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Cannon: Fall flowers, leaves, bushes create colorful designs

POSTED: October 4, 2013 1:00 a.m.

No doubt, this time of year is a favorite for most folks.

The harvest moon signals the balance of night and day and the autumn sun shines lower on the horizon, spilling its light through all of the beautiful warm colors this time of year displays. So spruce up your lawn and put some eye-catching displays into the mix with the seasonal colors of the fall.

Autumn is my favorite time of year, because I can go out into my own backyard and gather up all kinds of flowers and foliage to create some colorful fall decorations to display inside and outside of my home. Add to that some of the traditional seasonal décor such as pumpkins, hay bales, gourds and corn shucks and you have a perfect seasonal display that can be used into the Thanksgiving season.

Chrysanthemums are a popular fall flowering plant. They come in a mix of colors and variety.

Add some mums to a lawn centerpiece to add color and interest. Be sure to water and care for them during the next few weeks. When they brown, plant them in the yard. Most of them will return next year.

Cornucopias, garlands, wreathes and flower arrangements can be made on your own using fall flowers such as mums, roses, coneflower and black-eyed Susan. Grapevines and other twigs and branches can be brought in to add to your creation. Use dried flowers from hydrangeas. Use colorful leaves from Oak Leaf Hydrangeas or other colored leaves from shrubs and trees around your landscape.

Purchase items like the traditional horn shape cornucopia basket, then stuff the basket with branches of berries, pine cones or other greenery. Additional supplies can be bought at craft stores as well.

Make wreathes and garlands to hang with sprigs of ornamental grasses and ribbon. Fill them with dried fruit or berries and assorted colorful leaves. Be creative. This can all come from looking around outdoors.

Make attractive table arrangements with mums, zinnias, roses and lilies. Or buy fresh flowers not available in your yard. Use the traditional colors of the season like yellow, orange, bronze and maroon. Add Indian corn to the arrangement.

Decorate your front porch, yard or walkway with plants from the autumn garden and add traditional items to create a one-of-a-kind display! Flowers, leaves, branches and cones can be collected and dried and preserved. Seed pods can be saved. Fill in with fruits and vegetables from the backyard. Use ornamental grasses, harvested nuts and any type of natural element from the outdoors. These items create texture and dimension, all elements of a fall design plan. Add colorful bows and ribbon.

The usual symbols of the harvest season such as pumpkins and scarecrows are popping up around town. Take these traditional symbols and add your own creative touches to the outside and inside of your home to colorfully display decorated seasonal yard art or display a beautiful centerpiece for the home.

These displays can transition into Thanksgiving and when November is over, move the hay bales around back and use them to plant tomatoes in next spring. Mums can be set in a flower bed that will bloom again next year or repot them into a larger pot for a larger mum next fall.

Get out and purchase some of the traditional items from your local farmers markets, garden centers or even your local grocery store’s produce department. Plan a fun family activity for a fall afternoon and create a stunning display for all to see!

Wanda Cannon serves as Master Gardener coordinator and horticulture assistant for the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. Contact her at 770-535-8293 or wcannon@hallcounty.org. Her column appears biweekly and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.


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