This weekend, the last weekend before Hallowe’en, and Samhain, we went off into the forest in search of one of nature’s most autumnal offerings, pumpkins.
We’re lucky enough to live very close to the New Forest national park, so in the early afternoon on Saturday, we decided to throw on our cosy jumpers and take a drive to the woods.
Driving through Brockenhurst, we found this gorgeous Gatehouse. It looks as though it could be the gateway to another realm, or at least to another time. The details on the stone are stunning, and I love the way nature is trying to reclaim it by spreading across the brick, clambering to the top. I also adore that little oval-shaped window in the top of the turret section, it reminds me of an old Victorian portrait picture frame.
Wouldn’t you just love to spend a night here? Cosy under blankets, with a good book and a creamy mug of cocoa?
Our next stop along the way was Setley Ridge. However we weren’t here for the vineyard, we were here for the garden centre, tea room and farm shop.
Set in gorgeous wooden conservatories, the garden centre is strung with cosy festoon lights and filled with rustic goodies for the garden.
There were some particularly lovely pagan tree spirit plaques, which I had to tear myself away from. Just look at all of those gorgeous metal lanterns too, aren’t they stunning??
This table and chair set is so dreamy!
I loved the giant white pumpkins, and was very temped to purchase one, but we were saving ourselves for the pumpkin patch at our next stop…
The Cat & Fiddle Farm was set up with a ‘bar bus’, music and lots of fun activities. We parked up and set off along the pumpkin patch in search for a perfect pumpkin to take home.
Unfortunately, it seemed we were a little late on the bandwagon, and actually pretty much all of the pumpkins on the patch were squashed or rotten! Luckily, there were plenty that had been salvaged by the farm staff, and we had fun digging through the crates and mountains of pumpkins.
This little guy was a really strong contender, I loved how gnarly and pimpled it was!
We finally managed to narrow it down to four, and eventually eliminated the one on the right, and went home happily with three very pretty pumpkins.
Just before we finally headed home to carve up our pumpkins, we stopped at Blackwater Arboretum. It is a lovely, quiet spot near Rhinefield Hotel, filled with all sorts of beautiful trees and flora.
I particularly loved this pale tree that seemed to have shed all of it leaves in a sudden flurry of silvery confetti.
Has anyone come across a tree like this before? It didn’t have a tag like some of the others did to tell us what it was, but I’ve never seen anything like it before! It reminded me of a firework, with all those feathery leaves and vibrant colours.
Finally home, and time to catch up with some scary stories and pumpkin carving!
The cats were pretty intrigued by the large, brightly coloured veggies we had brought home from some field out in the forest.
Oh, and this is the final result – Jona did the handiwork – isn’t he cute? A rather green-tinged Jack Skellington :-)
Here’s a little vlog of our Autumnal day in the forest:
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