Anyone who knows me, how I approach my craft, or what excites me knows I love pumpkins. I use them from the time I can first purchase them—sometimes directly from the grower—then deep into winter and beyond. (They can last many months—a fact that wasn’t lost on farmers in the days before refrigeration.) I feel you can’t beat their vibrant colors, wildly varying textures, or happy shapes.
Here’s the thing: they don’t have to be relegated to Halloween displays, carved up into jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkins and all their range of colors and textures are wonderful complements to the fall garden.
Have you ever noticed how, oftentimes, we love our gardens the most at the end of the season? Everything is at its verdant peak—the colors more saturated, the growth more lush. You can add a mix of pumpkins (and ornamental squash) to the plantings you’ve nurtured all summer long. It will add further visual interest and make the approach of fall a little merrier.
To really get the most out of your pumpkins, why not put them on simple pedestals? You highlight their addition to your garden, add height and interest, and ensure they’ll be noticed. And appreciated. We carry these metal pedestals at Botanica, and you can use them throughout the year.
Think about the area you want to use them in. Do you want them to trace the line of your walk? Give height between foundation plantings near a wall? Create visual interest at the end of a path? Provide punctuation to an existing design? Then give them each a small stage, so that they can have their moment in your garden.
Notice that I’ve mixed them. It’s far more interesting to use pumpkins that differ in size, shape, and color than featuring all the same type. The pedestals make the point here that you’ve found really interesting shapes and colors, even warty ones, and you’re now taking them to another level. They become part of your landscape, part of your hearty end-of-season garden when used this way.
It’s a really simple idea, but (as is often the case with simple ideas) it’s a good one. And those little pedestals can be used to display seasonal bits of interest in your garden all year long. Once you elevate a bit of garden color and texture, you elevate the senses and the design appeal, which is what makes your guests want to come back, season after season.
Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.
Want to read more from Chris? Last month, he told us how to create a spooky outdoor atmosphere this Halloween–check it out.