For Inexpensive Holiday Entertaining, Forage in Your Yard

 
  Helen Dealtry Studio

Helen Dealtry Studio

At YardKit, we help homeowners reimagine their outdoors to enjoy beautiful outdoor living spaces. We love sharing tips and tricks with homeowners improving their yards. Email us at hello@yardkit.com with ideas of your own.

Plenty of seasonal get-togethers are in store across the coming months, and we’re looking to foraging artists for fresh ways to celebrate the seasons.

Start by taking another look at what may already be in your own backyard. Enjoy time outside as you gather leaves, twigs, berries, flowers, or whatever natural bounties you stumble upon in your area.

After you’ve gathered your goods, here’s our favorite inspiration for easy, budget-friendly ideas to bring the outside in.


Found Foods

Take inspiration from food forager and self-described “culinary alchemist” Pascal Baudar, who unearths unexpected cuisine from the land around his Los Angeles home. Pascal strips the bark from local trees and gathers fallen nuts to create indulgent culinary concoctions from this urban landscape. Weedy plants like dandelion pair with a delicately poached egg; freshly picked pears roasted in a bed of wild grasses. Imbibe in a wild crafted cocktail or seasonal roast with your most adventurous friends.

  Pascal Baudar, Urban Outdoor Skills

Pascal Baudar, Urban Outdoor Skills

What to Find Outside:  

Unearth the edible potential of your yard by finding herbs that are native or well-adapted to your area (wild mint, fennel, sage, and lemongrass may be good choices). Look for local trees with edible parts, like bay leaves, manzanita berries, and pinyon pine needles.

Be cautious when considering what to forage, as some may be inedible or harmful. Take care to identify edible plants correctly and consult local pros before consuming.

Find recipes for ferments, infusions, spices in The New Wildcrafted Cuisine: Exploring the Exotic Gastronomy of Local Terroir (available on Amazon). Or, hunt with the man himself in Pascal’s Urban Outdoor Skills workshops.

  Pascal Baudar

Pascal Baudar

foraged-stew
 

Metallic Wreaths

Floral artists Terri Chandler and Katie Smyth, founders of the London-based Studio Worm, give the usual holiday wreath a contemporary flare. This project is especially fitting if you live in a tropical or beach-front locale.

  Worm Creative

Worm Creative

What to Find Outside:  

Collect felled fronds from a mix of local palms. Hunt for these strapping leaves either in your neighborhood or at a local garden center. Sago and fan palms have leaf shapes ideally suited to this look. For those in Northern climates, you may find cold-hardy palms like dwarf palmetto and the European fan palm.

You may also find pliable branches to bundle and bend as the backdrop to your wreath. Use eco-friendly metallic paint to spray your fronds and biodegradable twine to assemble the arrangement.

Find step-by-step instructions in their new book Wreaths: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Floral Arrangements (available on Amazon).

  Kristin Perers

Kristin Perers

 

Dramatic Dried Bouquets


Take inspiration from moody bursts of spent blooms. These arrangements in the homes of artist Helen Dealtry and designer Molly Madfis inspire their distinctive aesthetics.

 
  Almost Makes Perfect

Almost Makes Perfect

 

What to Find Outside:  

Rather than prune away flowers, herbs, and grasses that are past their peak, shear the top few inches of the plant to collect bundles of the branches. To get the looks shown here, you’re likely to find pampas grass, baby’s breath, and yarrow on roadsides, and hydrangeas in your neighborhood garden center.

Look in your garden after the first frost for maximum impact. Hang snipped branches upside down to dry completely before putting them on display.

Clusters of a single species work best with this dramatic look. Get creative by scrounging for any sort of glass or ceramic vessel to use as a vase. For the most impact, pair arrangements with earthy surfaces like wood or linen and place them in the direct path of natural light.

For more inspiration, see this home tour and this guide to decorating with Pampas Grass.

  Helen Dealtry Studio

Helen Dealtry Studio

  Almost Makes Perfect

Almost Makes Perfect

The best part of locally foraged decor: the goal is earthy and a little wild, so there’re no rules for arrangements.

Celebrate the natural beauty of your region through the holidays and across the seasons in the year ahead.

 

Are you looking for more landscape tips? Follow us on Pinterest. Then, if you have a design dilemma you want solved, email us at hello@yardkit.com!


 
Janice NicolComment