The airy arbor that floats above us provides visual delight, shelter and exterior style

The garden arbor is referred to as a landscape structure and a shelter of vines or branches or latticework covered with climbing branches or vines”. The Middle English word “Arbor” is taken from the Old French word “Erbier” (Meaning a “Field, meadow, kitchen garden”) “Arbre” (“Tree, axis”) and from “Erbe” (“Grass, herb”) and from the Latin word “Herba” and English “Herb”. Standing tall throughout history, the actual phonetic word is said to have been influenced by the Latin word “Arbor” for “Tree”. However the arbor is referred, the structures that strikingly provide shade or architectural distinction from one room of the garden to another, offer an elegance and enchantment wherever they are found. Whether surrounded by climbing shrubs or vines or flowering delight, these distinctive stationary shelters provide a visual of comfort and style. Complimenting the style and scale of the home they embellish, these raised structures add height and interest paired with function. Often, these airy structures add a sense of enclosure to the great open skies and garden surrounds. Oh, to dine under the vertical and horizontal structures of garden delight!

Stationary Distinction Within The Landscape:  Arbors
Stationary Distinction Within The Landscape: Arbors
A Shelter Of Style:  The Arbor
A Shelter Of Style: The Arbor
Shelters Of Nature:  Arbors Of Landscaping Appeal
Shelters Of Nature: Arbors Of Landscaping Appeal
Shelters Of Nature:  Arbors Of Landscaping Appeal
Shelters Of Nature: Arbors Of Landscaping Appeal
Enclosures Open To The Sky:  The Arbor
Enclosures Open To The Sky: The Arbor

Consider the arbor within the landscape setting. Embracing the landscape that they surround, these airy structures with vertical supports that hold up horizontal rafters create a ceiling that is open to the elements of nature. Pure delight within nature’s surrounds. For certain, the exposure to nature is an added benefit to an exterior room. Whether sun light streams through or the brilliance of evening stars above, the lure of the arbor beckons. Whether formal elegance is sought or merely a division or entrance between spaces or as shelter above an outdoor dining space, the arbor is an addition that will endure to delight and enhance our own private exterior worlds. And of the plantings that cascade over or around the arbor of structural interest? The additional shade and alluring appeal of layers of nature will endure to add interest and enchantment to our exterior spaces. Airy structures of shelter and exterior style, indeed…

Kristin

“To build, to plant,
whatever you intend,
to rear the column,
or the arch to bend,
to swell the terrace,
or sink the grot;
in all, let nature never be forgot…
consult the genius of the place in all…”
-Alexander Pope, 1731
18th century English Author, poet, classical scholar and accomplished gardener

“Pomp & Circumstance”: The Towering & Majestic Statement Of “Alliums”

Towering Distinction:  The Pomp & Circumstance Of The Regal Allium
Towering Distinction: The Pomp & Circumstance Of The Regal Allium

Alliums. Elevated distinction of nature. The “exalted” appeal of grandness that the Allium presents in our surrounds is certainly worthy of consideration. Stunning globe shapes standing high above the landscape with majestic and striking, towering style.

With the arrival of Summer, the arrival of the glorious flowers that top a leafless stalk fills our surrounds. Alliums are perhaps one of the greatest bulbs that can typically provide constant color throughout the seasons in the temperate climates of the Northern Hemisphere . Alas, the common name “Ornamental Onion” perhaps does not give a grand nod to this imposing bloom of garden style. Either way, the grandiose and impressive bloom that tops tall stems moves beyond its name and link to the onion family…

The Allium is a genus of herbaceous perennial bulbous plants and is said to be one of 57 genera of flowering plants with more than 500 species. The plants are ‘perennialized’ by bulbs that reform annually from the base of the old bulb. Who knew? Alas, it is by far the largest genus in what is known as the “Amaryllidaceae” and “Alliceae” classifications, to our delight. Of interest, the Allium flower itself forms an “Umbel” (An umbel is defined as an inflorescence which consists of a number of short flower stalks (called pedicels) which spread from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs. The arrangement can vary from being flat topped to almost spherical). Certainly this natural design is part of the success of this ornamental perennial of distinction. Given that striking perennial garden designs provide contrasting shapes, Alliums provides visual interest with their rounded blooms. The erect flowers that tower upon the green stalks are a visual delight and perhaps add bold whimsy to our exterior world. When found within the garden setting, Alliums often add an element of unexpected beauty. “Pomp & Circumstance”, if you will. Alas, if a garden could sing, the Allium would be a key part of a magical symphony, indeed…

Majestic Display Within The Garden Setting:  Alliums
Majestic Display Within The Garden Setting: Alliums
Flowering Distinction: The Allium Of Towering Appeal
Flowering Distinction: The Allium Of Towering Appeal

And of the inclusion of the Allium flower within the joyous celebrations of life? Memorable impact and beauty, indeed…

Celebrations With The Glorious Allium
Celebrations With The Glorious Allium
Wedding Delights Paired With Impact Of The Allium
Wedding Delights Paired With Impact Of The Allium
Memorable Events Paired With Perennial Delights:  The Towering, Magnificent Allium
Memorable Events Paired With Perennial Delights: The Towering, Magnificent Allium
Interior Delights:  Alliums On Display
Interior Delights: Alliums On Display
Interior Delights:  Alliums On Display
Interior Delights: Alliums On Display

Consider the glory and magnificence of the Allium. Living in the Midwest, it is only appropriate that Alliums rise to their stately glory at the turn from late Spring in to early Summer. For me, their arrival is an awaited visual delight, indeed. Although there are variations of hues and white Alliums that grace the scenery, it is the purple hued towering Allium that thrills me with its regal color. Consider with appreciation the towering and majestic beauty of Alliums. Vivid globes of colorful delight. “Pomp & Circumstance”, indeed….

Kristin

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

The French Art Of “Trelliage”: Elegant Latticework Of Architectural Distinction

Classical Distinction Of French Origin:  "Trelliage"
Classical Distinction Of French Origin: “Trelliage”

In appreciation of the elegance of the formal and classic embellishment of “Trelliage” Captivating and timeless. The enduring French art of “Trelliage” provides a distinctive and artistic use of latticework, for certain. From the Old French word “Treille” and the Latin word “Trichila” (for bower or arbor), the term “Trelliage” refers to the “Trellis of a highly developed form both artistically and architecturally”. Fretwork, latticework and lattice are all words that refer to a framework consisting of an ornamental design made of strips of wood or metal. Used in design throughout history with enduring appeal, the art of “Trelliage” delightfully thrives today within the exterior and interior worlds…

Of course, an appreciation of the origin of this grand element of form and function is necessary. The origins of “Trelliage” are linked to 12th century French country gardeners who created rudimentary structures, called “Treille”, to support the climbing tendrils of vines within their countryside gardens. Of note, these simple forms are said to have been typically constructed without order or regularity. Perhaps it is of no surprise that during the 17th century, under the reign and direction of King Louis XIV, that the basic form of “Trelliage” would “rise to unseen heights” of artistry. Alas, the construction of the elaborate, formal French gardens at Versailles. Landscape Architect, André Le Nôtre, was hired by Louis XIV to design and create an impressive and substantial French garden. The stunning “Salon De Trelliage” was an elaborate part of the grand gardens of Versailles. Paired with with carpentry of strong, painted wood, the formal and elegant design of “Trelliage” stood before the world. Impressive, elaborate and stunning, indeed…

King Louis XIV  & Landscape Architect  Andre Le Norte
King Louis XIV (1638-1715) & Landscape Architect Andre Le Norte (1613-1700)
Louis XIV & Landscape Architect  Andre Le Norte:  The Elaborate Formal French Gardens Of Versailles
The Elaborate Formal French Gardens Of Versailles/”Salon De Trelliage”

Throughout the 17th century, “Trelliage” became a highly disciplined art form. Le Nortre and other landscape architects relied on “forced perspective” and “absolute precision” to deliver a sense of grandeur to the garden setting. Scale was key to achieve these grand affects. Grand it was. “Trelliage” brought “instant” form and replaced the patience required in waiting for hedges and topiaries to grow to full maturity. Adding instant architecture to the garden scene, the impressive scale and elegant formality that “Trelliage” provided has endured to appeal. In fact, the desire to emulate the French architectural style would inspire royal palaces throughout Europe. This immediate sense of grandeur would move beyond the garden to grace the city facades of elegant colonnades, civic buildings and line interior passages with its formal scale. Architectural masterpieces, indeed…

Historic Renderings Of Classic French Style:  "Trelliage"
Historic Renderings Of Classic French Style: “Trelliage”
Vintage Renderings:  "Trelliage"
Vintage Renderings: “Trelliage”
Decorator
“Decorator” Elsie de Wolfe & New York City’s “Colony Club, Trellis Room”

At the turn of the century in America, the art of “Trelliage” was introduced as an element of distinction within the interior by famed decorator, Elsie de Wolfe, known for her appreciation of harmony, proportion and simplicity. In 1905 architect Stanford White commissioned Wolfe to design what is known as the “Trellis Room” at New York City’s private club for high society women, the “Colony Club”. Wolfe lined the walls and ceilings with trellises creating an airy and light effect that was fresh, daring and unexpected. Of interest, the sensation it created was not initially well received. Perhaps, as with any introduction of something new, the appreciation of an art form grows in time. Of interest, during the 1930’s “Trelliage” would continue to grace the world of interior design and was often paired with Chinoiserie inspired rooms. In fact, lattice, Chinoiserie and bamboo would all become design elements that would appear within the Hollywood Regency style interiors and would swell again with renewed appreciation during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Timeless and enduring, the lattice framework added to rooms of “admirable proportion” have continued to adorn the interior walls, ceilings and exterior garden structures and building facades with elegant architectural distinction

Architecture & Scale:  The Exterior World Of "Trelliage"
Architecture & Scale: The Exterior World Of “Trelliage”

Grandeur Of Classic  Garden Design:  "Treliage"
Grandeur Of Classic Garden Design: “Treliage”

Perspective Paired With Precision:  The Art Of "Trellialge"
Perspective Paired With Precision: The Art Of “Trellialge”

"Trelliage":  Classic Appeal
“Trelliage”: Classic Appeal
Ornamental Design Of Classic Appeal:  "Trelliage"
Ornamental Design Of Classic Appeal: “Trelliage”
Architectural Delight:  The Classic Framework Of "Trelliage"
Architectural Delight: The Classic Framework Of “Trelliage”
Grand Effects:  "Trelliage" & Interior Design
Grand Effects: “Trelliage” & Interior Design
Distinctive & Classic Design:  "Trelliage"
Distinctive & Classic Design: “Trelliage”
Classic Form Of Ornamentation Within The Interior:  "Trelliage"
Classic Form Of Ornamentation Within The Interior: “Trelliage”
Adorning The Interior With Classic Architectural Appeal:  "Trelliage"
Adorning The Interior With Classic Architectural Appeal: “Trelliage”
Decoration & Screening:  The Elegant Art Of "Trelliage"
Decoration & Screening: The Elegant Art Of “Trelliage”

Consider the elegance of “Trelliage”. Proportion and decoration of refined, classical ornamental additions to our exterior or interior worlds. Embraced by modern designers and architects with modern materials and methods, the legacy of the art form of “Trelliage” will certainly continue to endure. Outdoors it transforms ordinary walls or creates a private division to our exterior living spaces. Elegant partitions of privacy, indeed. And of the interior world embellished with “Trelliage”? The use of lattice work within interior rooms creates a light and airy, distinctive architectural feature that remains timeless. Walls of airy style, for certain. Whether built of lath, canvas or a trellis motif in painted appeal, consider with appreciation the embellishment of “Trelliage” to not only the structures within the garden, but adorning the facades of buildings and gracing elegant interiors. Beyond the framework of supporting climbing vines or plants, the art of form and function of “Trelliage” beyond this scope deserves our attention and appreciation. The classical French art of the latticework of “Trelliage” provides enduring architectural distinction, indeed…

Kristin

“American Bittersweet”: Autumn’s Showy Vines Of Golden & Crimson Berried Delight

Red Berried Vines Of Showy American Bittersweet
Red Berried Vines Of Showy American Bittersweet

The showy Autumnal display of “American Bittersweet”. Brilliant saturation of natural colors within nature. The striking appearance of these excessively bright and colorful vines provides visual delight each Autumn. The smooth, dark gray bark of the branches that entwine themselves in a bramble of corkscrew patterns are studded with clusters of berries of yellow, orange and crimson hues encased with golden yellow “papery” layers. Variations of delight for the eyes, for certain. The striking combination of the vivd reds, orange and yellow hues are coveted and prized for swags, wreaths and simple arrangements of natural style upon Autumn’s ripening bliss. Natural appeal, for certain.

Perhaps my personal recollections to this berry laden vine harkens back to my youth, living on Long Island, New York. “American Bittersweet” flourished within the lush hillsides of Long island. Recalling the appealing visuals from roadside drives, it was not uncommon to view these brilliant vines and branches layered amongst the Autumn scenery. Common also was to find swags and branches widely available to embellish one’s exterior and interior. Indeed, an enduring fascination would continue…

Beauty Within Natural Bramble:  American Bittersweet (Celastrus Scandens)
Beauty Within Natural Bramble: American Bittersweet (Celastrus Scandens)

“American Bittersweet” (Celastrus Scandens) is native to the woodlands of North America. This woody, climbing shrub typically reaches 20 to 30 feet. Often trained to climb up arbors and trellises, this hardy perennial will certainly withstand a trained prune. The branches hold deep green, glossy leaves that turn yellow before dropping in the Fall. In the beginning of October, the now “papery” shell splits open to expose the orange, yellow and red “seeds”. Alas, what we deem a “berry” is actually a seed! Who knew? Certainly a stunning color combination that prominently displays against Fall’s fading or barren foliage. The vivid delight among a bramble of vines can even last through Winter thus providing enduring seasonal interest. These twining and vigorous vines bestow upon us a showy delight to layer within our exterior and interior surrounds. Caution be given, these glorious perennials are toxic. Yet with caution, these “berry” laden branches and vines can still embellish and captivate with decorative style. In addition, dried swags of bittersweet provide not only seasonal interest but also a lasting appreciation of nature’s beauty in simplicity

Natural Embellishments:  American Bittersweet Vines Of  Autumn Delight
Natural Embellishments: American Bittersweet Vines Of Autumn Delight
American Bittersweet Vines Within The Interior:  Autumn's Vibrant Gift
American Bittersweet Vines Within The Interior: Autumn’s Vibrant Gift

And of the addition of vibrant sprigs of bittersweet within the celebratory moments of life? Natural distinction with embellishments of striking textural and colorful appeal. A celebration of life with the abundance of Autumn’s natural gifts

Life's Celebrations With American Bittersweet:  Captivating & Vibrant  Impact
Life’s Celebrations With American Bittersweet: Captivating & Vibrant Impact
Embellishing The Table:  American Bittersweet
Embellishing The Table: American Bittersweet

Consider with appreciation the beauty of the “American Bittersweet”. The twisting, woody stems provide an interesting visual with scarlet or yellow & orange hued berries against the papery shell of golden delight. Swags of twined branches dotted with vibrant color will certainly brighten the darkening days of late Fall into Winter. A showy display of golden & crimson berried delight, indeed…

Kristin

Fall’s Iconic Emblem: The “Great Pumpkin” & Its Embellishment As Decoration

The Great Pumpkin:  An Icon Of Fall's Arrival
The Great Pumpkin: An Icon Of Fall’s Arrival

The “Great Pumpkin”. The gift from a trailing vine. Having been enamored with pumpkins since youth, perhaps a visual appreciation of the grand cultivar of squash is at hand. Fall’s arrival pairs with the iconic visual emblem of the “Pumpkin”. The round, smooth and slightly ribbed skin of the pumpkin continues to endure as a coveted emblem of Fall. Of course, one must have at least one or more of these Autumnal gifts of nature upon Fall’s arrival. Bursts of rich Fall colors that emulates the changing trees within the great outdoors, bringing indoors these elements of Autumn seems to denote a passing of seasons within our spaces. Consider not just the great orange, classic pumpkin, but also the additional display that brings the mere “orange” pumpkin to a new level: heirloom selections from the world of pumpkins. Inspired upon a recent visit to the “Pumpkin Patch”, camera in hand, the great pumpkin was in focus. Consider the grayish green Jarrahdale, the creamy, light orange “Long Island Cheese” (a more flattened and often ribbed shape- perfect for stacking), the striking “White” pumpkin and of course, the “Cinderella” pumpkin (resembling a flattened cushion of natural style). So many stunning variations abound for our personal preference and statement to embellish our exterior and interior spaces. And why not decorate with the vast variations of sizes, shapes, colors and distinctive appeal of “Pumpkins”? Whether stacked in towering delight or standing alone, the pumpkin certainly is a visual delight. Delightful inspirations, for certain.

The term “Pumpkin” refers to a certain genus cultivar of squash known as “Cucurbita”. The word “Pumpkin” comes from the British word “Pumpion” which was derived from the French word “Pompon”. Of interest, “Pompon” was taken from the ancient Greek word “Pepon” for melon. Interesting. Pumpkins, like other squash, are believed to have originated in North America. However, the oldest evidence of pumpkin-related seeds were found in Mexico, dating between 7000 and 5500 BC. An enduring botanical cultivar, indeed! For further insights in the appreciation of the pumpkin and its history, it is said that the Native American Indians in the New World used pumpkin as a staple in their diets for centuries before the arrival of the Pilgrim settlers by boat. The settlers would embrace the sweet, multi-purpose fruit and eventually return to Europe with the seeds of this vine growing gourd. Expanded appreciation would certainly result.

Of note, it is believed that the first pumpkins were of the ‘crooked neck’ variety rather than the ribbed or creased, classic and iconic orange pumpkin. Who knew? Of interest, in New Zealand and Australian English, the term “Pumpkin” generally refers to the broader category of thick skinned “Winter Squash”. Either way, this cultivar that is considered a fruit that is layered in a thick shell has found its way into commercial use, both in food and recreation. Grown all over the world on six of the seven continents (the exception being Antarctica) it is no surprise that the pumpkin in all its glory has remained a glorious icon of the season. The appreciation of the Autumnal gift of nature, indeed….

The "Great Pumpkin":  October's Harvest Of Iconic Style
The “Great Pumpkin”: October’s Harvest Of Iconic Style

And of the culinary bliss of the Great Pumpkin? This versatile gourd features edible flowers, seeds (known as “Pepitas” that become a roasted, edible delight) and the mild, sweet flavored orange pulp rich in vitamins. An added bonus to the decoration factor, for certain! Of course, the culinary uses are wide and varied for this tasty fruit from a trailing vine. And of the tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns? Perhaps that tradition and its history which was brought to America by Irish Imigrants, is another topic of focus, indeed. Yet should I mention it was originally a turnip that would be replaced by the great pumpkin as a Jack-O-Lantern? Again, who knew? However you view the great gift of the vine, the pumpkin certainly deserves our appreciation…

Autumnal Gifts Of Nature Within The Interior:  "Pumpkins"
Autumnal Gifts Of Nature Within The Interior: “Pumpkins”
Halloween & Autumnal Decoration Of The "Pumpkin"
Halloween & Autumnal Decoration Of The “Pumpkin”
Celebrations With The Great "Pumpkin"
Celebrations With The Great “Pumpkin”
Entertaining & Table Decor:  The Embellishment With Pumpkins
Entertaining & Table Decor: The Embellishment With Pumpkins

Consider the pumpkin as nature’s perfect icon of the Fall. Possessing a deep yellow to orange coloration or the varied mix of hues and styles, whether decorating with pumpkins as Halloween adornment, bedecked in style, such as coated and gilded with silver, gold or copper, embellished with elegant distinction or unexpected delight as decorations of Autumn’s bounty, the embellishment of pumpkins within our exteriors and interior worlds earns appreciation. Consider tucking in these cool weather crops of Autumn delight throughout your personal world. Whether piles of pumpkins, towering layers of staggered height or a pumpkin standing solo, pumpkins are a natural approach to decorating for the season. Setting a festive tone for the arrival of the Fall Season, for certain. And of the decoration with pumpkins as celebratory focal points of life’s memorable occasions? Nature’s appreciation paired with memorable events, for certain. An iconic element of Fall that welcomes the season. The “Great Pumpkin”, indeed…

Kristin

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion”
-Henry David Thoreau

Beauty Of The Bloom With Intoxicating Scent: The “Lilac”

The Glory Of The Lilac
The Glory Of The Lilac

The fragrant bliss of heavenly intoxication. The Lilac. The infusion of the lilac’s wafting scent is entrancing. In the Springtime the scent that lingers within the great outdoors is seasonal bliss, for certain. Oh, to appreciate the bounty of the bloom that arrives in Spring. A scent that can permeate our inner world with clusters of delicate blooms gathered within the interior. Delightful. Widely cultivated for the fragrance and beauty of their clusters of flowers, lilac flowers are found with a range of colors that include pale lilac, rich lilac and deep lilac. And yes, even the profusion of white blooms are divine. But, oh, the allure of the purple lilac…

The lilac is a shrub of the genus Syringa. A deciduous shrub with foliage of broad, light green to oval glaucous leaves that provide a lush, the green screen remains appealing even after the profusion of lilac blooms fade. Often pruned or trained, with dedication, into a graceful, small tree, the options are varied as to its broad enhancement in ones landscape. Natives of Europe and Asia, the Syringa vulgaris, known as the “common lilac”, and S. Persica, the Persian lilac, were introduced from Ottoman gardens into European gardens at the end of the 16th century. Botanists soon acquired these rare and glorious shrubs for their gardens. In fact, in 1597, the well regarded herbalist, John Gerard, noted that he had lilacs “in very great plenty”. It was not until the 18th century that the American colonies were introduced to the beauty of the lilac. An enduring love affair has certainly continued. Of additional interest, the first recorded use of “lilac” as a color name in English was in 1775 and the first recorded use of “French Lilac” in English was in 1814. The violet hue of French Lilac is said to have been formulated for use in interior design when a medium dark violet color was desired. Who knew?

Considered an “old-fashioned” bloom, the “common lilac” is said to flower profusely in alternate years. The attractive, sweet smelling flowers that appear in late Spring and early Summer feature delicate clusters known as “Panicles”. Paired with intoxicating fragrance, the lilac holds an added benefit beyond its stunning blooms– the attraction of hummingbirds and butterflies…nature’s glory, indeed.

Profusion Of Intoxicating Blooms:  Lilacs
Profusion Of Intoxicating Blooms: Lilacs
Lilac Infusion:  Fragrance & Beauty
Lilac Infusion: Fragrance & Beauty

Consider the glorious lilac. With branches that are bowed under the weight of the seemingly dripping profusions of endless clusters of fragrant flowers, its graceful bliss is certainly to be appreciated.

No matter if the hue is pale or deep violet, the intoxicating scent of this highly fragrant bloom is a blissful gift of nature, indeed…

Kristin