I thought the seasons were changing, but the warm weather this past week has thrown me back into Summer mode again...
I love this time of year. The sunlight is at it's best in September, and I can't help but get outdoors at every opportunity I have to make the most of the weather while we still have it on our side.
For me this time of year is about blackberry picking and making jam to enjoy when the berries are all gone from the hedgerow. It's curling up under a blanket and watching the storms roll in while we're nice and cosy inside. Hanging washing out on the line wondering if we will miss the unpredictable rain showers.
As you know I enjoy decorating the house to celebrate each season. A lot of people choose the 1st of September as the beginning of Autumn but for me I like to celebrate it on the Autumn equinox as the weather has usually cooled off a little more by then. I like to celebrate by lighting candles and cooking a hearty meal, usually including fat sausages in a warming gravy finished off with a homemade crumble with some of the apples from my Dad's apple tree.
This year I've tried something new, taking inspiration from corn dollies and traditional harvest decorations, something very different from the harvest wreaths of previous years (although these are still available). The harvest decorations had their first outing at Art in the Gardens the other week and you were all very complimentary! So I thought I'd share a little bit of history on corn dollies that inspired our wheat hangings.
In traditional pagan European culture, it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived amongst the crop and that the harvest made it effectively homeless. It was thought that the Corn Spirit would retreat from oncoming reapers at harvest time, taking refuge in the last of the standing corn.
These last few stalks would be fashioned into a corn dolly, a home in which the Spirit could rest during the Winter. In the Spring, the corn dolly, together with its resident Corn Spirit, would be returned to the fields where it would be ploughed into the first furrow with the new planting. By giving the Corn Spirit a home during the dark and cold Winter months, it was hoped that next year's harvest would be plentiful.
There you go, hope that little history lesson didn't send you off to sleep...
We will have a selection of our wheat decorations and Autumn wreaths at both September's and October's Pollen Markets. Hope to see you soon!