How to effortlessly decorate for fall

Fill a basket with a range of pumpkins and gourds from the market or pumpkin patch, and you’ll have everything you need to welcome fall holidays with style. Then, when Thanksgiving rolls around, you can turn any edibles among your decorations into pumpkin breads, squash soups and casseroles, clearing the way for the winter holidays ahead.

Get ideas for your patio or table with these simple ideas for pulling together the season’s best natural colors.

Shelia Schmitz, original photo on Houzz

Combine the last blush of roses with miniature pumpkins and candles on a table runner glowing with oranges and reds.

Tip: Create a makeshift runner by lining up placemats down the center of the table.

Shelia Schmitz, original photo on Houzz

Even just two or three pumpkins on a table that you can see out a window can brighten an October afternoon. These volunteer pumpkins sprouted from compost added to planting beds last spring. Free decor!

Tip: Return pumpkins to the planting bed this winter, so you’ll have homegrown pumpkins to play with again next fall.


Shelia Schmitz, original photo on Houzz

Succulents are often at their best in fall, when their coral, gold and magenta blooms play off harvest colors.

Tip: Anchor your arrangement with a feature plant or pumpkin that has an attention-grabbing shape or color, such as this Japanese red kuri squash. Don’t worry about symmetry; instead, balance the center with a casual arrangement of smaller pumpkins, pomegranates and other seasonal fruits and flowers.

When it’s time to clear away your tabletop, potted succulents like echeveria and paddle plant (kalanchoe luciae) make great additions to a low-maintenance garden. Hosting a dinner party? Let kids and friends choose a mini pumpkin or baby succulent to take home.


Shelia Schmitz, original photo on Houzz

A delicious edible pumpkin with the unlikely name Long Island Cheese anchors an outdoor arrangement of fresh pomegranates and a burgundy-leafed liquid amber branch.

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