Spice Up the Patio with a Harvest of Decorations

Forget the magic wand. All you need to charm your outdoor guests is a colorful assortment of pumpkins and mums.

Story by Libby Monteith Minor
Fall Outdoor Patio Table Display
This triple-decker tower of pumpkins stands tall in a footed container.
Photo: Hector Sanchez

The Big Idea Bring the season to the table with a decorating recipe that calls for pumpkins and mums in warm shades of paprika, cinnamon, and curry. Add a helping of Indian corn on the side, and don't forget to sprinkle in assorted pecans, hickory nuts, and a few acorns gathered from your yard.

The Materials Stack the deck—or patio—by piling pumpkins onto a pedestal urn. Accent your doors and windows with decorative badges composed of bunches of Indian corn, goldenrod, safflower blooms, and dried flowers and seedpods. Envelop the space with garden mums in spicy tones. Garden designer Rebecca Bull Reed says, "For an easy, long-lasting display, simply leave the mums in their original nursery pots and water them well before adding them to decorative containers."

The Details Choose a pedestal urn or other container that's about the same width as your largest pumpkin. Fill in any cracks or crevices on the urn with decorative sheet moss. Place the largest pumpkin atop the container, filling in around the sides with additional sheet moss. You may need to trim the stem so it's level with the top of the pumpkin. Add a layer of moss above that pumpkin to create an even surface for the next one in the tier. Repeat with other pumpkins in graduated sizes. Leave a longer stem on the top pumpkin for a quirky touch.