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A Season to Gather


Right now is the time to rethink and refashion outdoor and indoor decorations for fall. It is the time of gathering together friends, family and the richness of the harvest. It is the time to celebrate the warm colors and rich textures of the changing season. Decorating for fall is as simple as gathering together the fruits of the season.

Pumpkins, squash and gourds are plentiful in fall. They come in an array of colors, textures and shapes. A stack of different pumpkins and squash on a pedestal or in an urn makes a simple and elegant welcome at your front door. Winding branches of dried rose hips or bittersweet among the layers adds depth and compliments the design. Dried leaves placed between the pumpkin layers add more color and texture. Add dried branches like curly willow or red dogwood to the back of the pot to increase the height and presence of your arrangement. Small gourds in various shapes and sizes tumbled along the edge of the urn makes everything bright and lavish.

Cornstalks and broomcorn swags are simple ways to dress up your doorway. Adding garden mums in bushel baskets or decorative pots are an inviting way to warm the entrance of your home. Window boxes can be filled with a mixture of cold tolerant plants and small pumpkins. Simple accents to the windows and doors of your home provide a cozy and warm welcome.

Consider a display along the fence or near the end of the driveway. Tumble a straw bale or at the edge of the lawn, then place a few pumpkins, gourds, some mums and even a scarecrow around the bales. Add some dried gourds tied with ribbons and hung from nearby tree branches and you have a cheerful and fun welcome for your home.

Indoors consider adding a few pumpkins and squash to a collection of houseplants in various pots and planters in the entryway of your home. It is a great way to welcome guests and bring a little of the autumn indoors. Add height and interest to the pots with a few branches of curly willow and vary the height of the planters using pedestals and plant stands. As an added benefit, the grouped plants will appreciate their own microclimate in the dry indoor conditions.

A grouping of squash and pumpkins next to the hearth add the promise of warm and comfort to the room. Blooming mums in matching pots can decorate the mantle. Tie a bow to the stem of a pumpkin and add it to the arrangement. The gathering of plants and pumpkins will add warmth to the room even without the fireplace flames.

For a touch of whimsy get out the glue gun and craft supplies and make gourd people and pets. A walk through the backyard to gather seeds, leaves and dried berries will provide you with most of the accessories and features for your creatures. Glue together different colored gourds and squash for the bodies. Add facial features using seeds and berries. A leaf stem makes the mouth. Hair can be pieces of twine tied together, dried moss, or bundles of straw or grass. Dried fruit and flowers can be used to make hats and jewelry. Gather a group of friends and the share your creative ideas and abilities.

Centerpieces for your tables can be as simple as small pumpkins covered in glitter. Spray glue (available in most craft stores) on the washed and dried pumpkins one section at a time. Sprinkle glitter (also available at craft stores) over each section in turn until the entire pumpkin is covered. Let the pumpkins dry for several hours. Place a group of differently colored glittered pumpkins on a copper tray, a glass cake plate or atop brass candlesticks. Add a few dried leaves or branches of bittersweet around the pumpkins to finish the centerpiece.

Decorating in fall is easy and rewarding. To create a warm and welcoming look it is just gather together and have fun.