Save on Seasonal Outdoor Decorating Featured

Authors: Kitchen Design by

It’s becoming an outdoor brown out in the northern half of the country. Brightly colored leaves drop to the ground, turn brown, and we are left with a dreary landscape until first snowfall.

It’s time to cover what plants we have left and extend our greenery into those weeks before Halloween. September is the month that we add mums to our planters and boxes to help the annuals and perennials finish out the few summer days we have left.

That’s one of the ways that we extend our gardening budgets — by creating a base garden that only gets changed out twice a year — in the spring and in late fall. Here are some other decorating tips to help your home feel festive and keep your budget small.

1) Base Gardens

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Summer planter with festive fall additions

Use your spring garden as the base for the summer and early fall additions by choosing plants that will bloom and last throughout the hot months and into the cooler months. Choose a leafy option, a vine option, and a flowering option or two. This gives your boxes a balanced look, and if one variety starts to go, fill that area in with hearty fall plants such as mums or kale. This strategy works for us every year, and we save over a thousand dollars in our budget because we do not replant the entire garden in the early fall.

2) How Does Your Garden Grow?

As more plants fade because of cool nights, we add more gourds, pumpkins and leaves to fill in the empty spaces. If you have squirrels, use faux pumpkins and gourds to deter critters from dining on your décor.

3) Branch Out

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Cut branches can frame your doorway

A lot of organic matter can be found in one small yard if you look around. Once the weather drops below the freezing point, shrubs and trees can be pruned and added to planters. Low evergreen boughs and yew branches can also be trimmed and added to planters. We also scoop up leaves from various corners of our yards for filler in fall planters.

If you are pruning Japanese maples, hydrangea or rose bushes, those can also add a lot of texture to a display. These are wonderful resources that need to be pruned anyway and what a great way to recycle and enjoy them. And best of all, they are free if you gather them from your own yard.

4) Pine Cones and Berry Branches.

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Branches and gourds added in for fall

There are other hidden treasures across your yard, and even if you have to purchase them, some items such as pine cones will last for years. Moss covered branches and driftwood are other items that can be used year after year if stored properly. If some of these organic items start to fade, spray paint them with an antique gold and they can last into at least one more season.

5) Gold Bouillon

Gold is the hottest trend for décor shine this season. Add some into your arrangements either with ribbon, ornaments, glitter, or with your container color. Adding that twinkle and shine will help transition your fall décor into those winter holidays.

6) Lighten Up

Outdoor lights are for any season, but they should be changed out after a year or two. Read the packaging for further instructions. If you choose a basic light shape and color, they can be used year round so that they do not have to be changed out every few months. We’ve chosen a larger white bulb for the last couple of years so the illumination is strong and the color transcends all seasons.

Barbara Schmidt, bstyle, inc., is a nationally recognized interior designer and author whose work is featured in numerous publications, social media and television.

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