Step Up Your Fall Display with Pumpkins and Mums

You don't need a fairy godmother to make something magical with pumpkins. 

Story by Libby Monteith Minor
Fall Outdoor Display with Mums and Pumpkins
Photo: Hector Sanchez

The Big Idea What do you get when you combine the fun of a pumpkin with the beauty of a mum? A "mumkin," of course! Fill smaller gourds with containers of pansies to create a trio of trusty sidekicks.

The Materials Start with a large (5-gallon-size) bright yellow mum placed in an equally substantial container, such as the vintage galvanized pail used here. Then mix it up a bit with an exuberant magenta mum planted in a hollowed-out pumpkin. (See our guide for carving out a mumkin below.)  The golden centers of the blooms play off the sunny tones of the yellow mum. Mingle assorted pumpkins and gourds around the containers to make the look more casual and friendly. Let autumn leaves fall where they may to add a little colorful confetti to the celebration. "This is an excellent way to get festive if you want to forgo the spooky look," says garden designer Rebecca Bull Reed.

The Details Help your mums stand proud by giving them a boost. Fill the bottom of each container with small, overturned pots or even wads of Bubble Wrap to add extra height to the display.

Carve Out A "Mumkin"

The Big Idea Create a container using a pumpkin filled with mums.

The Materials Large and small pumpkins, a magenta mum, and ornamental kale tinged in purple

The How-To

1. Choose a pumpkin slightly smaller than the mum (or kale) you want to put in it.

2. Hollow out the pumpkin with a knife; discard seeds.

3. Tuck the plant (still in its original pot) inside the hole. Remove the pot to water.