Fall yard decorating: Scarecrows, pumpkins, and mums, oh my!

With some creativity, traditional fall yard decorations such as pumpkins, scarecrows, and mums can make your property a standout until Thanksgiving.

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    Decorating for fall harvest time means hay bales, scarecrows, pumpkins, and mums. It's fun to be creative with these traditional yard decorations.
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As the days grow shorter and temperatures continue to fall, hay bales, scarecrows, pumpkins, and mums are popping up all over town. One of the most familiar figures of the rural landscape, these fun symbols of the harvest season become cleverly themed and colorfully decorated seasonal yard art.

Some creations capture the essence of fall, while others are simply whimsical, charming, and funny.

Not just a Halloween project

Decorating the yard for fall is full of possibilities. Obviously, Halloween is the main draw … from the kid-friendly fun of pumpkin carving and decorating to the full-on fright fests of haunted houses, hayrides, and corn mazes.

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But that’s simply a starting point.

The beauty of some of these decorations is the fact that with a few minor changes, such as replacing the scarecrows with a few Pilgrim and native American figurines in mid-November (click here to see some very creative ideas for outdoor figurines and also check this HGTV page for videos of more traditional scarecrows), or with pots of luscious cool-weather pansies and ornamental kales and cabbages, one could easily extend the display right through Thanksgiving in most climates.

Pumpkins and other gourds come in many shapes and colors, and adding a few mums and multihued ornamental cabbages, or dried leaves in vibrant fall colors for some natural texture is all that is needed to decorate a yard – from the mailbox to the front entry – for fall.

Glamorous pumpkin bling

However, yesterday evening on one of the Victorian covered porches in town I saw one of the neatest fall ideas:

On a little table next to the front door, beside the pots of colorful mums and ornamental cabbage, there were pumpkins and gourds of various sizes and colors decorated with bling.

Oh, not your usual cheap plastic pearls, but stylized faux rhinestones and multicolored pearls, strategically mounted individually, as well as in sensuous swirls and intricate beaded strips.

It took a little doing, but the congenial homeowner let me in on the secret. She came across a craft video showing how to use these very reasonably priced self-adhesive faux rhinestones and multicolored pearls to decorate faux pumpkins. But she applied the faux gemstones to real pumpkins and gourds with great success.

Reflected by tea lights, these pumpkins and gourds were simply awesome!

Note: As the homeowner was getting ready for a big party this weekend and wanted her decorations to be a surprise, she didn’t want me to take a picture. But if you check the video, you will get a good idea of the fun, endless possibilities.

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Betty Earl, the Intrepid Gardener, blogs regularly at Diggin' It. She's the author of “In Search of Great Plants: The Insider’s Guide to the Best Plants in the Midwest.” She also writes a regular column for Chicagoland Gardening Magazine and The Kankakee Journal and numerous articles for Small Gardens Magazine, American Nurseryman, Nature’s Garden, and Midwest Living Magazine, as well as other national magazines. She is a garden scout for Better Homes and Gardens and a regional representative for The Garden Conservancy. To read more by Betty, click here.

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