Autumn at the Château

We enjoyed spectacular fall color in our backyard this year. Except for our oak trees which hold their leaves for most of the winter, nearly every tree around us is now bare. We keep leaf cleanup simple by raking leaves to cover our garden beds (free mulch and winter protection for bare soil) and then mowing over the rest since the chopped up, decaying leaves will feed the lawn. The day after Halloween, I stored away all of our spooky decorations leaving just a few fall touches around the house like dried florals and white ceramic pumpkins. While I love the unexpected addition of outdoor elements indoors year-round, now almost every room will be hosting potted plants like our geraniums, topiaries, ficus tree and mandevilla vine to enjoy indoors for the winter. Before bringing in the plants, I spray down the leaves organically with neem oil to treat for spider mites, aphids, mealy bugs, etc. I spray every surface well including the top, underside of leaves and the top of the soil a few days before bringing indoors.

I like to start off the holidays with a clean home that’s ready and welcoming for guests, and always fill the little boxes and dishes in our kitchen and sitting room with nuts and candies. This past weekend I was in a cleaning frenzy I polished all of our copper including our antique English copper tea kettle which sparkles on the stovetop and will be the centerpiece of many tea breaks over the holidays. I love Wright’s Copper Cream which requires almost no elbow grease to make my copper pieces sparkle. I also pulled out all of my favorite knitwear to refresh and inspect for any holes so they’re ready to throw on against a draft. Now with a clean house, it’s time to start baking and toasting to the official start of the holidays!

Our spooky white Halloween pumpkins have transitioned to festive Thanksgiving pumpkinsA jolly little scene on our kitchen island (and secretly full of candy)A Thanksgiving present to myself, this gorgeous 18th century tapestry remnant pillow with metal fringe rests on my favorite blue mohair chair by our fireplaceAntique marble and cast stone planters add some life to our foyerThis crystal bowl in our sitting room holds whole pecans for cracking, and we just toss the shells into the fireA little table of greenery indoors for the winter and boxes that hold playing cards and chocolatesCurrently favoring creamy mohair and cashmere knitsThese little geraniums will be happy enough in our guest bedroom for the winterTangerines add a splash of color on our dining room tableMy antique English copper tea kettle sparkles on the stovetopDried sorghum in a vintage vessel adds a seasonal touchThe lazy sun is beginning to cast longer shadows in our south-facing sitting roomA wreath of Artemisia annua or ‘Sweet Annie’ adds just the right welcome to our garden shed

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