fall is in the air

Ever since I made the fall burlap wreaths for our front doors, I’ve been thinking about how I could jazz up the main entrance (the garage end) of our house for autumn.  First, I decided I would add some wreaths to our garage doors, but I’m still working out some kinks with that (overhead doors and all…), so hopefully, I’ll have those to show you next week.  Next, I decided I wanted something to sit between the garage doors and immediately thought of making something like the easy pumpkin topiaries I made a few weeks ago on a bigger scale.  So, that’s where this little idea was born for an outdoor fall topiary.

First, I gathered up my materials: a planter, 3 different sizes of fake pumpkins, and a 3/8″ wooden dowel.  I only had to buy the planter (the link is to the smaller size because I didn’t see the other one online – the one I got is actually 14″) and dowel since I already had the pumpkins in my basement from a little fake pumpkin patch we made in our front yard when J was a baby — what can I say, I wanted to have some pumpkin patch pictures but was still in the I-have-to-pack-everything-we-own-to-go-on-any-type-of-outing-with-the-baby phase at that point and well, I wasn’t in the mood to pack up everything that weekend :)

Outdoor Fall Topiary Materials

First, I pulled off the stems of the two bigger pumpkins.  They were both attached with little stakes and some glue but they came out without too much effort.  Then, I drilled 3/8″ holes into the tops of the two larger ones and into the bottoms of all three.  Since they were all made of styrofoam, it made a bit of a mess, and actually, I probably could have just forced the dowel in, but I was afraid it would make them crack.

Outdoor Fall Topiary Remove Stems & Drill Holes

Once the pumpkins were all ready, I stacked them all up on the dowel to see how much room they would need and added on the height of my planter to determine how much I needed to cut off of the dowel.  I just marked it and sawed it down with my trusty little saw.

Outdoor Fall Topiary Cut Dowel

I used a 2″ thick x 8″ diameter round block of floral foam in the bottom of my planter and stabbed the dowel down into it to hold it.

Outdoor Fall Topiary Foam Block into Planter

Next, I poured in bag of all-purpose landscaping rocks to weigh it down and to fill the planter with something that the weather wouldn’t affect.  (Don’t worry, Mom, I didn’t lift the bag of rocks – Doug from Home Depot loaded it into my car for me, and I just ripped it open and scooped out cupfuls to fill the bucket!)  The picture below is after the first cup-load of rocks.

Outdoor Fall Topiary Fill Planter with Rocks

Once the planter was filled with rocks, I added some gourds on top to cover them and add some more fall color.

Outdoor Fall Topiary Add Gourds

Then, I started sliding my pumpkins over the dowel and realized I hadn’t included the height of the gourds when I was shortening the dowel.  Bwah-bwah-bwah-wah….  (That’s the game-show wrong answer noise, not me crying.  Crying wasn’t what I wanted to do – a little cursing and gluing that dowel back together did cross my mind, though…)  So, I pulled off all the gourds and added back the pumpkins.

Outdoor Fall Topiary Remove Gourds & Add Pumpkins

And I just added some of the gourds back so they were around the edge and not under the bottom pumpkin and all was right with the world pumpkin topiary.

Outdoor Fall Topiary Close-Up

O, and check out the nice mum I added to hide my latest landscaping victim over there.  Yes, my friends, the trellis-climbing-clematis has passed on.  I have mentioned I don’t have a green thumb before, right??  Yeah, well, another one bites the dust.  Bum, bum, bum…  Ha, I actually originally meant that to be from the Queen song, but the bum part definitely applies to my gardening skills, so I guess it works either way :)

Outdoor Fall Topiary Big Picture 1

O, and don’t worry about the mum – the nice people at Home Depot had already potted in that little planter for me, thus reducing the likelihood I will kill it as quickly.

I was hoping to take a picture farther back in the driveway, but Michael and J added an abundance of distracting driveway chalk art while I was away with my college roommates last weekend so angled shots are all you get today…

Outdoor Fall Topiary Big Picture 2

It’s funny, I didn’t realize the color difference in the bigger pumpkin until I started editing these pictures. I don’t think it is quite as noticeable in person but now that I’ve seen it in the pictures, I can see it in person…  I think I may end up painting them (I am going to add a coat of satin poly to protect them outside anyway) or at least adding a little something so it is less noticeable. Maybe I’ll even get that done in time to show you with my garage door wreaths I’ve been dreaming of.

Have you been doing any outdoor decorating for fall?  Or have chalk graffiti in your driveway that makes you smile but doesn’t translate in pictures on the web?

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4 thoughts on “fall is in the air

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I didn’t realize how easy it would be to make a pumpkin topiary. Well, you made it look easy, anyway.

    I love your garage doors and the “trellis” above the door is really cool.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Happy Fall to you!

    • Thanks, Clorissa – it was really easy. The hardest part was picking out a planter to use :) Thanks for stopping by. Happy fall!

  2. Hi , I love your stacked pumpkins and I am going to attempt to make one. I’d love to know where you got your fake pumpkins from I can’t seem to find any on line… Maybe you can help me find them… Thank you.

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