Autumn is well and truly upon us in Ebbsfleet Garden City, and despite the current circumstances, I feel there is so much to look forward to in the next few months! Crisp woodland walks, cosy evenings under blankets at home and s’mores by the fire – while I always say I’m a sunshine person, I can see why everyone loves Autumn so much! When the weather starts to turn and the nights draw in, it’s also the perfect time to think about making small seasonal updates to your interior décor. I’m not one to spend lots of money changing my décor every season, however moving from summer to autumn I do add chunky-knit throws to the lounge, switch in the winter duvet and add a heavier bedspread to make the house seem that bit comfier and cosier. I’ve never put up any autumnal decorations before (I love Christmas so much, I usually skip straight to holly and tinsel!), however this year with us all being at home so much more, I really wanted to make a bit of an effort to celebrate the season.
As a family we have never been pumpkin picking before, but this year, rather than just grabbing one from the supermarket, the kids were really keen to head out to a pumpkin patch and find their own to put in our window. Teddy wanted an orange one, Arlo a purple one (doomed to disappointment!) and I was after some stylish grey pumpkins that I could use inside to decorate the house. We went to PYO Pumpkins in Hoo, Rochester, having been suggested it by some neighbours. I honestly can’t recommend it enough – it brilliant value for money, the staff were so lovely and friendly, my kids had the best time hunting for their perfect pumpkins AND they even had the elusive grey and white ‘Ghost Pumpkins’ for me! The only problem was the quantities of mud that we brought home with us…welly boots are a must!
PYO Pumpkins require that you book your timeslot (for free) in advance this year, so they can manage numbers. Once you arrive its £20 per wheelbarrow, and you can take home max. 15 pumpkins or squash, they also ask that you just take 5 of each variety. That’s only £1.30 per pumpkin – and they had some whoppers!
Once we got home, I hosed down the pumpkins and set them out in the sun to dry off. We put the kids’ orange ones on our doorstep to keep them fresh until the week of Halloween, when we are planning to carve them and put them in the window. We don’t usually celebrate Halloween ourselves, however due to this year’s Covid-19 restrictions, some Castle Hill neighbours have suggested doing an alternative to trick or treating that I think would be a really fun autumn activity that doesn’t have to be spooky! It’s been suggested that rather than knocking on doors for sweets, families could take their children out on a ‘Pumpkin Hunt’. Similar to the rainbow windows of the summer, we will all put a pumpkin in our windows (be it a real one, papier-Mache or a drawing), for each other to spot over half term and Halloween week. Every time a pumpkin is spotted, parents can put a sweet or treat in their child’s bag. This can be done at any point over the next couple of weeks and will be a really lovely way to get our community’s children excited and engaged in an activity ‘together’, without any risk of getting too physically close to our neighbours. If anyone reading this blog would like to join in, please do!!! I will be taking Catboy and Batman out during the day the Monday before Halloween to hunt for window pumpkins.
If you love Halloween and are still planning on decorating your home with cobwebs and Jack-O-Lanterns – brilliant! However, if like me you would like to add some seasonal décor that’s more understated, here are some pictures of how I arranged my pumpkins in the living room, alongside some lovely dried wheat and pampas foliage from House of Folia (if you head to my Instagram page I usually have a few discount codes on the go!).
For more images and tips on interior styling, please follow me on Instagram on my channel, @lydias_layton_life !