Honeysuckle Hollow, LLC


ForagingMercedes Ivener1 Comment

For.age – verb – search widely for food or provisions. Synonyms: hunt, search, look, rummage around, ferret, root about/around, nose about/around, scavenge. 

I admit, one of my favorite things has always been to go foraging. I used to call it hunting for treasures or collecting when I was young, but now the more popular term has become foraging. Whatever you call it, I love it. For me it was a way that my parents, especially my Dad, would get us to really see and appreciate nature. He didn’t insist that we do it, nor was there an actual mission (as there often is with me these days), but he was just a forager at heart and we followed his example. He would walk along and pick up special rocks, or a branch with an interesting shape, or acorns that he taught us to whistle through their caps, or shells that we would hold to our ears in hopes of hearing the sound of the ocean. He had an artist’s eye, and he was always on the hunt for nature’s beauty. This made hiking, camping, and even exploring our backyard infinitely more interesting.

This tradition has been passed through to my own children. I have always taken them outside. We spend hours hunting up food and treasures while enjoying the great outdoors. Now that I have the Honeysuckle Hollow flower shop, we spend even more time on adventures in search of items for our creations. It is amazing what you can find if you just look at things around you with new eyes. Thank you to the talented designer Francoise Weeks for reminding us of this at her workshop earlier in the year. (Stay tuned – I am going to do a blog soon about the various design courses I have been to, because they were so incredibly inspiring and filled with beauty.)

And so with these new eyes I set out in the past month to see what I could find. The fall is a wonderful time to get outside and forage. Before winter blankets the landscape, an innate and sometimes desperate desire surfaces in me to get out and collect what I can. I feel like a squirrel…out into the pastures and woods I go. Last week I took my son and we met up with a friend in search of moss and, bittersweet for wreathes. On the way, we discovered a series of incredible beaver dams, beaver slides and a hillside of moss! And, triumphantly, we even found a bit of bittersweet vining up a tree! It was a misty morning and our walk along the creek felt more like ambling through a Scottish moor (admittedly, I’ve never actually been to one, but that is what it felt like)! Here are some goofy and unflattering pictures; we had a magical time and an invigorating adventure.   

Cale Foraging
Cale and Mercedes Foraging

Back at the shop, I laid out some of the other grasses, pinecones, acorns, and leaves I had collected in the previous weeks along with some succulents I cut out of my windowbox. I got out the Wreath Recipe book by the designers at Studio Choo for inspiration and guidance and went to work. Here are some wreathes we created for the November Flower Sale. 

Pretty soon the December Flower Sale will be upon us, and I will no doubt be back to foraging for pinecones, juniper branches loaded with blue berries, interesting sticks, and so on. Our holiday sale will be on December 5th from 11am-5pm. In addition to our floral creations, we will also have other local artists and their goods that day, so you can do some shopping and support local talent. Hope to see you there!

In the meantime, I hope you can sneak some time to be outdoors, enjoy this weather, and maybe even do a bit of foraging!