As autumn slips into winter, my home turns outside in. Twigs trimmed from our fruit trees fill tall vases and await their chances to burst into bloom. Cuttings of scented apple, ginger, peppermint, nutmeg and lemon Pelargoniums topple from tin buckets and will soon be planted in half a dozen small terra-cotta pots. They'll line our window seat and provide tiny blooms, and the sweet scent of spring whenever we brush their leaves.
Bulbs, which have displaced the produce in our refrigerator, are moved out and settled into saucers and forcing jars. They'll debut and flaunt their unexpected beauty on bookcases and tables in every room.
A patch of red wheat berry, which I seed onto a long, rectangular tray on the first day of December, will occupy the place of honor on our dining table this holiday season. In France the tradition of growing wheat indoors signifies the hoped-for abundance of the upcoming year. A thriving, healthy patch of wheat foretells good luck.
This year, as I cleaned the withered leaves from some of my favorite succulents, I realized how much I miss my up-close time with them during the winter.
How to remedy this? I tugged apart crowded pots and replanted them in twin galvanized tin containers.
Now they'll be a part of my life throughout the long, dark months ahead. Come spring, my scenteds and succulents will make a short migration to the terraces surrounding our cottage. From outside in to inside out.