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Southern California Gardening: Fall Garden Style

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Lowe’s Southern California garden contributor borrows inspiration for fall styling directly from the garden.

pumpkins are great for centerpieces

By Bonnie Jo Manion

The end of summer is a great time to think about borrowing from your garden for fall inspirations. These can be what is growing, what you have harvested in abundance, or simply what inspires you.

dried hydrangea blooms

Growing pumpkins, gourds, apples, and butternut squash easily can transition to fall table centerpieces and fall ambience. Display them in baskets, carts, containers, garden tubs, trays, and other vintage pieces for simple beauty and elegance.

Take advantage of hydrangea blooms that look just as beautiful dried as they do growing in your garden. Seek out the unusual, such as leek (Allium ampeloprasum) and lily of the Nile (Agapanthus) flower heads. Collect nuts and interesting seed pots and display them in wooden bowls or fall containers.

grapevine intertwined around a tomato cage

Create interesting fall centerpieces using an upside down tomato cage woven with a grapevine you might have growing in your garden. Cut long grapevines and keep the ends in water overnight. They hold up well as a tabletop foliage centerpiece for the next day.

Soaking entire grape leaves in water overnight makes them effective for floral arrangements. Create a point with an angle cut, using a floral knife or pruners. Insert grape leaf into floral foam or a frog, perfect for a fall arrangement filler.

grape leaves as doilies

Use large, flat leaves from edibles such as fig (Ficus carica) trees and grapevines as natural doilies. Clip leaves from the tree or vine directly, wash them, and arrange on your dish. If leaves curl, press them under some weight for an hour or two.

use clean trugs for elevating dishes

Garden trugs can create interest on the table, making wonderful settings for a buffet and special occasion. Make sure your trug is clean, and stable for a dish. With their neutral nature, most trugs are great backdrops for highlighting food and contrasting color. Add some sprigs of fresh herbs around the trug, and you have aromatic as well as visual appeal.

You can be very creative in bringing fall garden style to your home and entertaining. The magic of the season complements the bright colors and favors the unexpected!

See more Southern California Gardening Articles.