29th September 2017
The lovely lifestyle blogger Laura-Ann behind the blog The Pretty Diary tells us about her love for autumn and shares her guide to making the best homemade autumnal wreath this season. Here’s what she had to say…
It’s chilly. It’s raining. It’s windy. The leaves on the trees are turning orange and red, and dropping to the ground. Autumn is most definitely here. Do we let that stop us going out on adventures and having fun? Absolutely not! We are firm believers in getting outside, whatever the weather. It’s all about wearing the appropriate clothing. Step aside the summer dress and sandals, the autumn wardrobe has arrived and out comes the tweed coats, puddle proof wellies and quilted jackets for those autumn adventures.
My boys love the outdoors and so we decided to go on a nature walk. Remember going on those when you were younger, collecting what you could find and coming home with your ‘treasure’? Autumn is the perfect season for this, with apple picking, fallen leaves, conkers and the odd pumpkins in the vegetable patch. There is an array of autumn treasures out there and we set off to see what we could find.
I wrapped up in my new wardrobe staple, the Cheltenham Willow Herringbone coat. It’s classic, smart, and elegant and has some soft feminine colour flecks in the tweed too. I love the Joules classic fit ladies shirts; I have several in my wardrobe. Keeping with the autumn theme I decided on a cream shirt.
For boots I was torn between my wellies or my Chelsea boots. I have had Joules classic Chelsea boots for the last two years and they have barely a scuff so they withstand a lot. I decided then to take these Westbourne rose gold leather Chelsea boots on their first outing as I knew they would withstand the elements, and mainly because they are rose gold and stunning!
We started off on our ramble with a few fallen leaves, beautiful reds, golds and browns. Treasure indeed. Next up was the apple orchard. Northern Ireland is rather famous for its apple orchards, in particular Co Armagh, which is also known locally as ‘Orchard County’. We found a vast variety of juicy apples to add to our growing collection of foraged finds.
To keep the boys warm on our walk I had them both wrapped up in their Joules Navy quilted jackets. The perfect little country coat for my two little gents. George was kept extra snug in knitted pom-pom hat. I just love this sky blue colour; it really compliments his baby blue eyes. Bertie, an obsessive puddle jumper wore multi-stripe printed wellies… perfect for his ‘muddy moments’.
Holding a conker is like holding the season in your hand. Don’t be fooled by people who say conker picking is just for children. I doubt many of you out on a country walk could walk past a conker without picking it up and popping it in your pocket. Those shiny treasures are not just for kids. I love to put them on my fireplace to bring a touch of nature indoors, as it always makes me feel really cosy. We collected quite a few, along with some Sycamore whizzers (remember those?) and pine cones, perfect accessories for an autumn wreath I’m thinking.
Northern Ireland in the autumn can be the most beautiful place on earth. As cliché as it sounds, I’m adamant the Northern Ireland countryside is one of the wonders of the world. The windy country roads, bumpy hills, luscious green fields and towering trees with their golden, burgundy and rust coloured leaves are a delight at this time of the year, as are the juicy blackberries that fill the hedgerows. One of the many wonderful things about being a Mum is that it’s a perfect excuse to be a big child again. I just love having fun outdoors with my boys and this autumn adventure was the perfect morning.
Metallic gold spray (I found mine on Amazon)
Autumn leaves / flowers
1) Firstly, soak the oasis ring in water.
2) Start with a base of leaves, browns, reds, and greens whatever you have picked up along your autumn walk. Pop them into the oasis and secure with some twine tied around it (don’t worry, this will be hidden when you finish the next few steps). Remember this is just the base to cover the oasis ring.
3) Next, spray some of the leaves you have collected with the gold spray paint and leave them to dry for 15 minutes. I also sprayed some little apples and pinecones, oh and a tiny touch to my hydrangeas (warning the gold paint is addictive, don’t go too overboard, I had to restrain myself).
4) Start by adding your hydrangeas, a few on each side but not symmetrical will look best. I opted for a few on the bottom right and top left but you could add a few more if you like.
5) Add your other decorations, piece by piece, including your pinecones and apples (I used florist’s wire to secure these into the oasis).
6) Finally, as finishing touches or to fill in any bare areas or areas lacking colour, add your gold leaves.
7) Play about with it. Once you’re happy with the final arrangement secure with some twine to your door or even inside your home.
Are you planning any autumn adventures? We would love to hear them.
Thank you to Laura-Ann for working with us on this post.