Happy Halloween!

I had so much fun with these pumpkin and gourd arrangements, I just had to post a few more designs.  Check out my "White Pumpkin Arrangement" post for directions on how to make similar centerpieces. 
 

 
 
I was going to leave the lid off of one of the gourd arrangements simply for variety but, they were so cute I just couldn't resist using the lids every time!
 
If you are still able to get pumpkins and gourds after Halloween in your area, these arrangements would be great used on your Thanksgiving table.
 
Happy Halloween and Happy Trick-or-Treating!
 

My Last Rose of Summer


I was on my deck the other day and saw that there was a rose blooming on the bush that a very good friend of mine gave me on my birthday way back in January.  Somehow, I didn't kill it over the winter and decided to put the small bush in a pot and place it on my back deck for the summer.  Since June it has been blooming, not profusely, but blooming none-the-less.  I was thrilled because whenever I looked at the rose bush, it reminded me of my friend. We have been friends for over twenty years and I felt the rose blooms were a testimonial to our friendship.

Knowing that I was going to be away this week, I decided to share the picture of my rose and perhaps share a few rose facts I found in various flower books from my library.  I thought it would be fun!  Here goes:



Just for basic information, roses need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, morning sun is the best because it dries up moisture on the leaves reducing the chance of disease and spotting.  If summer heat is very strong, roses will do better with some afternoon shade.  Miniature and climbing roses do not need as much sunlight as other varieties.  Protecting them from the wind with a hedge or fence is also a good idea.




Newspaper soaked with water works well as a mulch for roses. Place a 16-page depth of newspapers under your rose bushes and then top with pine bark or some other kind of compost.  This will hold in the moisture, help with weed control and encourage earthworms to the soil.
 
 
Spread a 1/2 cup of epsom salts around the base of a mature rose bush and the color of the blooms will be more intense.  Do this in May and June to encourage blooming also.
 
 
Evidently roses like the tannic acid in tea.  So, why not try sprinkling some tea leaves under your bushes along with some water and see if you get bigger and lovelier blooms?
 
 
You should prune roses in the spring when forsythia starts to show its yellow flowers.
 
 
***One final tip, here is a recipe for spraying your roses to guard against fungal diseases.
 
*1-2 tablespoons baking soda/1 gallon water/a few drops of dish liquid
 
Spray roses once or twice a week.  This is a safe, non-chemical way to keep your roses healthier.
 
With the fall weather coming in, I do believe this is the last rose I will see in my yard until next spring so, I'm enjoying it!
 


Fall Yard Design

    

After taking out an overgrown tree and shrub from the front of my house, it became exceedingly clear I had to do something fast to make the area presentable before the oncoming cold weather.  So, my husband and I bought a new tree and a new shrub, some stone and some back mulch.  He took care of all of that.  My job was to make the front yard look "pretty" again.

Thank goodness for fall plants and vegetables.  I was able to purchase some perennials, annuals, pumpkins and gourds from garden centers, Home Depot and Trader Joe's to fill in the space quickly.  I was pleased with the result considering it was a quick-fix solution.  Next spring will be the major renovation!


 









 
You can work wonders with pumpkins and gourds.  They are so interesting and colorful!

 
 
As a side note, the best price I found for gourds was at Trader Joe's.  They were 69 cents a piece.  I thought that was a great price.


I'm not sure the birds are thrilled with the new arrangement for the bird bath.  However, when I know rain is coming I remove the gourds so the birds can take a bath.  It seems to be a fair compromise.
 
Well, I think this should be my last installment on fall decorating.  Of course, there's still Halloween.  Next, I'll be moving onto Thanksgiving!

Fall Accents Around the Home

As I have already said, I love fall decorating...inside and out of my home.  Even in the years I tell myself I am going to skip the harvest decorating and wait until Christmas time, I end up adding touches here and there anyway.

I needed something for the space over my fireplace so, I went to Michael's and purchased this grapevine wreath, then added a few silk flowers and a ribbon.  The wreath was just the right touch for that space!


 I purchased a long wooden trough type of container at a farm stand a few years ago.  I like it a lot and decided to use it on my dining table this year.  The trough really works pretty well in the center of the table since it is a good height for a centerpiece.  Next I filled the cavity of the trough with caramel and pumpkin candles along with Indian corn, imitation pumpkins (they won't rot like the real ones do), walnuts and a fall garland.
More items I have saved over the years.  Just adding them to different areas of the home.



None I these decorations are over-the-top.  It's all about adding fall touches here and there.




Here's a different use for a cookie jar.  More fall color!

My husband made this large three-tiered shelf for me years ago.  I love changing the decorations on it.  It's always fun to display my various seasonal treasures but, for some reason, I have a hard time getting a great photo of the finished product!

I like using various beans to fill glass containers such as this one.  There are many beans available at the grocery store to use to give whatever look you are going for.  I wish I had used a pumpkin candle instead of the cream one.  Pumpkin probably would have looked better but, unfortunately, I used all those candles in the trough!
This yellowed paper "wreath" was something I made at a workshop offered by my garden club.  It's not very big in size but I think it's kind of cool and different.  I always find a place for it in my home in the fall.


Sometimes, it's not necessary to have every fall decoration be orange, yellow and rust.  I really like the use of this blue pottery.  It adds a nice contrast.

So, as you may see, it really doesn't take much to give your home that fall feel.  Just throwing a few guords and mini pumpkins around the house doesn't take much effort but, it might be just what you need to get into that festive fall mood!
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