I love bittersweet, the wonderful brown wind-y brambles, the orange husks, the brilliant red berries.
Some places bittersweet is considered an invasive pest, but like most plants here at the beach it just barely hangs onto life in a few places on the verge of the marsh....
I waited til a windy day blew the leaves away. And on a sunny day last week I ventured out to cut bittersweet for my Thanksgiving table...
Even my outfit ''went with": new tissue wool scarf and this wonderful felted wool hat, all in grey and bittersweet red.
The hat looks handmade but like the scarf, it came from Marshall's and says made in Italy. It is very cozy; I hope to find a grey and black version too.
I wore heavy cargo pants, too, and boots and bug spray, armed myself with a good pair of nippers, and I hiked off to the marsh.
Last year there were no berries, so this time I was very happy to find a nice crop.
Waded into the scary brush and chopped a big armload.
Now normally I wouldn't harvest large amounts of a native plant, even though this set of vines is not in a park but at the edge of a public highway. But I think in this case, it is okay because again: invasive and not native? And I do leave most of the vines, because I know the birds like the berries.
I am planning to use an heirloom hand woven tablecloth (rough grey-ish linen. It ws maybe a bath towel!? Or a sheet?) that was part of my Swiss great-grandmother's trousseau when she came to America. Her ''hope chest'' linens were shipped here in a huge wicker basket trunk. Some of the linens are much fancier, tablecloths edged in handmade Swiss lace---but I love this homespun piece with its tiny red monogram and faggotted seaming.
And in contrast I will use a mercury glass beaded table mat, and an array of mercury glass candle holders/ votives. Intertwined with be a garland of the bittersweet.
I think that is all, I will keep it simple since we need room for our harvest feast. I hope the bittersweet, which I have stashed out on my deck survives today's gale winds! (I sprayed it with clear lacquer, which is supposed to act as a fixative.)
I am hiding indoors today, polishing silver and unearthing the Spode turkey plates. What are you all up to on this very frigid windy day?
.....gone to the beach