Decorating with pumpkins is an easy way to bring autumn style to your garden. Although they’re most often used for jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins can stand alone with their amazing range of shapes and colors. They’re a symbol of nostalgia, bringing the harvest-time spirit and a seasonal mood to your yard anytime during the fall. Plus, they don’t mind sitting outside, and can even withstand a light frost, which means you can turn your decorations into delicious pie or soup when Thanksgiving comes around! Here are four ideas for pumpkin decorating:



Pair Your Pumpkins with Plants

Pumpkins make great partners to most garden plants: they echo the color of the flowers around them and make the whole scene more vibrant. They blend especially well with chrysanthemums—those prized bloomers of the fall. They’ll emphasize warm-colored petals in shades of red, orange or gold, and make for excellent contrast next to purple and pink flowers. The orange skin also stands out against evergreens and any remaining green leaves. Try placing them anywhere they fit into your garden or pair them with potted plants along your front steps. Alongside trailing plants, like ivy, your front entrance will look like an overflowing pumpkin patch.           



Create a Pumpkin Cornucopia 

Cornucopias reflect both the abundance of autumn and the gratitude in enjoying the fall harvest. They’re a mainstay on many people’s Thanksgiving dinner tables, but it’s easy to bring the same sentiment to your yard with pumpkins as a focal point. Skip the horn and instead place them near a water feature, doorstep, or walkway. Include some heirloom varieties with green or beige skin. Bring in gourds or cornhusks from your vegetable garden to enhance the look. Finally, add a straw bale and fall leaves, and soon your showpiece will be overbrimming with autumnal style! After the display is finished, keep the straw and leaves to mulch your vegetable plot over the winter.



Make a Pumpkin Vase or Planter  

A hollowed-out pumpkin makes a fascinating container for other plants. Simply cut a hole in the top and scoop out the flesh, as you would for a jack-o-lantern. Now instead of carving out a face, fill the pumpkin with flowers. The choice of species is yours. It’s easy to hide a vase inside, where you can put cut flowers, like mums or black-eyed Susans. It’s just as easy to place a small pot of pansies inside with blossoms spilling out of the top. Another popular idea is to fill the pumpkin itself with soil and use it as a container for fall flowers. Just remember to cut a small hole at the bottom so water can escape.



Build a Pumpkin Bird Feeder

Your kids will love to help you with this pumpkin decorating idea! It’s ideal for a small species of pumpkins or squash. You’ll want to carve it out and cut it in half horizontally, saving the rest to eat. The result is a small pumpkin dish that you can fill with bird seed and set out on a saucer wherever birds gather in your yard. The abundant birds that overwinter in Chicagoland will enjoy the treat, and your kids will get to watch the winged-ones visit this beautiful decoration.       

If you’re looking to bring some fall style to the garden, look no further than the pumpkin. This mysterious vegetable is often associated with Halloween, but it’s much more versatile than that—and we haven’t even touched on the joys of pumpkin pie! If your home can benefit from some fresh pumpkins for decorating, stop by our garden centers in Bloomingdale and Carpentersville.