DENVER - I can't stand looking at pots of dead plants. They don't say "welcome" at your front door except, perhaps, on Halloween. Avoid the "dead plant" entryway with seasonal touches.
Salvage what you can from your garden to re-arrange your entryway. You still might have surviving petunias, callibrichoa, verbenas, spike dracaenas or heucheras to work with. Or you might have recently added mums, pansies or ornamental kale.
Adding pumpkins really makes a great display. They're so special that pumpkins are the symbols of two holidays. Aside from the traditional orange kind, there are also white, pinkish, warty ones and French pumpkins.
It's interesting that the Cinderella fairy tale originated in France. One can imagine how a fairy godmother could turn a slender, deeply ribbed French pumpkin into an elegant coach with her magic wand.
Ornamental grasses, gourds, Indian corn, pinecones and fall leaves can also contribute to your entryway design. Use what you've got on hand and supplement it.
On freezing nights, use sheets to cover plants and pumpkins. Pumpkins can take a light frost but a hard freeze will ruin them.
With cooler weather closing in, finish up in your herb and vegetable gardens. You can still harvest fresh herbs such as thyme, chives and sage. Even freeze-dried herbs (thanks to the first frost) retain their flavor. This includes fennel, dill and basil.
Carrots and beets need to be pulled before the soil freezes. Cabbage should also be harvested. Some gardeners claim that a frost makes cabbage sweeter but we're past that. Cut the heads now and refrigerate them--or make some fresh cole slaw. It's even better with homegrown cabbage.
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