Planning a trip to Cashiers, North Carolina? This charming mountain town is home to an array of home design stores and one signature mountain resort, the Lodge at Chattooga Club that would make a wonderful berth during your mountain visit. Croquet is a huge pursuit at this gorgeous spot with just seven luxurious suites (think gas fireplace, marble bath, Molton Brown products, complimentary wine and snacks and a wonderfully plush, comfortable home-away-from-home feel) and the most spectacular views imaginable.
The main house of the building, sitting directly in the middle of the guest rooms, is a communal space where guests come to check in, eat and relax outside of their rooms. Just in through the front door, the space begins with this beautiful dining room. The forest-feel comes immediately through in this space with its color palette of warm browns and greens. The extendable table, which seats as many as 10 guests, is flanked by the hidden star of the show: an exquisite black armoire that accents the deep green of the wall, while the grain of the wood adds pattern and texture to the room.
If your table runners are too nice for sticky fingers, then give the little ones materials to make their own. Protect your tabletop with white butcher paper; then unfurl a roll of 12-inch brown craft paper down the center and cut it to size with scissors. Supply the kids with crayons, and let them draw while they snack. Once the party is over, the runner can then be cut up into pieces and framed as keepsakes or favors for guests.
Modern cotton has been bred to be all white for convenience, but gardeners who love novelty, and home weavers who appreciate natural colors, can grow heirloom varieties that are brown, green, and even pale lavender. Saving seed from year to year preserves their unique colors. Cotton needs warm soil and a long, hot season to mature its pods before fall.
Usually dwarf Alberta spruce is a go-to plant for adding an air of formality to gardens. But the topiary forms also lend themselves to playful garden whimsy, like this pom-pom spruce decked out with sun hat and shoes. It’s a great choice for a children’s garden. If your dwarf Alberta spruce develops brown needles or dead spots due to winter burn or spider mites, you can always prune out those branches to create your own one-of-a-kind topiary style.
To create more light in the space, the Good Bones team, Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak, added two new windows in the reclaimed wood accent wall. This not only gives the space a focal point, but also allows more natural light into the space, making it feel bright and open. To add to the elegant, industrial design the team was going for, they added black and white artwork, a metal headboard, brown bed linens and dark end tables and lamp shades. To tie the space together and give it a pop of color, a green shag carpet adds comfort to this elegant, industrial master bedroom.
Now tuck in as many stems of winterberries as desired. Keep them going in the same direction as the already-assembled pine cuttings. Push them down far enough to hold them securely in the wire structure of the wreath. Toss any berries that fall off into a martini glass to display at your bar or on the mantle, or add them to a basket of potpourri in the guest bath (remove the berries when they start to go brown or shrivel). Keep winterberries away from pets; they can be toxic.
Keep kids active toward the end of your party by letting them make and assemble popcorn favor bags for guests. To create these, you’ll need brown paper bags, kid’s scissors, a hole punch, colorful string and markers. Set up a tub of popcorn on a flat, level surface such as a kitchen counter or dining table; then create an assembly line. Assign each kid a specific task such as measuring and adding the popcorn, cutting and attaching the string, punching holes in tags, writing names and/or handing the bags to the guests.
Similar in flavor to salsify, Scorzonera has a charcoal or brown-gray skin but the flesh underneath is white and when peeled resembles asparagus. You can boil them and serve with parsley sauce, make fritters with them or mash them with potatoes for a different flavor sensation. You can sow the seeds four months before the first frost as cool weather improves the roots’ flavor. Expect to harvest after 120 days or more.
A true water-loving plant, Louisiana iris grows in up to 4 inches of water. ‘Black Gamecock’ is a variety that opens 4- to 6-inch blooms with deep purple petals marked with a brilliant gold stripe. It’s an award winning variety that’s ultra-easy to grow. Plants multiply rapidly in ideal growing conditions. Despite the name, Louisiana iris is hardy as far north as Maine. Look for varieties with flowers in many hues, including purple and blue shades, red, white, yellow and brown. Plants grow 24 to 36 inches tall by 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-10.
Don’t toss those apple peels, unless you’re adding them to your compost pile, which is a great idea in fall when dried leaves overwhelm compost with brown matter. Apple peels are versatile in the kitchen, filling roles from salad topper, to pot cleaner (they work wonders on stained aluminum cookware, thanks to the acid they contain), to pancake and waffle ingredient (chop and mix into batter with a little cinnamon—yum!). Or turn apple peels into a can’t-resist snack by tossing with melted butter, cinnamon-sugar mix and a pinch of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F for 10-12 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
Heat the cherry juice in a small saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave. Pour the heated cherry juice into a small cup and add the liquors. Stir gently to combine. Top with whipped cream, pie crust crumble, and a maraschino cherry. To make the pie crust crumble, roll pie dough into a thin sheet (about 1/8” thick). Place the sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake at 425˚F for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then break into small pieces
If you’re a gardener who craves pure splashes of single colors, try something different this year. Mimic Mother Nature’s fall color show and treat yourself to a hanging basket planted with a mix of hues. The effect is truly a garden party in a pot. Cool Wave Mix Spreading Pansy delivers a just-right blend (designed by the seed breeders) that’s eye-catching and perfect for fall. Tuck a pot into the ground at least six weeks before frost, add extra mulch once the ground freezes, and you’ll be rewarded with early spring pansies. Cool Wave pansies handle temperatures as low as -13°F. They’ll look frozen solid during winter, and leaves and stems may turn brown, but watch what happens when spring peeks ‘round the corner. Of course, plants in pots won’t survive freezing temperatures.
Give summer’s favorite thirst quencher a refreshing twist by adding mint sprigs to your pitcher. Just add washed mint stems to a pitcher of lemonade, and let it sit at least 30 minutes. Strain before serving—or not. Serve over ice in tall glasses garnished with a mint stem and lemon wedge. Mint also blends well with iced tea and makes a cooling herb water. To maximize mint flavor, before adding leaves to your brew, crush them slightly to release essential oils. Bruised edges will brown, but it won’t harm your beverage. Simply strain leaves before serving.
Known as blue wild indigo or blue false indigo (Baptisia australis), this native perennial achieves shrub size each growing season. Plants sink a deep tap root that searches out water to fuel top growth. Blue flower spikes appear in late spring, blending beautifully with the blue-green leaves. More stems appear each year, creating a full, lush plant. Snip blooms or branches for the vase. Grows 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Look for new and smaller varieties with flowers in shades of pink, purple, yellow and brown.
To create this scrumptious treat, heat the cherry juice in a small saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave. Then, pour the heated cherry juice into a small cup, and add the liquors. Stir gently to combine. Finally, top with whipped cream, pie crust crumble, and a maraschino cherry. Tip: to make the pie crust crumble, roll pie dough into a thin sheet (about 1/8” thick). Place the rolled dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake at 425˚F for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on the baking sheet, and then break into small pieces
Fountain grass comes in a variety of sizes, as well as leaf and seedhead colors. It gets its name from the fact that the flowers and seedheads erupt from the arching mound of leaves like water from a fountain. This duet of fountain grass features (left) Prairie Winds ‘Desert Plains’ fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) and (right) purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’). ‘Desert Plains’ is hardy in Zones 5-9 and grows roughly 4 feet tall and wide. The bottlebrush flowers start dusky purple and fade to tan. Purple fountain grass is an annual in most regions (Hardy in Zones 9-11), growing up to 3 feet tall and wide. Cut it down after frost once leaves turn brown.
Violet to brown tinted centers on these clematis flowers contrast strikingly with pure white petals. The largest blossoms appear on plants in early summer, followed by smaller flowers on new stems in midsummer to early fall. Gardeners often grow ‘Henryi’ as a trailing clematis at ground level, letting stems tumble along and cascade over rock walls. For best flowering, prune stems in late winter or early spring, cutting stems back to 6 to 9 inches above a pair of fat buds. Vines grow 6 to 10 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.