Fall Decorating Tips

From cattails to pinecones, the perfect autumn décor is found outdoors

The autumn landscape is full of fun elements to use for holiday centerpieces and arrangements. Many are probably right beyond your back door. You can add fresh flowers, or simply go with what you find outdoors.

Here are just a few ideas.

Pine cones: They’re easy to find and pleasantly scented. Plop them in the middle of an arrangement, place them around the outside as a border or use them as a base with objects stuck into them.

Flame-shaped flower heads like celosia, amaranth or sumac: Place in a vase arrangement with water, or spray with a fixative (like hairspray) for dried arrangements.

Dried ornamental grasses: Bunch several stems together with seed heads intact and tie with ribbon or twine, or add smaller tufts as filler in a mixed arrangement.

Autumn leaves: Simply gather a variety of different shapes and colors and place them around your centerpiece.

Cranberries and other red berries: Place in a large bowl with water and floating tea lights, or add to a clear vase with water before adding fresh flowers.

Pumpkins and squashes: Either purchased or homegrown, they’re great in cornucopia arrangements. Or hollow them out and use as vases. (Keep in mind, they’ll decompose faster this way.)

Cattails: If you catch them before they go to seed, spray with a fixative to preserve and use in any autumn arrangement.

Beth Stetenfeld is a McFarland-based editor, writer, master naturalist and creator of the gardening blog PlantPostings.com.

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