Date: November 2, 2018 | Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Rett Peek |
Seasonal Statement: Welcome guests with fall foliage and accents that can easily transition to winter months
Jennifer Gibson of Little Rock’s Good Earth Garden Center says the front-door display at coworker Billie Shields’s house has been on Billie’s to-do list for some time. “She has always wanted a pumpkin fall entrance, and this is the first house she’s lived in where she could do it,” Jennifer says. “And if you are going to have an eye-catching pumpkin display, you need the rest of the accents to complement it!”
Starting at the base of Billie’s front steps, the duo filled low, square planters with Plumosa fern, Creeping Jenny, Berries ’N Cream Mix Cool Wave pansies, Dolce ‘Silver Gumdrop’ Heuchera, Celosia ‘Intenz’, and red cabbage (seen at top right of page 33). “The fern is fine textured and gives a whimsical, wild touch, and it can be brought in and overwintered indoors as a houseplant,” Jennifer says. “The cabbage and Heuchera provide foliage color, and the Celosia was chosen because of the outstanding bloom color. It’s nice to see fall color beyond the mum. Celosia is a great alternative as a fall annual.” Jennifer notes that the Celosia and Plumosa ferns can be changed out for Autumn ferns, rosemary, and Heucheras to transition the planter from fall to winter and even into spring.
At the top of the steps, Jennifer and Billie echoed the containers at the base by repeating three of the plantings—Creeping Jenny, Celosia ‘Intenz’, and red cabbage—in smaller, upright containers (bottom left of page 33). ‘Degroot’s Spire’ arborvitae planted in vintage olive buckets flank the front doors and provide evergreen color. “They should live in there for at least a year, perhaps longer, then they can be planted in the landscape,” Jennifer says. A pair of lanterns and an abundance of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes round out the display.
Billie aimed to replicate the seasonal flair of her home’s entrance on the back porch, where she spends time year-round with her family. “My husband and I will have our coffee out there in the mornings. We have movie nights; we work on homework after school,” she says of the space. She and Jennifer decorated the hearth and mantel with a similar array of colorful pumpkins, then accessorized the cozy seating area with black-and-white plaid and neutral accessories, which will transition easily to Christmas décor come December. “I wanted an approachable design,” Billie says. “So many people are intimidated by decorating, and I just use simple materials and pull from what I have. Anyone could do this; I’m just finding simple pieces or pieces that I love that can be versatile.”
“It’s nice to see fall color beyond the mum. Celosia is a great alternative as a fall annual.”
— Jennifer Gibson, Good Earth Garden Center
Design Jennifer Gibson and Billie Shields, Good Earth Garden Center Accessories and plantings Good Earth Garden Center Furniture Family Leisure and Midtown Vintage Market