A change in seasons brings a chance to freshen your decor both indoors and out in a way that you’ll love. Here are 5 simple ways to use garden harvests, cuttings from your yard, or farmers market finds to create simple, stylish autumn decor. To make it even easier on you, most of these eye-catching fall decorations are geared to last from Labor day all the way through to the holidays. So what are you waiting for?
Plant A Head
Buy an assortment of head-shaped planters, ones with artful, beautiful faces or mannequin-style masks—your choice. Now, look for plants that resemble hairstyles with character, like Burro’s Tail, String of Pearls, or Sticks on Fire. Or, choose a trailing fall plant like silvery dichondra or variegated ivy. Fiber optic grass is an inspired choice, with its spiky, fan-like effect. If you don’t want to buy a head planter, etch a scary or goofy face into a scooped-out pumpkin to create one. Whatever kinds of “head” and “hair” you end up with, be sure to fill containers with Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix and feed plants with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food a month after planting (follow all the directions) for best results.
For a sophisticated centerpiece that takes a break from the usual orange hues, opt for a more modern, muted color palette of white and bluish-gray. On the dining table and fireplace mantle, scatter white and blue-gray pumpkins of various sizes. Intermingle potted succulents and sempervivums throughout, using light brown or gray terra cotta pots. When transplanting, use Miracle-Gro® Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix, which is specially designed with all the good drainage that succulents need. For extra texture and interest, tuck in tiny votive candles and spots of gray reindeer moss. To keep your succulents fed and happy throughout the season, begin feeding them with Miracle-Gro® Succulent Plant Food a month after planting.
A Barrel of Fall
Gather loads of autumnal feeling up in one cool display that delivers fall decor for the whole season. Find a half whiskey barrel (or other large, rustic-looking container) at a local garden center or hardware store. Add Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix to provide just the right growing environment for roots, then have fun planting an assortment of flowering kale, Lacinato kale, curly kale, collards, and Swiss chard.
For faster, beautiful results, skip the seeds and plant hearty young plants from Bonnie Plants®. To get a fuller effect, you can plant these greens a little tighter than recommended on the plant tag. Just be sure to leave 2 or 3 empty spots for decorative elements to switch out as the season progresses. Start by nestling in some potted mums (sink the pots into the soil between plants), then replace them with purple, white, yellow, and orange pansies as temps continue to drop. To keep all of these live elements growing full and gorgeous, begin giving them regular nutritional boosts with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food starting about a month after planting. For additional height and color, tuck in cut branches of maple, dogwood, or viburnum, or a few dried corn stalks (you may need to stake them).
For fall table decorations that are naturally beautiful—and personal!—choose plants, branches, and berries from your own landscape. Start by placing a linen or burlap runner down the length of the table. Set a potted, flowering plant (such as a tall orchid or bromeliad) in the center of large vase or punch bowl and surround it with water-soaked floral foam. Insert cut branches of colorful leaves such as maple, ash, dogwood, viburnum, blueberry, or serviceberry, plus plumes and leaves or dried grass seed heads. Need more height and texture? Use branches of berries and seed pods such as crepe myrtle, nandina, and bittersweet. Scatter pecans, acorns, and pinecones along the length of runner and add in a few tiny candle votives. Remember to keep the floral foam moist with water and feed the orchid every other week with Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Orchid Food for rich, colorful blooms and strong roots.
Put a Wreath on It
Wreaths are a welcoming sign at any entry any time of year, but especially as the cozier months approach. Make your own base from grapevine, evergreen, or boxwood trimmings attached to a wire wreath frame with thin florist wire (both found at any craft store). Now, the real fun begins. Scour your landscape for eye-catching elements to add to the wreath, such as:
- Grass and leaves, like purple fountain grass, pink muhly grass, ornamental wheat, nandina, maple
- Seed pods and berries, like nandina, crepe myrtle, bittersweet
- Dried branches, like cotton plants with fluffy white bolls, ‘Pumpkin on a Stick’ eggplant, hot peppers
- Dried herbs, like bay, oregano, thyme, lavender
- Evergreen foliage, like spruce, magnolia, boxwood (spray with Miracle-Gro® Leaf Shine for an extra polished look)
Now, create lots of mini-bouquets of your material. Wrap stems with thin florist wire, lay the first mini-bouquet on the face of the wreath, tuck the stems in, then wrap all the way around with wire to secure. Add more mini-bouquets, layering them in a clockwise direction to help hide the stems.
Here’s the payoff for spending a bit of time creating one of these fall decorating ideas: It will help you wow and welcome guests to your home all season long!