THE SEASON AHEAD
Feast & Forage
"I am happy enough here, where Dakota drifts wild in the universe, Where the prairie is starting to shake in the surf of the winter dark."
The abundance of the autumn harvest is gradually dispersed by the drawing in of the winter nights in the northern hemisphere and the drawing to close of another year. Nature teaches us that winter can be a time of hibernation and stillness, a chance to reset and prepare for what comes next. But, conversely, winter has also always been a time associated with celebration, from pagan festivities to the religious observances and New Year revelries we may be more familiar with today.
In a season often associated with chilliness and darkness, the veneration of light is bound to play a highly significant role. For eight days each November or December, the Jewish festival of Hanukkah involves lighting candles every day in a special candelabra called a menorah. Christmas Eve festivities in Ukraine, meanwhile, begin when the first star is sighted in the night sky and centre on a large family meal – the 12-dish Sviata Vecheria, which means ‘holy supper’.
Winter sees the launch of The Floristry Membership, offering our community of flower-lovers exclusive benefits, seasonal gifts and member-only access to our spaces, events and happenings. Meet fellow members at our wild-inspired winter events. Discover the full calendar online now and book directly via the-floristry.com
Yule is a fire festival landing on the Winter Solstice and brings a shift in energy as we reach the shortest day and longest night of midwinter. Celebrate by making an evergreen wreath, burn a Yule log, and spend the day in quiet contemplation, embracing the quiet darkness of the season.
In Scandinavia, the Winter Solstice is called Feast of Juul, when fires were lit to symbolise the heat and light of the life-giving sun. A Yule or ‘Juul’ log was burned on the hearth in honour of the Scandinavian god, Thor. The log was never allowed to burn completely and was kept as a token of good luck, to then be used as kindling to start the following year’s fire.
Give your gifts a wild touch with foliage or dried flowers. The traditional Japanese art of wrapping gifts – ‘furoshiki’ – uses cloth to wrap gifts, which can then be used again.
Discover a wild assortment of gifts from The Floristry, from festive flowers jars and bouquets to fragrant candles and tableware, explore our winter collection.
Gather with friends around candlelit tables and set the perfect mood with our winter playlist. Spellbinding sounds to soothe you into the magic of winter nights
In the winter months, hunt in the woods for hairy bittercress, yarrow and gorse. Make oak schnapps, the wood is richer in tannins at this time of year, creating a deeper flavour. Steep 2 handfuls of short oak sticks with a litre of vodka for 3 months. Then add 4 lapsang souchong tea bags and 4 tsp honey, and leave to steep for further 2 months.
Explore the 50th anniversary edition of Food for Free by Richard Mabey, a complete guide to foraging, with an extensive species identification guide.
In New Zealand, the pohutukawa tree, a native tree with gnarled roots and bright crimson-red flowers, is a recognised symbol of Christmas and is featured on cards and decorations.
December’s full moon rises on 7 December. Cold Moon – a Mohawk name that conveys the frigid conditions of this time of year when cold weather truly begins to grip us. In Europe, ancient pagans called the December full moon the ‘moon before Yule’, in honour of the Yuletide festival celebrating the return of the sun heralded by the Winter Solstice.
Look skyward on the nights of 13-14 December after 9pm for a chance to catch a glimpse of the Geminid meteors. The most active meteor shower of the year.
If you’re in London, go see the major exhibition of the work of French Post-Impressionist Paul Cézanne at the Tate Modern.
Nottingham Contemporary, meanwhile, presents Hollow Earth: Art, Caves and The Subterranean Imaginary, a major thematic exhibition which brings together a wide range of responses to the image and idea of the cave. It includes painting, photography, sculpture, sound, installation and video, as well as archives and architectural models, stretching from 1960 to today, alongside works from the 18th and 19th centuries.