I have some tall urn planters on my front porch that I keep decorated year round (flowers in spring/summer/early fall, and holiday decorations in the fall and winter). Fall decorations are my FAVORITE and I was so excited to decorate my planters for the first time after I purchased them a few years ago. I went to a local pumpkin patch and carefully selected three similarly-sized pumpkins that would fit perfectly in my urns. I found some leaf garland at the dollar store and wrapped it around the base of the pumpkins, anchoring the ends of the garland underneath the weight of the pumpkin.
What I failed to realize was that autumn brings the crazy weather in my neck of the woods. Almost every day I had to spend time tracking down my garland after it blew away. Even after experimenting with a couple of anchoring options, I still had trouble with the leaves staying put. I thought I was in luck when the weather turned cold and the leaves froze to the dirt, but then I had another problem. Pumpkins don’t like to be frozen, thawed, and refrozen over and over until Thanksgiving. The spongy mess that I was left with by Black Friday was the stuff of holiday nightmares.
Having learned from my mistakes, I have now discovered the fastest way to create a festive, weather-resistant, fall planter that you can set and forget. Not only that, I am on my third year with these decorations and they are still in great shape – no more throwing money away on pumpkins that go bad.
All you need is:
- Carvable foam pumpkin (I bought the Funkin brand pumpkins from Joann’s. Shop around until you find a fairly realistic looking pumpkin. There are definitely some cheesy ones out there!)
- Leaf garland (You will want enough length to wrap around the perimeter of the planter at least twice. The cheaper and thinner the garland, the more times you will want to wrap around.)
- Bamboo skewers ( I chose skewers because they are cheap and I always have them in my cupboard.)
First, push the skewer into the center of the base of the pumpkin (about an inch or so). Usually they go in just fine, but for one of my pumpkins I had to start a little pilot hole with the tip of a fork.
Next, lay out your garland how you want it, bringing the ends of the garland to the center of the planter and aligning the holes. Then all you have to do is stick the pumpkin skewer through the holes and into the dirt. That’s it!
I have had the best luck with this method. No fly-away leaves, no soggy pumpkins. If we do get a crazy wind storm that displaces the leaves, they are still attached to the planter; it is easy to just set them back in the top of the pot as I walk past.
I have toyed with the idea of permanently affixing some sort of anchor into the bottom of my pumpkins. I decided against it because it would just make them even more awkward to store. Since I’m only using super-cheap bamboo skewers, I just replace them each year.
I’d love to hear how you decorate for fall. Leave me a comment below!