foraging

I think I have mentioned before that the neighbourhood where we live is rather good for a spot of hunter gathering. Many of the large Victorian houses are either empty, being done up, semi-derelict or rented to students who aren't bothered who is scavenging in their gardens. This makes it sound a bit of a dive, but it isn't, and in fact I really rather like both the romantic, slightly forgotten vibe and the freedom to roam about helping myself to firewood, blackberries, catkin twigs, Christmas greenery, and, today, a whole wheelbarrow full of fircones. I spotted these beauties on my way home today and after tea we set off to collect as many as we could carry home... we'll dry them out and store them to use for kindling this autumn... the pine oil makes them great for starting fires quickly and aromatically, not to mention how pretty they'll look by the hearth.

15 comments:

rossichka said...

What a romantic image of the place you live in! Close to nature with all its scents and sounds, beauties and gifts... I've noticed that when we are in the mountain there're always some "trophies" that we bring home - flowers, herbs, pebbles, queer roots... And there're always some fruits to taste or eat when hungry - wild apples, plums and pears, all kinds of berries... I try to imagine what "treasures" one can find in the desolate garden of a deserted house! Because the life in the garden continues even after there're no longer people to take care of it...
I just imagine the fire and the fircones giving its burning start! It was such a pleasure to read this post!!

Gigibird said...

Nice bit of foraging.....and housed in a zinc bath....how CL are you:)

Frances said...

Sue, your foraging is admirable. I love the shapes of pinecones (as we call them) and still have on a bookshelf some I collected in Central Park years ago...and gave a bit of gold paint around the edges.

This was originally done in the run up to a Christmas season, but I just like the look of the golden cones and have kept them out in the open (indoors open?) since then.

Getting into real hot summertime hereabouts now. Odd to think that the tiny adjustments are already underway to grow our night, shrink our day.

Best wishes! xo

Claire said...

Hey Sue, sounds like many adventures are to be had and treasures to be found in your backyard.I keep all the lavender I prune over Summer and store it in a bucket by the heater. Looks very CL and a handful gives the fire a boost when needed. Smells quite nice too.
Just love your crocheted blankets, the colours are gorgeous and the descriptions you give them make me want to go yarn shopping, but I shall restrain myself as there are UFO's that need finishing first.

Clare Wassermann said...

I like the idea of using the cones for kindling - I have never heard of this. I bet the pine oil smells nice on lighting?

Gilly said...

Computer still sulking so your pic didn't come up. Next time I come over, though I'll bring a big bag and go foraging with you!!!

Pipany said...

Great photo Sue and I couldn't agree more about the wonders of pine cones. I think they are one of natures real beauties x

Jane said...

Wish it was more like your area around here - everybody's very keen on their own boundaries. Pity, as there's a huge monkey puzzle up the road that has cones on it and I would love just one!

acornmoon said...

I lived in one of those large Victorian houses when I was student, well - in an freezing cold attic as befits a starving artist. Those Manchester Victorians had the foresight to plant so many magnificent trees. It is one of the lovely things about the city. So many modern building have so little space around them, hardly room for a flower pot let alone a tree.

You wonderful hoard of pine cones looks very in keeping with your chosen colours. Subtle, pretty shades of grey, very "Mouse"

Sue said...

Thanks so much for all your comments - sorry I can't reply to you all personally if you have 'no-reply' email addresses though.

Lyn said...

Can't believe you mentioned the 'C' word on 5th July!
Love
Lyn
xxx

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

I love the way they ping and crackle in the grate :)

U r someone else who wonders around our city collecting things!
I was stopped last year and asked by a group of girls why i was carrying branches.'To put in a vase' was met with utter incredulity and we had an interesting discussion about beauty and the purpose of vases.....
i am told vases are for putting flowers in, from the shops

;)

elizabethm said...

I know what you are describing as used to live very near you I suspect! Great photo too.

Katherine said...

Those flower mosaics are really lovely! And I'd never heard of starting fires with pinecones. I'll have to try that next time we're somewhere appropriate to fires.

Ginny said...

I love these pictures of cones. I told my mom about it just the other day...she has a hemlock in her yard that has deposited heaps of them in the garden and even if she chooses not to use them in the fireplace they look equally as lovely in the basket.