By Kristin Boza
With the state of trick-or-treating unknown at this time, many neighbors are dreaming up ways to ensure the festive autumnal spirit is showcased throughout the community. Decorating the front lawn or porch is one way to bring some spooky spirit to your block.
Some people may forgo the visit to the pumpkin patch this year due to social distancing, but pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, and straw bales can be found at local grocery stores and greenhouses, like City Grange, 1818 W. 99th St. City Grange will even deliver your décor right to your front porch if the order is placed online at CityGrange.com.
Rashelle Strate, general manager of City Grange in Beverly, offers these tips to maximize autumnal potential on the front porch.
Dried corn stalks can be bundled upright and tied with raffia or twine to flank a front door, standing at attention to welcome fall.
Fill a bushel basket with filler, such as extra top-soil or sand, and arrange colorful gourds and pumpkins of various colors and shapes on top for a fun front-stoop or porch decoration.
Use straw bales as tabletops on front stoops, patios, or porches for displays of potted mums in fall colors and colorful pumpkins and gourds.
Don’t forget the inside! Create a grouping of pumpkins of different sizes and colors in a bowl or on a wooden board for a great seasonal centerpiece. Anchor it with a large pumpkin and surround it with smaller ones, or display a bowl full of mini pumpkins.
With all of these natural objects used for decorating outdoors, beware of squirrels looking at it as their own personal Thanksgiving feast. One of the easiest — and most ‘green’ — tips is to sprinkle cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes over the entire decorative display, or mix up some hot sauce with water in a spray bottle and spray it all over the pumpkins to ensure full coverage.
Once fall briskly pivots to winter, what to do with all the foliage and pumpkins on the porch? There’s no reason to throw them away to only take up space in a landfill. Instead, compost all of the natural materials and earn some great fertilizer in the spring.