Fresh for Fall

Fall is a fan favorite, there’s no doubt about it. What’s not to love? It’s the end of summer’s heat and humidity, and the beginning of cool days, crisp nights, bonfires, and apple cider. It’s the perfect time to crank up the curb appeal.

A home’s exterior makes the first impression of the whole house, so it shouldn’t be neglected, whether you’re selling or not. There are gardening tasks for every season, but autumn weather makes chores more pleasant.

Start by digging up spring and summer annuals—they’ve most likely seen better days. Prune branches, edge lawn borders, and yes, rake the leaves (only after jumping in, of course). Don’t forget new mulch, which packs a surprisingly big punch. 

A pretty October yard is just as colorful as those in spring and summer. There are endless shades of chrysanthemums, the quintessential fall flower. Mums look fabulous in both groups and individual pots. A mix of green and purple cabbage, purple pansies, and violas will add color throughout a Tennessee winter if planted at least six weeks before the first frost. Asters and sedum are also great choices for fall. 

Try a bale of hay, and pumpkins galore on the front porch or by the front door. Like mums, there’s a plethora of pumpkin sizes, shapes, colors, and textures, so mix it up. Some people add a wagon to the hay-pumpkin-mums mix, either on the porch or near a walkway. Corn stalks are another go-to fall decoration that look great against columns or lamp posts.

Don’t worry about fall décor being symmetrical or matchy-matchy. Random placement and odd numbers add interest. 

The trend is moving away from the traditional jack-o-lantern face, toward more contemporary pumpkin designs, and placement. For example, a pumpkin spray painted with metallic gold paint and then hand-painted with black polka dots, adds a whimsical touch. Pumpkins painted with house numbers or monogrammed are becoming popular, thanks to Pinterest. Master carvers can even drill holes (don’t try this at home, kids) in a pumpkin, making it a cool jack-o-lantern. If you are going with nontraditional pumpkins, remember that less is more. It’s easy to overwhelm an exterior with too many bedazzled pumpkins.

If small and subtle is your style, changes like switching to a seasonal doormat with fall colors, are welcoming and perfect for autumn, as is a fall-colored wreath or basket on the door. The truly adventurous may consider painting the front door for a new, contrasting pop of color. It’s quick, easy, and always eye-catching. 

So, feel the spirit of fall, and do some serious spiffing up. Get creative and have some fun with it!

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