You have arrived at Southern Exposure for a fall decorating workshop, a fabulous dinner and with enough time to walk through the gardens and savor fall's bounty.
We were there for the French autumn wreath workshop and made sure we arrived in plenty of time to enjoy the gardens.
It may be the last days of summer but everything was in bloom and the world was splashed with color, even if the leaves hadn't quite caught up!
The trademark birdbaths had, of course, flowers and pumpkins.
Angels sat quietly by potted hydrangea.
In fact, there were hydrangea everywhere -- fitting, as they would be a big part of our creative project!
I can't get enough of them!
And in the gazebo, a chandelier and a glass of wine made a pretty pairing.
Even the greenhouse was open with the light shining through.
Zinnias filled the world with splashes of bright colors, attracting butterflies and bees.
Dusty Miller encircled a bed of tall purple salvia.
Seasonal vignettes were around every corner.
It was almost disappointing when we were called in for dinner but we knew that we were in for a treat.
The dining room carried the holiday theme of beautiful decorations.
Meanwhile the food was as divine as the setting, with pork tenderloin with roquefort sauce, mashed potatoes with French tarragon and French thyme, haricots verts, a Parisian-inspired salad with pears and brie and creme brulee for dessert.
Then it was off to the craft tent to make our wreaths. We'd already seen the sample, above.
We started out with a wreath form, a pile of PG hydrangeas and a basket of silk leaves and faux berries and nuts. Our guide, Micah, explained that our wreath was called a French wreath because the base reflected the smaller doors one might find on some French homes. It was less wide than some of the American wreath forms. And it used the natural flowers.
The hydrangea (hortensia) would dry as the wreath aged. Eventually we could remove the fall elements and add pine or other seasonal bits to change it up.
I think we had more fun than anyone should be allowed to have, wiring our flowers to the base and adding in the extra touches. When all was finished we got to pack them into a large wreath box and take home any of the extra leaves and flowers we didn't use.
|Before adding the leaves and nuts|
Those I was with agreed it may have been our favorite of all the Southern Exposure workshops we've attended. Certainly I was thrilled with the finished product and eager to put it up -- my first decoration for fall!
And in place from a "wide shot" (before I got the rest of the October decorating done!)
And now that I've drawn "first blood," perhaps the rest of the fall decorating will be a little easier. But gently, gently!