Several weeks ago my Mother & I made a pilgrimage to my Uncles farm in Osage City to pick up pecans. The drive was long but one filled with much laughter and talk.
As we turned off one country road on to another, we were meet with a breath taking sight~~~ Bittersweet growing over an old fence and up a tree! I'm going to make a little confession here. I absolutely LOVE Bittersweet. There is something about it's yummy orange colored berries and snarled vines that just makes my heart sing. What do I know about Bittersweet? Absolutely nothing! I have no idea if there is a difference in the Bittersweet that grows in the wild or the kind that grows in town. I just know it's gorgeous!
This Bittersweet was different than any I've ever seen before. Not the pale orange berries of that in town, instead it was a brilliant orange....Like those pumpkins we see with the dark orange color. And mind you it wasn't skinny little berries either but big, plumb gorgeous one!
While I was going nuts over this beautiful display, Mom wasn't the least bit impressed....Probably because she had walked this old farm ground for years in her youth as she went back and forth to grade school. Yes, this wonderful Bittersweet was growing on her Aunts land, which is just across the road from my Grandpa's farm.
Mom assured me that Aunt Reen wouldn't mind if I took some so after we picked up our pecans we stopped at this magnificent bush. As I was whacking away and filling my box, who should drive up but Aunt Reen and Mom's first cousin. (They thought we were stealing their walnuts! HA) Aunt Reen told me to take all I wanted and I needed to come back this Spring and dig up some plants for myself. Oh be still my heart!!!!!
Arriving home I proudly carried that box full of Bittersweet into the house. My poor ole mind was racing with ideas of decorating with it. But where to start??? As I walked through the house my eye came upon an old primitive cabinet that has a little Needle Punched sewing bag hanging from it. The design on the bag is that of a bird with a few twigs of Bittersweet around it. Yes, the perfect spot to add some berries.
Next my eye rested on another primitive cabinet with a precious little bag made out of homespun my dear friend Sher in New York made me. With a little muslin "tag" stitched with the simple word, 'herbs' on the outside of it, it was another great place to hold some.
Spying a black basket I had just refinished for my DIL, Codi, I could resist...She just had to have some of these gorgeous berries so I proceed to fill it. (That basket is now proudly displayed on top her kitchen cabinets!)
As I turned and saw my fireplace I knew where the rest was going....My mantel!!!! For the next hour I quietly worked weaving berries, vines and leaves across the top. As I stood back and look at my work I couldn't have been more pleased. Before me that mantel fairly dripped with the color of orange. Just the perfect display for Fall.
In a few weeks it will be time to take down my gorgeous Bittersweet to make way for Christmas. There will be something so sad about seeing it all come down. It's going to be like saying good-bye to an old friend who has brought me much enjoyment. However, Spring will be here before I know it and at that time I'll make another pilgrimage to Osage City...This time to bring home Bittersweet plants that I'll loving plant and care for during the summer month in the hopes that in years to come I'll have my own berries to decorate with.