Seasonal decorations, no matter how colorful and unusual, plunked down in the same places every year, can become stale. We have all seen autumn decorations used in the same way every time the season rolls around: shocks of corn propped against doorways; singles, or duos and trios of pumpkins vigilant in corners, or marginalized on steps; ‘seasonal touches’ flanking the fireplace and lined up on the mantel. While fall conjures up visions of harvest, cornucopia, and plenty of fiery tones, how those pieces get used—and where—needs a fresh approach.
Here’s a way to get maximum usage (and a bit of thrill) by doing nothing more than using a variety of fresh pumpkins in a place you may not have thought of before. If you have a pool, a small pond, or even a birdbath, you can float your seasonal color and get a little bit of autumn, even where it’s least expected.
If you have a pool, the only decision you’ll really need to make is how to group your flotilla of pumpkins. You can let them drift about singly, or as a loose group gently pushed about by wind and current, or you can create a bit of art on the water the way I did, and provide a barrier to keep them corralled, which creates a geometrical field of color and texture.
I chose to contain them in triangles of bamboo simply because I liked this look better than having them float loosely on the surface of the water. Before, the size of the pool meant they floated around, kind of like vegetables in a stew, or apples in a tub waiting to be bobbed for. And I liked the organic ‘feel’ of adding the green bamboo.
I sourced the bamboo–all around three inches in diameter, and a few feet long—and did nothing more than lash three pieces together with twine. I liked the triangular design, and purposely did not try to make the sides even.
I chose easy-to-find hybrid pumpkins to fill the bamboo designs. ‘Flat’ pumpkins are best, since they bob in a lazy back-and-forth motion. I used ‘Cinderella,’ ‘Fairy,’ and ‘Jarrahdale’ for color and contrast.
Chlorine probably impedes the pumpkins from rotting in the water, but even then, you’ll need to be mindful. Your floating art will last about four to six weeks.
This look can be adjusted according to the size of your water feature. Even a bird bath will be more seasonally interesting with a drift of tiny pumpkins. And you can’t beat the tranquil—and unexpected—bit of autumn floating about.
Live Life to the Fullest,