A guide to transitioning from the glory days of summer to the golden warmth of autumn.
It can be hard to farewell summer. Endless sunshine, carefree days, sweet, ripe fruit and relaxed barbecues. Helping make the switch a little easier is the knowledge that every season has its own unique beauty and is rich in traditions to embrace.
Here are a few autumnal activities to get you inspired.
1. Make origami maple leaves
As the full cloak of autumn descends, we see deciduous leaves around us turning yellow, orange and red as they loosen their grip for winter. Echo this at home and make some simple origami maple leaves in crimson and rust. Fun for kids, pretty to hang and symbolic of the passing of time…
2. Start pickling and preserving
With the final glut of summer’s fruits and vegetables dug up, the question turns to what to do with them all. Immersing yourself in the world of pickling and preserving helps capture the tastes of summer so you can enjoy them throughout the year. Delicious items to pickle include zucchini, cucumber, carrots and onions while stone fruits and summer berries are perfect to preserve. Looking for some guidance? Cornersmith in Sydney’s Marrickville runs workshops throughout March.
3. Plant tulip bulbs in time for spring
In Australia, March is generally a good time to buy up tulip bulbs and pop them in the fridge to allow them to cool for six to eight weeks. Come late May, start planting your bulbs in a random pattern for a beautiful springtime burst of colour. Just watch and wait!
4. Immerse yourself in some autumn-inspired literature
Off all the seasons, autumn seems to be especially evocative for the literary minded. Spend a crisp weekend morning sipping tea and reveling in John Keats’ ‘To Autumn’ of 1820 or ‘As summer into autumn slips’ by Emily Dickinson. Feeling inspired? Try your hand at penning something of your own.
5. Take an afternoon cycle
Crunching leaves under tyre and basking in the warmth of an autumn afternoon, cycling is a magnificent way to spend the day on the weekend. Visit your state’s parks website for some trail locations, pack a picnic in a rucksack and head out as a family.
6. Seasonal cooking
One way to shake off the blues of a summer farewell is, naturally, with food. Autumn brings with it a huge variety of seasonal goodness to invigorate your cooking. In March, look out for pumpkins, figs and apples, April is when we see mushrooms and chestnuts coming on board and May is a great time to enjoy Brussels sprouts, quinces and early season oranges. Get some cooking inspiration with our delicious collection of recipes.
7. Get artsy
The cooler weather sees us typically spending a little less time basking in the sunshine and more time indoors. Use this transition as an opportunity to boost your cultural cachet with an exhibition, play or film. Sydneysiders can head to the Brett Whiteley Studio on weekends for his ‘nature’ exhibition and our national capital is holding a fascinating exhibition on photography in Indonesia from the 1850s – 1940s. The NGV in Melbourne showcases the remarkable career of Inge King from 1 May while over in Brisbane Jemima Wyman’s Pattern Bandits will be a kaleidoscopic treat for kids.
8. Fill your home with the smell of autumn
Another way to indulge the senses in autumn is to bring a little of the earthy smells of the season home. Try baking some banana bread, lighting a spiced orange autumn candle, setting out a dish of dried cloves, roasting some pumpkin or poaching peaches and nectarines with a good dash of cinnamon.