OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING ALL YEAR LONG
Use your yard long after Labor Day
Fall decorating shouldn't be confined to the rooms within your home; maximize autumn's beauty and enjoy the season's color palettes by decorating your outdoor living space as well. In fact, some of the best decorations can be found in your yard already. Take advantage of nature's offerings for truly inspired entrance ways, accent pieces, and landscape focal points.
Create a Mumpkin
Pumpkins and chrysanthemums are two of the most iconic images of fall. Pairing them together makes a power-packed seasonal showpiece. To create a “mumpkin”, hollow out a flat bottomed pumpkin, removing all of the seeds and as much of the pulp as possible to accommodate an appropriately sized flower pot (one that is a little smaller than the pumpkin). As the flowers will need to be watered every day or two, drill a hole for drainage. Voila, the perfect front porch eye candy! Note: Hollowed out pumpkins are also good bases for other seasonal plants like kale and colored cabbage as well as cut flowers.
Escape the Orange.
While orange pumpkins make the best Jack-o-Lanterns, use an array of colors of pumpkins to create a playful welcoming committee for your home. Invite each family member to create a different face and then accessorize the designs with natural plant material and foliage. For extra fun, write different emotions on slips of paper. Have each carver blindly select a slip of paper and create the emotion selected on a pumpkin or gourd.
Pumpkins, Pumpkins and More Pumpkins.
Without question, fall is the season of pumpkins! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice and pumpkin lattes are eagerly anticipated as temperatures dip. Why not showcase the star of the season in your outdoor decorating? Add various shapes and sizes of pumpkins to your flowerbeds, front porch, patio, under trees, around water features, and other locations in your landscape to demand visual attention? (Photo courtesy of The LaurelRock Company, Wilton, CT)
Wreaths Aren’t Just for Winter.
Autumn wreaths enhance your home’s exterior, welcoming guests and showcasing the beauty of the season. Making your own is easy and so much more personal than ones found in stores. Start with a simple grapevine wreath or a metal frame purchased from a craft store and let your inner-artist do the rest using plant material such as bittersweet, dried oranges, lavender, herbs, and greenery from your yard. Cinnamon sticks and small gourds can add a lovely finishing touch! Garden centers, fall festivals, and seasonal craft fairs are excellent places to find unique materials for wreaths.
What the Hay?
Hay bales have come to be associated with fall. They make great focal points for outdoor decorating, particularly when paired with other seasonal staples like mums, pumpkins, and ornamental kale. If possible, hay bales should be elevated above the grass as if they rest on the grass for a long time, they can damage or kill the grass and sodding may be necessary. Create attractive vignettes with items from the attic or garage – or hit an estate sale for some decorating treasures. Old wagons and wheelbarrows, wooden gardening tools, and vintage baskets are attractive accent pieces.
Think Outside the Mum.
Chrysanthemums are beautiful additions to most every landscape in the fall but their seasonal popularity often overshadows other plants that offer beautiful textures and colors for the season. There are endless considerations including asters, sedum, Chinese lanterns, goldenrod, black-eyed Susan, pansies, and snapdragons. Your landscape professional or a local nursery can help you select plants that will thrive in your climate and fulfill your vision for your landscape.
Accessorize for a Personal Statement.
Just as you decorate your inside space with seasonal trinkets, your outside living space calls for the same attention. Accessorize your outdoor furniture with seasonally colored or themed pillows, add golden-toned candles to outdoor lanterns, display cornucopias of gourds on outdoor tables or vases of dried flowers such as bittersweet, use baskets to hold ornamental kale or cabbage, and accent pergolas with twinkling lights or decorative fall fabrics.
Let Words Tell Your Story.
In the season of Thanksgiving, let people know what is special to your family with word blocks. These blocks compliment natural seasonal décor well when nestled into an outdoor vignette. Looking for a more personal touch? Create your own sentiments using supplies from a craft store or use a blackboard and update items for which you are thankful on a daily basis!
First Steps to Showcase the Season.
Turn your front porch into a living welcoming showpiece with a festive display. Seasonal plants, pumpkins, hay, and gourds, are prized autumn adornments. For a design that pops, look to blend colors, textures, shapes and sizes in the décor. Use wooden and wicker baskets and stands to create focal points and consider deviations from pure symmetry to make the porch sizzle. Pumpkins set out early in the season may provide a tasty snack for squirrels so they may have to be changed out from time to time throughout the fall.