I stole this fall decorating idea from an item I saw in the most recent Gardener’s Supply catalog. The catalog was selling a ceramic, pumpkin-shaped pot to display fall-blooming plants. Very cute, but why not use a real pumpkin? The pots start at $19.95 (not bad, considering how expensive pots are) but my three pumpkins each cost $3 at the Bridgewater Produce stand outside of Northfield. I’ve been wanting to add some grasses to the area near my wildflowers, so I bought this nice grass at Knechts. I picked up an inexpensive mum at the farmer’s market and dug up a pretty purple petunia from my front bed.
I cut the tops off the pumpkins and slashed a couple of cuts in the bottom for drainage, cleaned out the seeds, added a little potting soil, and pushed the plants into their new home. I’ll find a place for the grass and mum in my gardens in a few weeks, and the petunias will go in the compost pile. My only concern for the planters is that the pumpkins will rot and cause some damage to the roots of the plants. We’ll see. For even better fall decorating suggestions, consider taking a class at MSHS. There’s one tomorrow on Winning Combinations with Ornamental Grasses, taught by the U’s grass guru, Mary Meyer, and one this Saturday on Gourd Crafts for Kids, taught by Marty Bergland of Heirloom House MN. The grass class is at the Bachman’s store on Lyndale Avenue and the gourd class is at Nathes 101 Market in Otsego.