why autumn is my comfort season

by Sharon Santoni

Here we are again at the start of autumn.    I love the change of seasons so much.   I know, I say that all the time, but it’s true.  A change of seasons heralds a change of wardrobe, of recipes, activities, colours in the valley, and daily rhythm of life.

I have written about this before, here.   I love the gentleness of this season, it is truly the comfort season, before the cold sets in.

The days are getting shorter, the mornings brisker, and the evenings are calm.   We have started lighting a fire at dinner time.  We are eating more soups than salads, and in the garden the flower beds are deliciously dishevelled, as they give their last best show before we cut everything back for the winter.

In the potager we are still eating tomatoes but have collected the last pumpkins. I wander around the garden taking note of what did well this year, what should be moved, divided or modified next year.

This is the season for careful garden planning.  Taking photos, tying name tags and jotting down ideas.   In the driveway the sedums have become over ambitious and they’ll be lifted before we mulch for the winter.  We have to cut down a very large tree next week because it is threatening to tumble in the next big storm.  That will be a huge change in the garden, but it has to be done.  So I am embracing the opportunity for a new look.

This is the timeline of country living, and  I am grateful to have my office at home.  It’s a luxury to be able to step away from my desk during the day to cut a few dahlias, or throw balls for the dogs.

So I’d love to know, how does autumn play out in your corner of the world.   Does your summer linger?    Are you waiting for rain?    Are you sad to see the summer fade, or like me do you welcome the autumn as your comfort zone??

And just in case you are yearning for a little additional comfort right now, you’ll be happy to hear that we still have a couple of our November edition subscription boxes available.  They are selling out fast, but if you purchase one for yourself or for a friend I can guarantee that you’ll be thrilled with the contents.  You’ll discover 7 beautiful French products for you and your home.   The boxes will ship mid November to arrive before the end of the month.   Click HERE to purchase.

my stylish french box with autumn flowers

Thank you for reading me, have a lovely weekend!

ghetto on chair in the garden


Ida Duplechin October 12, 2019 - 3:32 pm

What a lovely column this morning and such a balm to my soul. Due to flooding/disaster, my terrace garden is a disaster. Fortunately, my interior floor elevation was above the flood & no vehicles were able to drive down the street pushing water into houses.
The weather has finally relented; we have gone from “melting” temperatures to pleasant. Last night the air was full of smoke from people lighting up their fireplaces. No fires resulted in the neighborhood, as far as I know.
I so miss the four seasons and access to pleasant moments. Your column brings me such relief from incidents/events outside my door.
Another wonderful event is that Opera Season begins again today. Yes, it is at the local movie theatre and I’ll smell chili hot dogs, hear the slurping of sodas and crunching of popcorn from students required to attend for their classes. I’ll also have the opportunity to relax and enjoy beautiful music/voices in an international communion of people devoted to the arts. My #autumn has begun.
Thank you my dear for reminding me of the life I’m reclaiming.

Anne Riordan October 12, 2019 - 5:09 pm

We turned on the heat today. It is only 48* F but last week was in the 90s. I think it would be a wonderful time for you to share a fall story. They always take me to a happy place.

Tracey Warwick October 13, 2019 - 9:19 am

Autumn in England is a ray of different colours in the garden, on walks & in the sky!
A dry Autumn means wrapping up warm, hats, scarves & gloves appear and off we go.
Hot chocolates and cafes to sit and watch the world go by.
Battening down the hatches in preparation for winds & rain.
We’ve just started the cutting back of our beloved plants & ready to harvest the pumpkins , one new idea this year has been winter new potatoes- ready for Christmas- looking forward to trying them.
Your posts & magazine gives so much inspiration Sharon – thank you from a rainy England x

Teddee Grace October 12, 2019 - 3:43 pm

Thank you for the lovely photos and observations. I think autumn is my favorite season as well. However, living in the foothills of the Rockies, one never knows exactly what awaits. Our temperatures dropped by 50 degrees three days ago, we had a few inches of very wet snow on trees still laden with green leaves and then a low of 16F. By yesterday afternoon all of the snow was gone, the sidewalks were covered with mounds of green leaves, all of the flowers and potted plants looked like frozen lettuce and today we will have a high of 59F and, by Wednesday next, 79F! I’m afraid our fall is not destined to be as beautiful as yours.

Franki October 12, 2019 - 3:51 pm

We are SO very dry in Central Virginia…no colorful foliage this year…sob. Luv YOUR photos!! franki

RITA PARKER October 12, 2019 - 4:25 pm



Joanne October 12, 2019 - 4:47 pm

Good Morning: I, too, live in British Columbia, Canada, but right on the Pacific Ocean. Autumn has come early, the Canadian geese have been flying south in their lovely formations; the leaves are turning the most wonderful colours and the days are sunny with near freezing mornings. In one of my daily travels, I grabbed a coffee and went to sit by the ocean and a large school of dolphins came through, jumping in the air, and swimming so close to us on the shore…it was a delight. These days are like a whisper of calm, a sense of beginning a long rest. Thanks you for the inspirations and beauty you convey through your writings…Joanne

Bonnie Wood October 12, 2019 - 5:00 pm

I love Fall too!!!! It’s cooling down here in Rhode Island In America too. The colors are starting here too. My Garden is a wreck, but will be cleaned up soon. Enjoy your Fall season, and give the dogs a big hug for me!!!

Colleen Taylor October 12, 2019 - 5:01 pm

Here in Arizona, our autumn is a crack in the beginning of our gorgeous season. We don’t necessarily have autumn in the traditional sense but it is a season unto itself. The temperatures are cooling down, the evenings are so incredibly pleasant and cool. I can finally plant and replace the flowers in my courtyard that have bitten the dust by the heat. A welcome change that we look forward to with great anticipation.
Lovely photos Sharon as always! X

Judy Lambert October 12, 2019 - 6:43 pm

I so enjoy your sharing these moments Sharon, like a close friendship. I’m on Vancouver Island in British Columbia (seems there are more of us Ca nadians!) We are surrounded by fallen golden leaves. We’ve had a bit of a cold snap which has changed it all to gold and red. And we have had our visiting bear which seems to have taken residence in the neighborhood this year! I do miss summer however, it is never long enough!

Jynene Hartman October 12, 2019 - 8:12 pm

So beautiful! We are evacuated from our home because of wildfire, do I’ve really enjoyed this cozy, homey post! Thank you …

Jynene Hartman October 12, 2019 - 8:13 pm

So beautiful! We are evacuated from our home because of wildfire, so I’ve really enjoyed this cozy, homey post! Thank you …

Alice Genzlinger October 12, 2019 - 8:35 pm

Sweet post. Like me, the earth must rest also. We’ve already had a hard freeze and snow here in Boulder, Co. I’ve gathered everything in that remained in the garden. It’s the beginning of my sitting by the fire and dreaming up recipes for the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas events. Comfort was a very good word to use. I think I’ll use it also.

Natalia October 12, 2019 - 9:45 pm

Sharon,your beautiful words are only equalled by these wonderful photos!
We are filled with admiration and pause to stop and give thanks for the many blessings in our own lives.
Such a peaceful time leading towards the holidays and end of the year.
Here in the southwestern US(Las Vegas),Autumn is arriving on magnificent wings.This year we are especially joyful to be sharing their first Fall with our Yorkshire Terrier puppies(sister and half brother).Laughter abounds in our home once again!
I am looking forward now to the next stylish box in November .After your previous post,I ordered Petales d’eglantine soap from the Savonnerie.It is divine! My order was filled promptly,arrived in perfect condition,and I am very pleased with both them and their products.
I must also mention

Carol October 12, 2019 - 9:49 pm

I love autumn, especially in my 1st year of retirement. I can get right out into it. Here in northern New England, we are “past peak” but this year the sugar maples were bright red; an infrequent delight. Have had a fire in the wood stove almost every evening for a couple of weeks. Love sitting in the rocker with a magazine & tea with toes warming on the hearth. Finished putting the garden to bed today as well.

Sue October 13, 2019 - 12:19 am

Love seeing the different changes in your garden unfortunately here in Australia we are heading into Summer for us is lovely but Fire danger intensifies and drought us hitting us hard this year . So our growing season is short but I get a lot of ideas for our Autumn and winter. Thank you for you inspiration.

Joanne Day October 13, 2019 - 1:15 am

Hi Sharon, thanks for this lovely post. I too am from Australia and it’s Springtime here and our farmers are in the grip of, I think, the worst drought on record. For those of you who pray, please pray for rain here in regional Australia.
We live in the beautiful Blue Mountains and are able to be able to grow many cold climate plants as well as enjoying the incredible natives. We are all on water restrictions but we are fortunate enough to enjoy better rainfall than other regions and our rain tanks are full.
But for me, there are two seasons that fill me with joy and they are Spring and Autumn. Winter is a wonderful season and an extremely productive time for me – getting things done inside the home, baking, going for brisk walks and having cups of tea with girlfriends. Summer is not for me. I make the best of it by visiting the beach and going exploring along the seaside. But the threat of bush fire is ever-present and we are always on alert. I breathe a sigh of relief when beautiful Autumn arrives.
Thanks for building this lovely community Sharon, of (mainly) women around the world. Speaking of the things that are important to us. Much love from Joanne – Blue Mountains NSW Australia

Jan October 13, 2019 - 1:40 am

It’s not a fire burning in our fireplaces in southwest Florida, but a warm less humid breeze that blows which reminds us that Fall has arrived. Such glorious evenings to dine outside! We rejoice in brilliant sunsets! Our boots don’t come out until well into December. Our seasons do change if you pay attention and observe. – Naples, Florida

Vicky from Athens October 13, 2019 - 3:53 am

I love Fall!!! Your beautiful photos and words lift my spirits. Fall is my favorite season for many reasons … the change in temps, the Fall colors, pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving, football season, long sleeves, soups and stews, the occasional fire. But mainly because summer is over … or it should be. I find summertime heat and humidity depressing. This year it seems that summer just won’t let go of her grip here in Georgia and I am beyond ready for it to be over. I went to the Alps in July to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc knowing I would have 2 weeks of much cooler temps and what did I get? Mid 90’s every day. But I digress. I love Fall!!! Just the thought of it makes me happy. Thank you for such a refreshing post. Surely it will be here soon and I can put a big pot of vegetable soup on the stove.

Marie Batson October 13, 2019 - 4:04 am

Oh, how I cherish the change of four seasons! In my younger days we lived in a warmer climate where there really was only a slight difference in the time of year. How I missed the chance to rest and do indoor cozy things when the gardens were put to rest! I must say I do love Autumn too and was a September bride 57 years ago with a Fall color scheme for my wedding. I am not sure which season I prefer though. At the golden age of 79 I still get excited as the children to see the silent beauty of glistening snow as it falls to the earth; the first crocus or robins of spring; and the warm balmy evenings of summer; and then the smell of wood fires burning while I enjoy the Fall sunsets. I praise God for His majesty and natural beauty that changes with the seasons.
Thank you for your writings and photos to remind me.

Erin Balogh October 13, 2019 - 4:23 pm

Fall is also my favorite season. It probably has to also do with being a September baby as well. And who doesn’t love slipping into a cozy cashmere sweater? Watching fall work her magic on the landscape with her fabulous changing of the leaves. Each day becomes a new view. A canopy of golden leaves as one drives down their street. It makes the journey of where one is going spectacular! I think as I get older, I look forward to it more because of the ramped up seasons of spring and summer. When we are working feverishly in the gardens, I look forward when the gardens go to sleep for the winter. And of course, I am planning and anticipating spring when the windows are covered in the snow and ice, and the winds are howling outside. And the grounds become covered in snow. We are curled up on the sofa, reading and listening to the fireplaces that are crackling with a warm, cozy fire. And of course the holidays are on the horizon. A time for gathering and reflecting upon the year, with anticipation of a new year in our sights.

Taste of France October 13, 2019 - 8:03 pm

In the south of France, today is warm but drizzling; everything is so green, yet it finally feels as if autumn has arrived. The vineyards are still green–in fact, the grapes are still being harvested. But I see the change at the market–no more nectarines; instead mandarines have arrived. We still have many tomatoes and strawberries, but they usually disappear by November, which is not far away. Time to relish what’s left of summer!

Jennifer Le Maitre October 14, 2019 - 6:34 am

A beautiful post! I have to say that your wire hair terrier reminds me so my of my family’s childhood dog, Charlie. We enjoyed Charlie so much when we lived in the suburbs of Chicago. I loved Autumn in Illinois. The smells in the air, crunching stunning leaves on the ground and getting ready for winter was so much fun. Thank you for sharing your musings and photos!

Emm October 15, 2019 - 4:20 am

Blue and red pumpkins? Oh, my.
There’s a song called “When Fall Comes to New England” by a singer called Cheryl Wheeler (good video on YouTube for anyone interested). It’s my go-go at this time of year, when I am missing the seasonal shifts and the colors in the trees and the clean air and the sense of change and wrapping-up of the months gone by.
Lovely to see pictures of Gibson and Ghetto.

EL October 15, 2019 - 6:58 pm

Autumn is my favourite time, although in a city in middle of England we are lucky to have many deciduous trees that go glorious colours ( not as good as New England though, been there twice for ‘Fall” colours). This season is very wet so isn’t the best but still good, I love the chilly nights so I can actually use a blanket! The finches tits and robins are coming back to the garden, queuing up for the feeders, seem to be a lot more sparrows this year which is good s they have been on the decline

Philippe October 16, 2019 - 9:17 pm

L’automne est une saison pleine de charme, il est si agréable de retrouver des rituels de douceur pour contrer la grisaille : thé chaud, plaids et coussins moelleux, bougies allumées…

Gayle Callahan October 18, 2019 - 1:30 am

To put it simply – I love fall from New England to California.

Janet Heinzen October 19, 2019 - 6:14 pm

Hi Sharon,
I’m just wondering when my magazine will arrive. I ordered it on 9/22. It posted to my account o. 9/23. It’s the July/Aug issue of My French Country Home. I’m eagerly anticipating it!
Thank you,
Jan Heinzen

Janeintherain October 19, 2019 - 10:42 pm

Today I read your poignant observations and thoughts of fall aloud to my husband watching from the corner of my eye as his smile grew wider. We typically leave our little island in northern Washington State, US in the early fall to golf and surf in Hawaii through the winter months. This fall the temperatures in Hawaii remain unusually high in the upper 80s and 90s and we struggle to appreciate this much warmth. Our neighbors in Washington report the opposite with unusually cold wind and rain this year. We’ve decided that we prefer to spend our fall days pushing back against the cold rather than the heat and humidity. Next year we will wait to travel to our island paradise until winter so we can enjoy the colors of fall and finish harvesting our garden. That way we can prevent the last of the vegetables from going to waste and get plenty of donations to the local food bank. Thank you for your lovely words of inspiration for the fall season.

Diane G. October 22, 2019 - 6:57 pm

Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts, experiences, and all the tidbits in between. Fall is my favorite time of year. Jeans, sweaters, boots, nature’s beauty on display, and a chance to rest before the holidays. I had a friend visiting from California last week and had an opportunity to “re-see” this glorious season on the east coast through the eyes of a west coast resident. We slow drive out to the country to my favorite farm market and filled our baskets and wagon with pumpkins, apples, fresh vegetables and a few decorative treasures. My friend decorated the pumpkins with moss, succulents, dried citrus, and ribbons – she knows how to use a glue gun! We had a delightful visit enjoying the beauty and bounty along with a glass of wine and lots of girl-talk.

CeCe October 25, 2019 - 11:38 pm

A breath of fresh air ladies.

We have had snow, 23F degree nights and too many cloudy days.
The Sandhills of Nebraska have constant weather changes,
Picked my three pumpkins, we had so much rain this summer and thought we would get hundreds of pumpkins, but alas no luck.

Found this site trying to find a coffee table book from the 80’s on European County Manor Houses. One photo set was of the most Glorious French Country manor house with a huge kitchen. No cupboards, only old chests and a long country table that would seat close to 25 people. The walls were covered with oil paintings.
Now constructing a large pole barn to move off grid.
So want that Divine kitchen. Looking for large walk-in pantries.
Oh your Wired Fox reminded me of my beloved Master Von Fitzgerald . Want another one, but one never gets the same personality.
Don’t know how to find this site.
In ranch country we don’t have such lovely visions.
Can’t save sites on my phone.

I for one long for Spring. We have amazing wild flowers and the clouds remain my friends.
We have millions of acres in our county.
Fine tea rooms do not abound, and lady like teas do not exist.

So keep me in the loop.
Remembering my feet crunching fall leaves on my way home from Grammer school remain my fondest childhood memories.
Hot cider, baked apples and my family.
Thanks to each for your lovely thoughts.
So few women today stop to smell the fallen leaves, the smoke of fireplaces, and fall cooking.

Michelle Montgomery October 20, 2020 - 3:29 pm

Hi, its spring in Australia, i live on the Gold Coast Qld, a beautiful place, we have lake at our back and our seasons are so different to yours, we are waiting on our spring rain which is slow again this year, love the sound of your fires being lit and your cosy autumn to come, our autumns are very mild and just takes the edge off of summer

Barbara Rowe October 24, 2020 - 3:10 am

Such lovely posts about Autumn, also my favorite season. Here in Connecticut, the foliage is magnificent. I love hearing about the cozy fires, putting the gardens to sleep, and stories about harvesting the pumpkins. This is also my favorite season. Thank you for sharing al of your stories!


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