Thoughts of Fall

Fall evokes thoughts of crisp, cool air, geese flying overhead, and leaves crunching underfoot. Capture the spirit of autumn with an inviting display of plants near the doorway of your home. Your display can be as simple or fancy as you like, start with a basic potted container, and then add-on decorative accents.

The first step is to mix and match cool weather tolerant plants, such as mums, flowering cabbage or kale, pansies, and snapdragons, in a pot to coordinate with your style. You may choose to keep all your plants one color, but vary the texture and height. Another option is to select multiples of the same plant and combine them in several pots.

The next step is to accentuate your containers with decorative items. Those of us with limited space can brighten our stoop with a single, spectacular planter or a small grouping of pots. Arrange autumnal accents within the containers, for example twigs, plant stakes, and garden art. A well-placed placard-style sign or artsy sculpture will jazz up any container to reflect the fall season.

If space allows, take your doorstep decorating to the next level by using hay bales to vary the display height of multiple containers of plants. A jaunty scarecrow may be seated in a patio chair and pots arranged tastefully nearby. In addition, bundles of Indian corn are a classy way to dress up the door and cornstalks are ideal for framing doorways.

Putting together a fall container extends your gardening season, plus gives an opportunity to truly enjoy and savor what autumn has to offer, crunchy leaves underfoot and all.