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Decorating with Brains


Did I get your attention? Sorry, I just couldn't resist! When I was a little girl, we called them "brains". We would gather them into huge piles and either throw them into the woods or throw them at each other.

I know what you are probably thinking, "That must have hurt!" It did but it never slowed us down. Still don't know what I am talking about? I am fondly remembering the grapefruit sized, green, brain-like fruit that my siblings and I used to collect by the dozens each fall.

I ended up having two boys and when they were little they did the same thing I did years earlier; they threw them at each other. Of course I yelled words of caution but it never slowed them down either. Around that time I started to collect the "brains" and used them for fall decorations in my house. They have a pleasant smell and they are said to act as a natural insect repellant, although I am not sure if this is a proven fact.

I would gather several of them and place them into a carved wooden bowl or a natural looking basket. Next came the fun part, gathering the other things to go into my display. It varied each year but I would take a walk and collect natural grasses, colorful leaves or whatever captured my fancy. I would bring my "loot" home and create a unique looking arrangement each time.

They even look great by themselves too. One year I dumped an armload of them into a wooden crate and placed it next to my front door for a colorful fall display.

Fall has always been my favorite season, and collecting my next batch of "brains" is something I always look forward to. Several days ago while I was out gathering some, it occurred to me that I didn't even know the real name of these funny looking green orbs. After a little bit of searching I discovered they are called Hedgeapples and these non-edible, non-poisonous fruits come from a tree called the Osage Orange Tree.

As you read this article, you are either shaking your head saying, "Oh yeah, I know what she is talking about." or quite possibly you have never seen a hedgeapple in your life. If you are curious and would like to see a picture, please visit me at http://www.flowers-and-garden.com/decoratingwithbrains.html

This fall collect a few "brains" and create a beautiful fall display of your own!

Candee Stark is a Reading Specialist in a local elementary school and has spent the last two and a half years earning her masters degree. Her new passion is her indoor herb garden. Visit her at Flowers and Garden.com if you would like to read more gardening and flower articles.


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