Autumn foliage: the enchantment of fall colours
A stroll through Autumn’s foliage
Woodlands displaying spectacular red and golden foliage, landscapes featuring vibrant views, but also unexpected blooms in parks and gardens. Autumn is the perfect time for inspiring walks. Follow us on an inspiring journey through the autumn foliage in the wild, in your garden, and, why not, in your house.
Autumn lends spectacular foliage and inspiring views that can brighten up even the darkest of days. The warmth of autumn colours stands out against deep blue skies, but also against the grey backdrop of fog or the most dramatic autumn sunsets. And who says that autumn is just about falling leaves and spectacular foliage? Even autumn comes with colourful blooms which, although less noticeable, have nothing to envy to the outstanding warm-coloured backdrop.
Autumn foliage and inspiring quotes
With its mesmerizing outburst of colours and changing landscapes, and the enchantment of the end-of-summer guise of forests, parks and gardens, autumn foliage has inspired poets and writers of every age.
There is a season in which leaves become the outstanding stars of landscapes, gardens and natural settings throughout the mid-latitudes. Even besides equally fascinating late summer blossoms, autumn leaves would be the star of the set for how varied and beautiful they are.
Once seen as an earthy and less popular season, with the overwhelming display of red and golden hues featured every year by Nature, autumn has increasingly caught our attention and we don’t spend any longer the whole 12 months waiting for a welcomed spring to take a few photos of plants and forests.
So, why not bringing a bit of that magic into your house? Let’s take a closer look at autumn leaves and find out how you can use them to decorate your home so as to create a warm atmosphere that matches with the strikingly inspiring foliage in your garden or in the nearby park.
Autumn foliage: the enchanting brightness of autumn
With climate change impacting on seasonal temperatures, we can no longer take for granted that plants will shed ‘precisely’ between October and November and that we will be able to enjoy the autumn foliage show exactly in September. Abnormally warm temperatures can last well into late October and delay the red-rusted and golden display of Nature. Yet, sooner or later, the morning air will become brisk, the average temperature will become cooler, and leaves will grow a colourful arrangement of vibrant hues.
With the onset of autumn, the bright green foliage of the canopy gives way to other colours on the palette and each tree wears its autumn dress. With showy and flamboyant colours, fall enhances the beauty of those trees and plants that in the warmer seasons don’t quite catch our attention. It makes them the star of the season and gives nearly every tree the opportunity to be noticed and to parade with their golden, red or rust-coloured coat.
Autumn colours do not follow the calendar of fashion events, they follow the natural rhythm of the seasons, which, alas, has been disrupted by the current global warming. Fall onset has been increasingly affected by the actual climate change and the red and yellow tinting of leaves has been consequently delayed. Still, when the time comes, the best way to enjoy the stunning beauty of this natural wonder is to lace up some comfortable shoes and take a nice stroll in the park nearby.
True, trees can also be admired along some road sides, but to see the spectacular view of autumn foliage from a car pane won’t give you the same emotions, will it? And would you ever want to give up the pleasure of walking on a carpet of colourful leaves on the ground? Of enjoying that hushed and crisped crunching-rustling sound? It’s a tremendously relaxing ‘exercise’ that we recommend you do.
All the colours of autumn
Typically, the colours of autumn foliage are yellow, red or brown. Which hue is your favourite? Want to know what is the meaning of your preferred colour shining through? Let’s have a look.
Yellow is the brightest colour of all. It is the colour of sunshine and light, optimism and energy. If you specially like autumn leaves with yellow hues, that may be because you are looking for some relaxing ‘lightness’ and cheerful positivity, you wish to get rid of negative thoughts and long for an invigorating spark that can promote your activity and good mood.
If you prefer leaves with red shades you are looking for the opposite. Red is the colour of strong emotions: love and passion, but also anger and belligerence. In Europe, red is not seen as a prime autumn colour. It stands out in gardens embellished with some maple cultivars or Virginia creepers (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), but in forests and parks it is much less common. Since time immemorial, red has been seen as the colour of fire and blood. It has a strong magnetic power, just like those who love it.
Brown and rusted-hues come in thousand shades with the onset of the leaf-shedding time. Maybe this is why, broadly speaking, brown is a colour with a very deep meaning. It’s the colour of soil and roots, of the places where we feel we belong. If you like this kind of foliage, and especially its darker and rusted tones, you are a hearty, whole-hearted, and humble person who likes instilling confidence in the physical and social environment in which you live.
Autumn decorations: How to bring the inspiring colours of fall into your home
Kids love collecting autumn leaves. Actually, with that something glorious in their look, fall leaves attract even grown-ups. A walk in the wild with your children could be a good chance to enjoy the beauty of nature in the earthy season and pick some multicoloured fallen canopy to embellish your home interiors.
Fancy playing with your offspring once you get back home? Kids might use the largest ‘fronds’ as sheets on which to paint their creative drawings (with watercolours, for example). Or you could use the leaves as stencils to decorate sheets and fabrics. Just place the leaves on a surface, cover them with a sheet and then hammer them very lightly all over. For a fancy pattern, stick a leaf onto a piece of paper with scotch tape, apply some tempera or watercolour (any colour you wish) all around its margin and then carefully remove the leave. Its frame will stand out in the middle of the coloured area. If you wish, you can outline the margin with a felt-tip pen, a crayon or a coloured pencil, and draw the missing ribs and veins.
One of the easiest things to make with autumn leaves is a colourful patchwork, especially if you have collected leaves with particular shapes. You may arrange them in an ordered array or you could use them to create artistic small pictures and decorations that you can hang around your house. As for the creative pictures, before using the leaves place them between two sheets of baking paper, or two paper towels, and then put a pile of books on top of the sheets. Leave it there until the leaves are well stretched out and dry.
If you have a spare paper-towel roll you can turn it into a colourful miniature autumn tree. Simply decorate the roll with leaves, acorns and chestnuts.
Leaves, twigs, acorns, pine cones, chestnuts and berries can be used to create beautiful decorations and ornaments to enhance autumn’s glory in your home. Fall leaves and blooms can make wonderful warm-coloured bouquets or centrepieces.
A beauty lights the fading year…
Phebe A. Holder, “A Song of October,” in The Queries Magazine, October 1890
Back in my school years, I was surprised when I first bumped into the ode To Autumn by John Keats. Me myself, unconsciously, had never paid much attention to the earthy season. I had enjoyed its warm and still not too short days, spent time out, perceiving how nature was changing around me to get ready to go to sleep. Yet, I had never noted the wonderful richness, the rejoicing corroborating ‘mellow fruitfulness’ – as Keats would say – of the season. I had never considered Autumn as a season full of “life”. Still, Keats was right. Autumn lends a whole abundance of delicious fruits and warm colours that ‘recharge’ our mood. It’s the season of grape, harvest, figs, mushrooms, apples, pumpkins, persimmons, hazelnuts and walnuts, chestnuts and pears. And later flowers.
It has wooed poets and artists and inspired their lyrics. Thus, we cannot but offer a brief medley of their most suggestive lines.
John Keats: To Autumn
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower – Albert Camut
Silent, soaring, the light of early autumn shone out the window – Ryszard Krynicki
Then summer fades and passes and October comes. We’ll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure. – Thomas Wolfe
I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air. – Nathaniel Hawthorne
There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Percy Bysshe Shelley
hide the path
Autumn repays the earth the leaves which summer lent it. – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Autumn is springtime in reverse. – Terri Guillemets
Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons. – Jim Bishop
Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. – Samuel Butler
The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many…. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day!
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree….
You will find the blue hills… with the autumnal shadows silently sleeping on them, and there will be a glory lingering round the day, so you’ll know autumn has been here; and the setting sun will tell you… –Emily Dickinson
We are having such lovely weather — the air is sweet and still — now and then a gay leaf falling… a thousand little painters are tingeing hill and dale… autumn is most beautiful… – Emily Dickinson
If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before. – Mitchell Burgess
As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colours enough to paint the beautiful things I see. – Vincent van Gogh
Traduzione ed editing: Gabriella Bossi