Frankie and I spend a lot of time collecting treasures outdoors and bringing them home with us. I always try to display these treasures around the house, be that as an Autumn leaf garland, a bunch of cow parsley in a big jar, or seaside treasures displayed on a beach nature shelf in the hall. I have always enjoyed doing this, but having a kid has multiplied the magic, her wonder and excitement is infectious! A daffodil! A feather! A bottle cap! (?- I go with it.) For these very reasons, both Davina and I are long time readers of Little Green Shed, a wonderful blog that ticks all of our boxes: wild outdoors adventures, camping, and celebrating nature in all its forms. So we were obviously delighted when she said she'd like to work with us on a regular column for Seeds and Stitches. We decided to ask Lou some questions about what she loves, and about her wider Nature in the Home series. Its a treat. So, handing you over to Lou:
Can you introduce yourself to us: Who are you, and what floats your boat?
Hello, my name is Lou Archell and I write a blog called Littlegreenshed. I am in love with the outdoors, wild adventures with my sons, gardening, plants and nature. I like to feel in touch with the seasons, to cook and eat simple, fresh seasonal food. Gather blossom in the spring, and grow squashes and pumpkins to store in the Autumn. I also love great design, interiors, champion craftsmanship and fresh coffee.
Can you tell us about your Nature in the Home series? How did it come about?
Nature in the Home started three years ago. I noticed a growing trend in interior styling which included plants and flowers. Back then it was all about the succulent and mother in laws tongue. Since then other plants and flowers are now 'on trend'. I adore nature is all it's forms, I am a country girl at heart, but live in the City of Bristol. I started the weekly feature called 'Nature in the Home' just highlighting how using plants, flowers, feathers, shells etc as interior decor can give a room a sense of peace and a homely feel.
In it's second year I opened the weekly feature to my readers. Asking them to join me with a link up, using images from pinterest board as inspiration. I was overwhelmed by the response and soon had 50+ people weekly linking up with their finds.
NitH is now in it's 3rd year and I've changed the format a little. Using the hashtag #natureinthehome, it is now an Instagram link up. Each week I pick my top 8 images, these could be most innovate, prettiest, a colour etc. Plus there will be interviews, DIY's and further inspiration. So far the response has been overwhelming.
And what about the May day baskets? How did the recipients respond?
Ah yes the May Day Baskets. Last May (2013) I came across the old pagan tradition of May Baskets whilst researching an article I was writing. At the turn of the 20th Century the ancient tradition had fallen out of favour which is such a shame. So I thought let's revive it! Last May I encouraged a few people to get involved, leaving jars or cones on friends and neighbours doorsteps on May Day to celebrate. This year I left 8. How did they respond? With kisses and tears... good friends! Flowers will always do that.
Whats your favourite month or season? how do you like to celebrate it?
So hard to choose! I love all seasons for different reasons. But right now I am in love with May. You have just got to look at the hedgerows to see why. Frothy cow parsley, blue bells, wild garlic, fox gloves, May blossom - it's beautiful out there. I love to celebrate each month and season by having a nature table, bringing in foraged blooms, seed heads and other 'treasures' we can find as a family. I also like to celebrate the pagan festivals, by lighting candles and having a big feast at home. In the mid-summer, we love to have a fire at night - I try to book a camping trip around this time, so we can fully experience the longest day.
So lovely. Thank you Lou. You'll be hearing more from Lou in a regular column focussing on bringing the outside indoors and all things wild and wilderness. (column name to be determined- any ideas?!) So, watch this space.
Happy bank holiday weekend, everyone. We'll be outside, no matter what the weather!
P.S Did you all catch Davina's lovely news yesterday? Very, very exciting.