Love Those Fall DecorationsMaster Gardener Scoop – October 19, 2016

Master Gardener BW.jpg

Love Those Fall Decorations

Master Gardener Scoop.pdf

Octoberfest in Hermann, MO.

Renea Starr, Master Gardener

This is the time of year when fall decorating takes over the landscape and home. There is probably no more prominent season when the decorating is dominated by gardening. In addition, the smell of fall is in the air…from the harvesting of corn to pumpkin spice used in baking.

To begin with, the pumpkins and gourds are plentiful this year. They can stand alone without any additional decorating, or they can be carved or painted. Unfortunately, carved pumpkins do not last that long. To prolong their life, rub Vaseline on the cut edges, and this will make the pumpkin last a little longer. Also, another interesting variation is to carve just barely on the top flesh to show the inside color of flesh which is a paler color. That way, you do not cut through the pumpkin which makes it last much longer. Some of the crafting websites show some amazing things you can do with pumpkins. Check it out.

I really like to use a bail of straw as a backdrop for fall decorating. You can use scarecrows, pumpkins, gourds, dried corn stalks and mums to decorate with. Your display is only limited by your imagination. After you tear down your display for the winter, save the straw until spring to use on your garden as mulch.

The leaves will soon start to fall. I’m hoping for a brilliant display of fall color this year. One idea you could use is to laminate those beautiful leaves and use them in your fall decorating. Nuts and acorns can also be used in decorating by spray painting them with metallic colors. Of course, these would not be edible. You could do the same thing with interesting-shaped twigs. Also, the Indian corn is so beautiful with multi-colored ears, no additional touches are needed.

Some of your fall decorating can go right into the Thanksgiving holiday. For example, the Horn of Plenty would work right now as well as through Thanksgiving. You might have to change out some of the produce to keep it fresh. If you are not familiar, a Horn of Plenty goes back to Greek and Roman mythology associated with harvest, prosperity or spiritual abundance. It consists of a horn-shaped basket full of the harvest bounty. In addition, a cut flower arrangement in a vase placed inside of a hollowed-out pumpkin would make a nice centerpiece.

Take a minute to look around you and enjoy all that fall has to offer. I know you will find many fall decorating ideas right in your own landscape. Happy decorating.