Check out this sampling of various garden related activities to do with your group this autumn. Take a look at a gallery of a variety of Cucurbit family members – pumpkins, squash, and gourds – and more fall activity ideas here.
Mini Blooming Pumpkins
Decorate mini pumpkins with dried everlasting flowers from the garden. Check out this tutorial on decorating mini pumpkins with dried flowers.
Carve open a pumpkin and plant your favorite cool season plants inside it. Transfer the plants to the garden when the pumpkin is finished. Check out this tutorial on planting your own pumpkin planters.
Looking for no-carve pumpkin decorating options? Embellish pumpkins with air plants (Tillandsia), bareroot succulents, preserved moss, pine cones, everlasting flowers, seed pods, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and more.Using hot glue or craft glue, apply a generous layer of glue on top of the pumpkin around the stem. Then add a layer of preserved moss on top of the glue. “Fluff” the moss to give it more dimension. Now your pumpkin has a moss toupee!Once the moss is secured in place, add the plant material on top. Here, we used a bareroot succulent. To do this, find your favorite potted succulent plant, like Echeveria, and cut its stem at the soil level, at the roots. Note: you may need to use your fingernail to scrape some of the soil away from around the base of the stem BEFORE cutting the stem. Or, purchase it already bareroot from your favorite florist or specialty garden center. Apply craft glue around the leaves at the bottom of the plant, not on the stem, and nestle the succulent in place on the moss bed. Apply more succulents as your budget and supply permits. Later, the succulents can be gently removed from the pumpkin and transplanted outdoors or into containers.Start applying natural embellishments, such as wheat plumes, faux wooden flowers, and other materials, around the succulent to create the desired effect. Use other natural embellishments, like pine cones, dried magnolia cones, and preserved eucalyptus, to decorate the pumpkin. Note: when using material collected from the garden, I typically freeze the material in a paper bag in the freezer for a few weeks, just to make sure that there aren’t any insect critters crawling around.Incorporate whole star anise and cinnamon sticks. Check out more beautiful embellished pumpkins from a recent workshop below. Painted Pumpkins
Create unique pumpkin characters using a combination of paint and other creative supplies. Check out the troll… …Or the Pinocchio-inspired pumpkin… …Or the owl made out of construction paper, glue, and paint.
Have fun with Halloween-themed planters. Check out this planter with cactus growing out of a “skeleton…” Or the decorative containers planted with succulents and embellished with a colored pebble mulch. Transplant the succulents outdoors at the appropriate time.
Tending the Garden
The garden is at the root of what we are all about. It is great to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and cooler temperatures. Sow seeds for cool season veggies. Plant cool season plants like pansies and Swiss chard in the garden and in containers for garden display. Go on a leaf collecting scavenger hunt, and then press the leaves once indoors – use pressed leaves in other projects. Harvest everlasting flowers, acorns, and the last of warm season veggies from the garden.As they say…Happy Fall, Y’all!