By Frances Grossman
Just like you, I love to garden…also like you, there is a time when my gardens take their natural rest. Although we can certainly continue to plant until the ground actually freezes there’s a tremendous pull or desire to decorate our homes for the harvest and then for the holiday season. Oh… and why not? It’s so incredibly fun and easy to transform the outside of our homes, our front entrance & small nooks within our outdoor spaces with little effort. It feels like a free-spirited dance of sorts where anything goes!
Late season perennials, trees and shrubs continue to add natural decoration and color in the landscape through November. Yet as I look around my yard, there’s an inevitable “stand back for a moment and assess” process that I go through. Does this sound familiar… something that perhaps you do too? This is where our mind’s-eye gets to play and our imagination comes out! I’ll make several trips to the shed, choosing some of my favorite rustic finds that Larry and I have accumulated throughout the years. There is something so refreshing (and relaxing) about moving these special pieces around to create small vignettes on our doorstep. I have always adored the harvest season; not only because of the tremendous color and texture showcase that we experience but because of the wonderful memories and emotion that this time of year evokes. From the time that I was a little girl, my parents always made the harvest and holiday season special and that carries through for me as I enjoy each and every autumn day. This time of year feels like a celebration and I like to reflect that as the first impression when family and friends come to our front door. Our window boxes are laden with pumpkins and specialty gourds that will carry my small vignettes through the end of November when I’m ready to then transition to evergreens for the holidays. The broom corn and the oh so incredible textures and coloring of the whispy plumes add the perfect harvest flair that I’m looking for. I can’t help but to gravitate towards the pretty stalks chock full of flavorful hues. These seasonal treasures beg to be touched when you walk by. There is an invisible pull that can’t be ignored! I smile as I greet our guests on the porch because nine out of 10 times, the women stop to “ooh and ahh” and touch the broom corn. The fellas… well not so much, but that’s okay… it’s not always their ‘thing’ is it? As a quick side note, here’s a little tip for making the most of your garden when harvest decorating. Take a few minutes to clip drying or dried hydrangea blooms (or knock out roses, burning bush foliage, etc) and then add them to your window boxes, cornstalks/broom corn or even tuck them among the flowers that you may have in your planters. You’ll be tickled with the results! Just a tuck here and there is all it takes. But remember… there’s no pressure with this. If you’re not “feeling the look”, simply remove the blooms and try arranging them in a different fashion. If all else fails, bring them indoors, tuck them into a vase and set on your favorite side table for a burst of fall beauty.
As we enjoy the harvest splendor for its great many gifts, I encourage you to be creative with your late season garden and think out of the box. Bring potted rosemary in to your kitchen for the fragrance and the culinary treat. Adorn your countertop or table with a small urn filled with gourds or late season edibles. Enjoy the plumes from your ornamental grasses as an accent to your harvest table centerpiece. The sky is the limit – enjoy the unique opportunities to express yourself through seasonal decorating. This is a wonderful time to embrace the chance to partner your garden and home decorating with beautiful ease…
Frances Grossman is the president of Grossmans Garden & Home in Penfield, NY. www.grossmans.com. 585-377-1982. Meet other savvy women, just like you! Visit Grossmans Garden & Home on Facebook.