Easy fall decor project

I just love this time of year! It's so much fun decorating both indoors and out, to celebrate this beautiful season.

Here's a fun project I recently did to perk up our porch. The best part is that it was quick and easy.

My wonderful Dad made me these beautiful picket planters many years ago. During the spring and summer, they're filled with colorful annuals like geraniums, torenia, sweet potato vines and so on. During the fall months, I like to put something bright and seasonal in them.

But you don't need picket planters to do this project. This would also work in window boxes, hay rack planters or other containers.

Here's how I did it:

Since I wanted the tops of the clay pots to be visible, I placed some short lengths of 2x4's inside the planters to raise the pots up.

I set four clay pots on top of the 2x4s in each of the two planters. The pots are 6" in diameter, which easily accommodates the bottom of each pumpkin, squash or gourd. Remember that you want as much of them to show as possible because you want lots of color, right? I wouldn't recommend using pots that are any larger in diameter as the squash, etc. would drop down into them and you'd lose your height.

Next, I pushed a lot of pine needles around the pots. In past years, I've used Spanish moss but that gets really messy plus it's rather pricey. We have pine trees in our yard so the needles were free. Such a deal! The purpose of the pine needles is to hide the 2x4s under the pots and also to have an interesting texture showing around each pot (see photo to left). Try to stuff the needles in really well to avoid having them blow out during a windstorm.

Finally, you get to add in your pumpkins, winter squash and/or gourds. I like to use what I've grown but I also like a lot of color. I must confess that I didn't grow the Turban squash in the left planter or the Red Kuri squash in the right one. But they add a lot to the planters, don't they? That reminds me: if you're also buying a few squash or pumpkins, make sure their bottoms are a bit larger than the diameter of your pots so they'll just rest on -- and a bit inside -- the pots but you'll be able to see as much of them as possible.

And there you have it! A nice, colorful and homegrown display for fall. As you can see, I added some corn stalks to the side of each planter, pumpkins on the front steps, a fall wreath and a galvanized vase containing sedum 'Autumn Joy' and 'Vanilla Strawberry' hydrangeas from the garden. What do you think?