I’m freezing as I write this. The air conditioning is pumping frigid air into my office, and even my denim jacket won’t ward off the chill.
So what does that make me think about?
Decorating my porch for fall, of course. Doesn’t everyone’s brain work that way?
My baskets of begonias and pots of coleus have done their job, brightening up the porch all through the summer. Now it’s time for a change. Besides, I’m sick of watering plants.
I don’t want to use mums (did I mention I’m sick of watering plants?), so I headed over to Pinterest for other inspiration. That’s one of the perks of being a writer. You can waste an hour poring over pictures and call it research.
Here are some of the best ideas I found there.
• Wind a branch of faux bittersweet around the base of a porch light. What could be simpler?
• Set a wooden crate on end and use it as a pedestal next to the door to display a couple of pumpkins, a lantern or some other fall-theme object. Fill the crate’s opening with pumpkins or some attractive logs raided from the firewood rack.
• Fill a chip-wood fruit basket with Indian corn, husk ends up. (If the basket is too deep, you can put something in the base to elevate the corn cobs enough so a bit of their colorful kernels show.) Stick some branches of artificial red berries in among the husks.
• Remove the head from an old lawn rake and hang it on the door like a wreath, decorated with some artificial fall leaves, a little grapevine and maybe a simple burlap bow.
• Fill an old washtub or other rustic container with straw and then nestle in a few pumpkins (a combination of white and orange looks nice), some Indian corn and lots of bittersweet. I did something similar with a planter on my porch last year, but I didn’t include the bittersweet. It makes all the difference.
• Cluster some different-size lanterns on the porch steps or next to the door. Put candles in some and fill others with miniature pumpkins, gourds or pinecones, or a combination of those things.
• Flank the door with a pair of flower urns, each holding a big, white pumpkin. Tuck dried hydrangeas around the pumpkins’ base.
• Make a pumpkin topiary by filling a flower urn with straw, stacking three pumpkins in graduated sizes on top and sticking more straw between the layers. This works best with pumpkins that are a little flattened, and you’ll want to remove the stems from the bottom two. If you need more stability, you can thread the pumpkins on a dowel.
• Cluster dried hydrangeas in a vintage milk can and tie some strands of raffia around the can.
• Make an apple wreath by wrapping a foam wreath base with burlap strips and then using hot glue to cover it with apples in a variety of sizes. Tuck some dried moss from the craft store into the gaps.
• Put a rickety kitchen chair next to the door and set an old galvanized watering can filled with bittersweet on the seat.
Now I need to head to the craft store to load up on supplies. Maybe if I can pass that off as research, too.
Mary Beth Breckenridge can be reached at 330-996-3756 or email@example.com. You can also become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MBBreckABJ, follow her on Twitter @MBBreckABJ and read her blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/mary-beth.