Spice Up Your Garden with Fall Decor: Decorating Ideas for Autumn

Fall is a celebration. It’s the celebration of a successful summer growing season with a much anticipated reward – a bountiful harvest. So it’s no surprise that our autumn-themed outdoor decorations reflect this.

A light blue picture frame on a rustic wooden background, with apples, dried leaves, red berries, white pumpkins, and small purple flowers arranged in a rustic autumn scene. Across the center and bottom of the frame is green and white text.

In autumn, we show off our pumpkin and gourd collections, and we decorate with warm colors. Many of us love to bring all of this together in charming arrangements in our yards and gardens, and on our front porches.

Wooden steps leading up to the front porch of a house, with pumpkins on each step. To the left of the frame the neighboring house can be glimpsed and there is green foliage by the side of the steps. To the right are a large collection of round shrubs all with different colored flowers, ferns and vegetation.

Whatever type of outdoor space you are decorating this autumn, you’ll probably want to include the standard harvest season decorations like hay bales and pumpkins.

Concrete steps leading up to a black door, decorated with bright orange pumpkins. To the right of the frame is a plant with red flowers, to the left is green foliage.

But don’t forget other types of decor you can use to create a warm and cozy seasonal scene.

Pumpkins

Hmm, what to decorate with for autumn? Pumpkins? Well, of course!

A display of pumpkins and gourds, a large orange one in the foreground and to the left large and small red ones. In the background is an antique wooden wagon, full of winter squash, with a fabric doll. To the right of the frame is a terra cotta pot with a plant with yellow flowers, the background is a stone wall.

Decorating with pumpkins isn’t limited to Halloween. This is the time of year when we gardening fanatics harvest our bumper crops of pumpkins, winter squash, and gourds.

With their earthy autumn colors, they don’t just taste good in a pie, they’re also extraordinarily attractive.

Concrete steps leading up to a dark gray front door, with a light gray brick wall in the background. On the steps are a magnificent display of different pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash of different shapes, sizes and colors. The autumnal scene is completed with trailing ivy and green shrubs to the right of the frame.

If we’ve had a green thumb year, there’s a big pile in many shapes and colors to show off. They make great decorations – arranged elegantly on a front porch, spilling out of an old rustic wagon, or lining your front steps.

You can use different shapes and sizes to create an attractive centerpiece on a patio table, or add a pop of fall color outside a shed. Try hollowing one out to hold a dried flower arrangement.

A vertical image of an antique cart full of pumpkins, orange, light green, yellow and white. In the background is soft focus foliage, and the ground is covered in fallen leaves, in light sunshine.

If you have been in the habit of buying your pumpkin porch decor, next year, why not try growing your own?

A close up of a red and green gourd of the 'Turk Turban' variety, pictured amongst yellow and red gourds, some cut in half on a soft focus background.

‘Turk’s Turban’

You can get seeds for the colorful and intriguing ‘Turk’s Turban’ winter squash variety at True Leaf Market.

Wreaths

A wreath designed with the colors, textures, and bounty of autumn can grace a front or back door, decorate a potting shed, or brighten up a gate.

A dark gray front door with a bright red and orange wreath, and black drapes. Surrounding it is a light gray stone wall, with pumpkins and plants on the step, bright yellow flowers and to the right of the frame pots with evergreen shrubs. To the left of the frame is an ornamental evergreen in a brown pot.

While many commercially available wreaths are made of plastic, when your own yard is full of natural plants ripe for the picking, it’s very easy to make your own.

Create your own seasonal wreath with vines, dried seed heads, foliage, and berries. Pick colors that suit your autumn mood, and use pine cones or miniature gourds for added texture.

Close up of a light blue wooden window in a stone house with a bright autumn colored wreath made from ornamental gourds in red, yellow, and orange. Cascading vines in brown and green complete the autumnal scene.

If you’re looking for something that says fall in a unique way that’s ready for hanging, this wonderful wreath by Darby Creek Trading might be just the thing.

Darby Creek Trading Natural Autumn Wreath

It is made entirely of dried natural materials such as dried mushrooms and seed pods, all in warm autumnal shades, and is available at Amazon.com.

Fairies

Don’t forget to decorate your fairy garden for the season. Colorful leaves, dried seed pods, and bittersweet will add a touch of color and autumnal whimsy.

A small fairy figurine with a pink hat, yellow hair and a little smile surrounded by green wispy leaves. In the background are two small fairy houses fashioned from gourds. In the foreground is a pine cone.

Use miniature pumpkins, gourds, or winter squash in creative ways to accentuate that autumn flavor.

If you’ve always wanted to create a fairy garden but haven’t gotten around to it, starting with a carved full-sized pumpkin to create a fairy house might be just the motivation you need to dive into this fun hobby.

A green pumpkin, with two holes carved out of it to create windows, a roof laden with flowers in various colors to create a fairy house. The background is green lawn and in the foreground bright orange and red cut flowers.

Let your imagination guide the creation of your own fall-themed fairy garden.

A whimsical fairy house in the shape of a mushroom. A red and yellow top with a curved end, with white spots over a gray wood-effect base with a door. The background is light gray.

Hi-Line Gift Ltd. Fairy Garden Welcome Mushroom House Statue

And if you need another feature in your fairy village, this mushroom house from Hayneedle is absolutely adorable.

Trellises and Arbors

Moving from the miniature view to the big picture, don’t forget about large structures like trellises and arbors that help define spaces in your yard, showing off the seasonal colors of your plantings.

A wooden trellis with a bench seat, surrounded by vines with red berries. In the background are trees and vegetation in soft sunshine.

These supports can play important landscaping roles all year long.

And at this time of year they will surely create atmosphere while displaying the bright red and orange colors of your Virginia creeper or grapevine, or a string of fairy lights.

A trellis covered in a creeper with red, orange, purple, and green autumn colors, in the background are trees with bright yellow leaves, and green grass. In bright sunshine.

You can find arbors made primarily of wood or metal. Wrought iron is a sturdy and timeless choice that can also add to the spookiness factor if Halloween decorating is your thing.

A metal arbor with ornate wrought iron work and gates, shown on a brick path with a background of trees and bushes.

Oakland Living 8.5-ft. Iron Gothic Arbor with Gate

This arbor from Hayneedle is ready for you to cover with your own choice of showy autumn vine – or eerie spider webs.

Straw Bales

Bales of straw are a standard feature in fall outdoor decor. They make a great backdrop for your potted chrysanthemums, pumpkins, and harvest displays.

In front or back yards, and on porches and patios, straw bales add texture and a sense of warmth, bringing the harvest home.

Straw bales with a display of autumn vegetables and fruit. A curved wicker basket with the fresh produce cascading out of it. In the background are flowers, yellow and red.

Straw bales can also be a destination unto themselves.

A straw bale can serve as an impromptu outdoor bench, where you can spend an afternoon relaxing with a warm wool blanket and your favorite gardening book.

A straw bale, draped with a knitted rug on the background of fallen leaves with large pumpkins on both sides of the frame. To the left of the frame is a basket with green apples and a decorative empty basket.

Try making a cozy nook out of three straw bales. Stacked on top of each other, they can create a rustic outdoor table for serving coffee and cake.

Outdoor Lanterns

If your outdoor leisure keeps you in the yard after dark, don’t forget to add a little additional lighting for the season. Lanterns will help create a festive atmosphere, or just help guide the way.

A collection of different colored plants, ornamental kales in purple and green, a bright red pumpkin, some red, pink and purple flowers, all arranged to create a colorful autumnal scene. In the foreground is a red paraffin lamp with a small glowing flame.

You can go with a DIY homemade lantern – just place some battery-powered string lights inside a mason jar. I also like to fill a large vase with acorns and string lights for an autumnal touch.

It only takes a little light to make the night feel warmer.

A close up of a mason jar containing string lights, on a lawn at night with soft focus dark background, with small bursts of light.

Another option is to go solar.

A close up of a solar lantern made from dark brown wood and glass, on a tiled porch with a brick wall behind. To the left of the frame is a door jamb and doormat, to the right of the frame is a green plant in a terra cotta pot.

Solar Lantern

This elegant solar lantern from Hayneedle will brighten up your autumn nights as you cuddle up outdoors under the stars – and it needs no electricity.

Creative Ideas for Your Gourd-geous Fall Garden

So there you have it, a few decorating ideas that will make your yard or garden all the more cozy for autumn. A few creative touches may be all you need to complete your charming seasonal landscape.

A vertical picture of a bright orange pumpkin nestled behind a metal bucket containing sprigs of purple flowers on green leaved stems. Fall leaves are scattered at the bottom, and in the background is a wooden chair leg and more purple sprigs.

What decorations are you using in your yard this fall? Do you have an autumn-themed fairy garden? Or are you going full-out rustic with straw bales and squash? Let us know in the comments, and share photos of your own autumn garden decor. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Ready for more fall gardening ideas? Read on:

Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos courtesy of True Leaf Market, Hayneedle, Darby Creek Trading, Hi-Line Gift Ltd., Oakland Living, and Smart Solar. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu.

About Kristina Hicks-Hamblin

Kristina Hicks-Hamblin lives on a dryland permaculture homestead in the high desert of Utah. Originally from the temperate suburbs of North Carolina, she enjoys discovering ways to meet a climate challenge. She is a Certified Permaculture Designer and a Building Biology Environmental Consultant, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Kristina loves the challenges of dryland gardening and teaching others to use climate compatible gardening techniques, and she strives towards creating gardens where there are as many birds and bees as there are edibles. Kristina considers it a point of pride that she spends more money on seeds each year than she does on clothes.

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