red flannel pantry

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Archive for the tag “fall decorating”

paper lanterns

IMG_3098

Last fall my friend, Jackie, admired my arrangements of Chinese lanterns (Physalis alkekengi), both on stems in a vase and the seed pods displayed in a glass pumpkin jar.

Since I didn’t get my act together for her birthday this summer, yesterday, as a belated birthday present, I gave Jackie a jar of Chinese lanterns I collected. They make a lovely fall decoration and keep for several years.

IMG_3048

I cut them from their stems, set them on a rack in the garage, and let them dry for a couple of weeks. I am a sucker for their vivid orange hue and delicate papery husks. Be warned, however: this plant is highly invasive. Accept divisions at your own risk!

Chinese lanterns

While working in my garden this weekend, I came across these skeletonized remains of a plant I call Chinese lantern (Latin name: Physalis alkekengi). Also known as winter cherry, Chinese lantern is a member of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes and potatoes, and is considered toxic if eaten.

Several years ago, someone brought a division to my plant swap party, and I, unaware of its invasive nature, planted it in my garden. I have struggled to contain it ever since. Like mint, it spreads through its root system, growing sneakily underground and then popping up sometimes far from its source.

As a green, flowering plant in the spring and summer, the Chinese lantern is nondescript and weedy, with jointed stems and teeny white flowers, weaseling its way unwanted throughout the garden. However, by the fall, the little white flowers morph into glowing orange paper globes that when exposed to the elements decay to reveal hidden orange berries.

It is such an elegant, clever and aesthetically lovely design that in the end I have to marvel at its tenacity and admire its beauty. So Chinese lantern and I have come to a truce. It is now allowed to thrive on the garden edges, and this time of year I reap its gifts.

Some years I harvest the lanterns when they are whole and unblemished and display them in glass containers. Although delicate and fragile, they will keep for years.

Post Navigation

Butterfly Gardening

Learn how to attract butterflies to your garden

It's Not Work, It's Gardening!

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

twin fibers

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

NW Quilted Cat

Longarm Quilting, Patterns, Foundation Paper Piecing Teacher

Momotaro Makes

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Snoop's Theatre Thoughts

A longtime fan's look at theatre in St. Louis, MO and Beyond

Momoe's Cupboard

Low Budget Meals and Ideas

Wedding Dress Blue

Quilting and other things I love in this colorful world

Sew Me

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Simplify

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Letter from Mekelle

Lewis and Helen's Adventures in Ethiopia

Just Jude

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Entropy Always Wins

entropyalwayswinsblog.com

jmn

Creative Endeavours

Sew Mama Sew

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

quiltingquandary

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Elven Garden Quilts

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Christine Doyle

Freelance Editor + Passionate Crafter

Sew Kind Of Wonderful

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Darlington Delights

Welcome to Darlington

The Simple Seamstress

Adventures into the great unsewn.

K&S Design Girls

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

OccasionalPiece--Quilt!

OPQuilt: Quilts & Textiles