Ideas from the garden

There is much to discover in and around your pond in autumn and winter. Now is not only the perfect time for preparing delicious recipes using freshly harvested autumn fruits — it's also an ideal opportunity to wander through your garden, where you will find countless natural materials to use in creating stylish seasonal decorations for your pond area. Plenty of fun for the whole family! 

Monkey fun

Material: 2 chestnuts, googly eyes, 1 acorn, 4 acorn caps, leaf stalks, toothpicks, pins, glue, knives 

Cut a groove into one of the chestnuts for the head. Connect the two chestnuts using a toothpick. Insert two toothpicks into the chestnut without a groove for the legs. Then use the glue to fix two acorn caps on the sides for the ears as well as on the leg ends for feet. Attach two googly eyes above the groove. Use pins to attach the leaf stalks to each side of the body and tie the ends together with a piece of wire or tape.

Stuffed pumpkin

Ingredients: 4 stuffed pumpkins, 120g rice, 2 red peppers, 200g mushrooms, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 stems of rosemary, 4 stems of parsley, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, 250g minced beef, 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika powder, 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, 120g grated Gouda

Method: Wash the pumpkins and level them off at the base using a knife. Cut out the lids and remove the seeds. Sprinkle salt on the inside of the pumpkins. Remove the seeds from the peppers and dice them. Clean the mushrooms and slice them. Peel the onion and garlic and finely dice them. Wash the herbs and chop them finely. Heat the olive oil in a pan and then fry the onion, garlic and mushrooms until they are lightly browned. Add the pepper. Season the vegetables with salt, pepper and herbs. Cook the rice, then add the vegetables to the cooked rice once they have cooled. Add the minced meat along with the rest of the spices and mix thoroughly. Fill the pumpkins with the mixture, sprinkle with Gouda, replace the lid and bake in the oven for around 1 hour. Remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven, leave them to rest briefly and then serve.

Autumnal flair

Pumpkin carving done differently  – did you know that there are more than 800 pumpkin varieties worldwide? For this year's pumpkin decoration, instead of a scary face, you can carve in patterns of hearts, dots or waves. This will create a real eye-catcher for your doorstep or the edge of your pond.

A sweet and tasty treat

Ingredients: 6 apples, 2 tablespoons of brown butter, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar, 250g blueberry jam

Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C . Wash and core the apples and place them side by side in the baking tray. Brush the apples with the butter and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar. Fill them with half the jam. Spread the remainder in between the apples. Bake for around 35 minutes. Serve warm.

Magical shining ice

To create your very own ice lamp, you will need two containers (e.g. bowls or cake moulds). Fill the larger container a quarter of the way up with water and add branches or berries. Then place the smaller container inside the larger bowl and fix in position with a heavy object. Top up the water in the large bowl to the rim and leave it to freeze. Once completely frozen, remove the bowls by running hot water over the outside.

Relaxing by the pond in winter doesn't have to be a cold affair

Sometimes, even in the cold of winter, you need to get a bit of fresh air. In this case, the garden is the best place to go. Snuggling up in front of a fire pit on the terrace allows you to enjoy spending time beside the pond even in icy temperatures. You can also stay warm by drinking homemade rosehip tea.

Berry-rich warmth for the soul

The first step in making this vitamin C-rich tea is to wash the rosehips you have collected, then remove the stems and flowers. Chop the berries into rough pieces, then place them in the oven at 40°C to dry out. The dried fruits will last for several weeks. For the tea, place 2 to 3 tablespoons of rosehips into each glass, then pour boiling water over these and allow the rosehips to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. For a sweeter taste, you can add sugar or honey as desired. If you wish to spice up this hot drink, you can also boil the water with a cinnamon stick or orange slices or add dried berries.