Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Week: Decorating Outside

Autumn is perhaps my very favourite season.  It's like nature decides to throw an art show.  It's classical from a distance and abstract up close.  It's vibrant, radiant and packed with glorious lines, shapes, and colours!  When it comes to decorating around my home's exterior in autumn, I look to nature instead of a store, and I always find everything I need.  I just don't know why you'd go for something plastic, when you can use the real thing - for FREE!

I don't "clean-up" my pots and gardens right away.  I let nature take it's course, and leave things where they lay - then I beef them up a little.  When decorating from nature, I try to find as many different lines, shapes and colours as I can, and then bring them together into a cohesive whole.

This year, I simply beefed up the flower-box on the front of my house with leaves I found in the yard, and then plunked some pumpkins of varying sizes right on top of the whole works.

Use levels!  Think about the space you want to decorate in terms of a high, middle, and low zone.  Use pots, planters, or platforms and objects of varying size to fill each level of space.

Perhaps my favourite decorative piece this year was my front urns.

I took them as-is, and added a bed of dead lily-leaves from my garden, which I arranged to drape over the edge of the urn.  On top of the lily-leaves I created a nest of yellow and brown leaves from the tree in my front yard.  Next I made a simple, 2 pumpkin tower for each urn which I placed directly in the middle of my nest of leaves, and embellished the edge of the bottom pumpkin with some precious red leaves I managed to gather from my tiny crab-apple tree in the backyard (red leaves are rare in my part of the world so I made sure to plant at least a couple red-leaved trees in my yard).

 (or snowman as my kids call it!)


- Pumpkins of varying size
- Hammer
- Pointed screw-driver or large nail
- Kitchen skewer


1) Stack the pumpkins in their most natural position, starting with the largest on the bottom moving to the smallest on top . (If you want a really straight tower, you can use a large spike to hold them together, but I liked the touch of whimsy added by a little tilt here and there). 

2) Use your hammer and screw-driver to punch a hole in the top of the pumpkin that will serve as your base, close to the center.  Make sure that the hole punches all the way through the shell of the pumpkin into the hollow.

3) Taking note of the position of the pumpkins when naturally stacked, use your hammer and screw-driver or nail to punch a hole in the bottom of the 2nd pumpkin which should line up with the hole in the top of the base pumpkin.

4) Slide a kitchen skewer into the top of the base pumpkin through the punched hole.

 5) Guide the top of the skewer into the hole punched in the bottom of the 2nd pumpkin.

TA-DA!!!  That's it!  If you plan to use more than 2 pumpkins in your tower you may want to use 2-3 skewers in your base pumpkin to make the structure more secure.

Total Cost: $5 (just for the pumpkins!)


  1. Coincidence... when yesterday the wind blew some very beautiful shaped dry leaves into my veranda I thought that who pays for fall decoration must be silly, because mother nature gives you all you need for free, OK, apart the pumpkins if you are no farmer. Chestnuts, dry grass, colorful leaves, branches, everything is free. - I love your fall decoration!

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