by Karin Lidbeck Brent
Fall is my favorite season because of what nature provides – the wonderful varieties of pumpkins, gourds, and garden plants lend themselves to fall arrangements, centerpieces and home décor. Pumpkins are not just for Halloween anymore. They last for weeks, taking you through the fall, the Halloween holiday up to Thanksgiving.
Fall is when I head to the local farm stand to fill my car up with the unusual and fantastic varieties of gourds pumpkins and foliage and then making display around my home.
Here is an assortment of ideas I have created that I hope will inspire you to create your own .
A quick and easy Autumnal Centerpiece
Having a party? A tray is a great container for a centerpiece. What can be easier than this?
- Buy produce that is proportionate to your tray
- Arrange the larger gourds and pumpkins in a pattern filling the tray
- Fill in under and around the produce with varieties of small potted kales, cabbages and foliage (I added the bittersweet vine in the center last, as a sweet accent for its berries and leaf shape )
- Cut at the base stems of the cabbage and kales removing them from the container .
- Hide the stems in between the produce.
- Allow leaves to fall over edges of tray hiding tray (if you’re worried about wilting plants place water in tray, but most plants including these will last for days with out water)
- Place the smallest gourds on top nestling in empty spaces.
I used a galvanized tray that I bought at Terrain in Westport, Connecticut.
Pumpkin Gourd types: Luminas, Jarrahdale and Hubbard squash
Photo by Andre Baronowski , Created by Karin Lidbeck for Country Gardens magazine
Fall Harvest Arrangement
When I bought this “cheese” pumpkin, I was inspired to fill it with dried flowers so I headed to Michaels Crafts where I found all of these dried pods, dried flowers and wheat. I love the unusual shapes and textures when they are all combined to create harvest monotone hues. This was my Thanksgiving arrangement last year!!
- Cut the pumpkin top and scoop out the seeds and fleshy center
- Place dried floral oasis in the center to hold all of the dried elements
- Start with the wheat first then add the pods and dried flowers so they cascade over the edges of the pumpkin.
Photo by Michael Partenio
No carve pumpkins!
There is always a place for the traditional sugar pumpkin in every home. Why not add a bit of Halloween spirit to your home with a stencil instead of a knife?
I was looking for a pumpkin decorations to adorn the Halloween candy table and I came up with this simple stencil idea. Combining the stenciled small pumpkins with cake plates and fun dishes creates a playful and festive candy station for the Holiday.
I found the simple 1- 2” wide stencil patterns at the craft store.
Hints for stenciling technique:
- Spray the back of the stencil with some temporary spray adhesive
- Pick pumpkins that have a smooth surface instead of a bumby one!
- Keep black paint on stencil brush very minimum, almost dry: not gloppy to make a clean edge!
Created by Karin Lidbeck for Good Housekeeping Magazine 2014 Photo by Michael Partenio
My favorite pumpkins are the Cinderella varieties for their intense color and and size. They can be as large as 15” across. Last year when I was designing my pumpkin feature for the current Fall Country Gardnes 2014 magazine, this was on of my favorite projects. If you love gardening it’s easy make your own little world in a pumpkin.
- Cut a large hole in top of the pumpkin.
- Scoop out flesh.
- Fill with dirt and cover with moss (moss from your yard is best or you buy it at your local craft store.
- Plant miniatures and add some natural elements.
It wont last forever but it will bring you a few weeks or a month of enjoyment. You can place a glass terrarium on top
Photo by Andre baronowksi.jpeg Designed by Karin Lidbeck for Country Gardens magazine fall 2014
A Nature moment
Everyone love the little white pumpkin gourds, I just can’t help myself when I see them, I have to buy one. Creating a place to display it is even more fun . Look around and see what elements you might have for creating a small natural display. I’d had this birds nest in my garage for a long time. It was perfect container. The nest lead to the bird and then to finding some pretty autumnal flourishes. Place it all on a plate and it will bring a smile every time you pass by!
Be adventurous, I’m sure you have all the elements you need to create your own. Nature moment.
Stacking Pumpkin Display
I started stacking pumpkins years ago as a way to display a variety of pumpkins together. This makes a stunning display by the front door and using the heirloom variety of pumpkins makes it even more breathtaking.
- Remove stems
- Stand them on top of one another so they balance by cutting a hole in the top of each so they fit into one another
- Then mark the top pumpkin where the opening should be for planting the top
- Cut scoop out and plant with some favorite fall flower or fill with water and make a flower arrangement
- The wrapping of bittersweet around the pumpkins added an extra element of fall richness.
Created by Karin Lidbeck for Country Gardens photos by Andre Baronowski
For more Fall & Halloween posts, you might like:
Karin Lidbeck-Brent is a renowned photo stylist, lifestyle expert and producer of editorial features for dozens of the nations leading magazines. As a stylist Karin is often found styling some of Americas most beautiful homes, gardens and entertaining features working along side the countrys best interior photographers. In addition to her magazine work, Karin lends her styling and production expertise to numerous catalog, marketing, and television projects. more