Autumn time: decoration tips from the forest

Collect & Craft with Leaves, Cones & Rosehips

by Silja / 06. Oktober 2022 / Nature
Herbstwald in Puch © – Silja Parke

Oh you beautiful autumn in SalzburgerLand!

Rustling leaves, bright beautiful colours and culinary delicacies that make the "wild herb collector"s heart" in Puch beat faster...

Autumn is now shining so beautifully golden on our doorstep. This sight is a real blessing. The autumn colours have a calming effect on me. I appreciate this time every year as a welcome respite. The days are getting shorter, you get cosy early in the evening with a cup of tea, perhaps in front of a crackling stove fire and a good book. Before that, we often go for a walk, if we"re lucky, in the evening sunshine. While we are often active until late in the summer, autumn is a good time to take it down a notch.

Puch Herbst © TVB Puch - Gerber

For the cosy tea time, there is the recipe for my popular "Autumn Sun" tea blend at the end and before we start, I would also like to briefly answer a question that has remained unanswered until now...

How the beautiful autumnal colours of the leaves come about

The deciduous trees are also taking a break now, clearly visible to us. For them, the colourful ageing process of their leaves is the answer to less daylight and colder temperatures. To survive in winter, they stop photosynthesising. The chlorophyll that trees need for photosynthesis and is responsible for their green leaf colour is stored in the roots, branches and trunk until spring. In the leaves, the ratio of colour pigments now shifts. Due to the absence of chlorophyll, strong yellow and orange tones become visible. These were already present before, but were covered up by the green leaf pigment. Unlike the yellow foliage colour, the red foliage colour comes from anthocyanins; these were not present before, they are only now being produced.

In most trees, leaf shedding now also follows, as separation tissue forms between the leaf stalks and the branches. Other trees lose the dead leaves only during strong storms or in spring at the latest, e.g. oaks, but pay attention to this.

Herbstwald © – Silja Parke

Autumn time is decoration time

We love to brush our feet through rustling autumn leaves. The colourful leaves can be used creatively for handicrafts and decoration. There is hardly anyone who did not collect the colourful leaves as a child and conjure up little works of art from them. In combination with other autumnal finds, they are wonderfully suitable for decorative purposes. I present a few ideas here in the PUCH MAGAZINE.

Herbst Blatt © – Silja Parke

Why do trees actually stop photosynthesising and shed their leaves in the cold season?

In photosynthesis, the tree produces glucose and oxygen with the help of solar energy as well as carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil. It forms its biomass by means of photosynthesis. In winter, less solar energy is available and in cold temperatures, when the ground is frozen, the tree can only draw a little water from the soil. Photosynthesis would then no longer be possible. Since trees constantly evaporate water through their leaves, they prevent this by shedding their leaves to protect themselves from drying out and thus ensure their survival.

A few autumn decoration ideas

Now in autumn you can find especially beautiful decoration material in nature: colourful leaves, fruit cups from beech and oak trees, chestnuts, rose hips and, and, and...

Autumn candle holder

When you go for a walk, you can pick up the colourful leaves. At home, I weigh it down with books and let it dry a little. Without the weight of the books, the leaves would immediately curl and then be difficult to work with.

For autumn candle holders, I tie colourful leaves around glasses, such as schnapps glasses here, and decorate them additionally with rosehip wreaths and beechnut fruit cups.

Herbst-Deko Kerzenleuchter © – Silja Parke

You can thread the rose hips onto a wire and then bend it into a wreath. The beech fruit cups of the copper beech (Fagus sylvatica) look like small flowers. The sharp-edged, about 1.5 cm large nutlets of the beech (beechnuts) sit in pairs in this four-lobed fruit cup. If you want to find them, you have to look on the ground under the beech trees. I glued a mini rosehip of the multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) to the centre of each fruit cup with hot glue. This makes them even "a bit more flowery".

You can make wonderful wreaths from the small rose hips of Rosa multiflora, which is very common here. To do this, bend a ring out of wire and tie the rosehip twigs, also with wire, in small clusters like roof tiles on the ring until you have gone all the way round. This is a beautiful eye-catcher as a door wreath or on the garden fence.

Habebutte Kränzchen © – Silja Parke

Beech fruit cup candle wreath

For this wreath, I first joined oak fruit cups (the acorns sit in this little cup) together with hot glue to form a wreath. I then glued the flower-shaped beech fruit cups into the oak fruit cups, also with hot glue. In the centre of some of the beech fruit cups I fixed mini rose hips of Rosa multiflora with hot glue. This made a pretty wreath of candles for the autumn decoration.

Buchen-Fruchtbecher-Kerzen-Kränzchen   © – Silja Parke

Did you know that?

By the way, beechnuts are also a real treat. They are peeled and the seeds are roasted in a pan. Beech nuts should not be eaten raw, or only in very small quantities, as they contain the toxic alkaloid fagin. The alkaloids are broken down by roasting. Like pine nuts, the roasted seeds can be sprinkled on salads or pasta. They also harmonise very well with some desserts. They can also be caramelised with sugar to taste.

Bucheckern   © – Silja Parke

Decoration tip: autumnal cone

The cones of trees can be used wonderfully as autumnal pendants. To do this, I screw a small eyelet or hook into the cone and thread a ribbon through it. If you don"t have an eyelet or hook at hand, you can also carefully hammer a small nail into the cone or screw a small screw into it.

Herbst-Deko Zapfen  © – Silja Parke

To decorate the cone, I added a colourful canopy of leaves. I used scissors to cut small slits in the leaves so that I could thread them onto the ribbon in several layers. Cones can also be decorated with other materials, such as rose hips or pine needles tied into clusters. If you use cones of different sizes and group them together, it looks very pretty!

Warming "Autumn Sun" Tea Blend

Since autumn is tea time, here is my recipe for a fine tea blend. It is visually enchanting with the colours of autumn and contains relaxing, warming and stomach-strengthening herbs and spices.

A well-balanced tea blend usually consists of basic agents that determine the main effect, accompanying agents that support the main effect and filling and decorative drugs, for example colourful flowers for the visual effect, in this case marigold and sunflower as well as blackberry, raspberry or strawberry leaves as filling material. In addition, flavour enhancers are often added for a good aroma, for example lemon balm, lemon verbena, aniseed, fennel or dried fruit pieces. Filling and decorative drugs as well as flavour enhancers can, of course, also be the main effect of the tea blend or support it, i.e. take on several functions.

Teemischung Herbst © – Silja Parke


3 parts lemon balm (Melissa officinalis9
2 parts wild oregano (Oreganum vulgare)
2 parts dried apple pieces 2 parts marigold blossoms (Calendula officinalis)
1 part sunflower petals (Helianthus annuus)
1 part wild strawberry leaves (Fragaria vesca)
1 part dried ginger (Zingiber officinale)
1 part rose hip peel (Rosa spec.)
½ part aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)

I halve and core the rose hips as described in the last PUCH MAGAZINE article "??" and then lay them out to dry. I also dry the apple and ginger myself. I cut both into fine slices using a vegetable slicer. I then dry them either at 40 degrees in the oven or in the evening, when we heat up, in front of our wood-burning stove on a baking tray lined with baking paper. The wood oven method takes a few days. But I prefer it for energy-saving reasons.

PREPARATION: Mix all ingredients well and pour the tea mixture into a tin or jar.

Teemischung Herbst © – Silja Parke

To prepare the tea, grind the mixture in a mortar and use 1 heaped teaspoon per 200 ml of water. Pour bubbling hot water over the tea herbs and let them steep, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Then sit quietly, breathe deeply, inhale the steam and simply enjoy once, preferably without distractions from the TV, telephone and so on. Have fun and enjoy!

Enjoy the beautiful autumn season in Puch

Get out into nature and collect the most beautiful leaves and cones for your autumn decoration at home. Maybe you are already thinking about the Advent season, about the decoration for the Advent wreath or door wreath! Many of nature"s treasures can only be found now and may already be buried under a blanket of snow in Advent or damaged by frost and dirt.

Untersbergblick - Puch Urstein © TVB Puch - Gerber

Tip: signposted hiking trails for an autumn hike through Puch can be found in the interactive tour map!

I hope that I have been able to give you a few ideas for your homemade autumn decorations this year and wish you a peaceful autumn time with a good cup of tea.

If you want to know more about the world of herbs, visit me on Instagarm at or on my website FFor herb lovers, I have also compiled my herbal knowledge in a book called "Ganz schön wild", where you can read a lot about wild herbs for home medicine, natural cosmetics and enjoyment.

Yours sincerely
Your Silja Parke

Kräuterbuch - Ganz schön Wild © – Silja Parke

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