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Garden Tips Newsletter

Fall Decorations from the Woods, Fields and Garden
September 15, 2008

Begin collecting material now for those handsome fall and winter decorations...milkweed seed pods, cornstalks, hydrangea blooms, grass seed heads, nuts, cones, coneflower seed heads, globe amaranth, goldenrod, ironweed, iris seed pods, even old wasp nests and interesting branches, lichens or fungi. The list could go on and on. Take the kids or the grandkids for a fall foraging foray into the woods and fields to gather interesting materials. Be sure to squirt the little squirts and yourself with insect repellant or you may bring home some uninvited guests!

Use what you collect as a free style bouquet, arranging your collection of cones, pods, acorns or whatever around the base of the bouquet container to spruce up a table, sideboard or other countertop. Attach items to a grapevine or straw wreath using a hot glue gun or florist wire. You could just pile your collection of nuts, cones, or fungi in a crystal or other decorative bowl and use that as a centerpiece. Add a little moss from the woods and presto you have a nice addition to your fall home décor.

Don’t forget to check out the local farmers market for the dried cornstalks, hay bales, potted mums, gourds, pumpkins, winter squash, Indian corn, broom corn and other great fall items to use for decorating. You can even eat the pumpkins and squash when you get tired of your fall display!

Lelia Scott Kelly, Ph.D., writes Garden Tips weekly and is a Horticulture Specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Her office is in the North Mississippi Research & Extension Center, Verona.