It might seem that the garden is dried up and ready to be put to bed for the winter (and in many ways it is), but on closer inspection you will find that there is a plethora of harvestable treats that can be used in a variety of ways through the winter. My favorite is rose hips.
Wild rose hips are abundant in wooded areas (at least throughout New England) and the best way to gather them is to grab a pair of pruners to take along with you on a hike — that is, if you don't already have an abundance in your own garden. I also like to bring along a log carrier (like this canvas version) so that I don't chew up my hands carrying home my collection. Once you have a variety in hand, you might try some of these easy uses.
I haven't tried Rose Hip Tea or Rose Hip preserves (yet), primarily because I can't get past the pretty decorative uses. This Rose Hip Heart is the easiest of rustic holiday crafts that even small children can accomplish.
Pair the rose hips (a variety is best) with eucalyptus leaves and pewter vases to accomplish this Rose Hip Arrangement.
This Bittersweet and Rose Hip Wreath is a perfect fall to winter decoration that was created by adding other garden remnants like Chinese lanterns and persimmon. (Be careful how you dispose of this, as the bittersweet is very invasive.)
And if you are wondering what you might plant to in order to have a nice collection of rose hips in your own garden, check out this list of roses and their corresponding hips.
(Image credits: Oceancetaceen under CC BY-SA 3.0; Deb at Carrots and Kids; Martha Stewart ; Amy Merrick at Design Sponge)