Saturday, October 4, 2008

Taming of the Vine

It's October, and the winds are changing. At night, in most areas of the country you're feeling that autumn chill, the leaves are turning ripe harvest colors of warm pumpkin, cinnamon, and honey, and the smell of homemade soups and chili's fill the air of almost every household. Yes, fall is upon us, a time for hay bale rides, fall festivals, harvest parties, mums, pumpkins, fallen leaves, trick-or-treaters, and decorating.

Confession: I have rarely decorated for fall. When we lived in Texas, there didn't seem to be a "fall" season, and even though the stores carried pumpkins, those were mostly for carving, as the temperatures could still be in the 90's, and pumpkins simply wouldn't keep.

Now that we live in New York, the change of seasons has inspired me to make a few decorating changes to the outside and inside of our 1920's bungalow, not before tending to the garden Scott and I planted in the yard this summer:

Now that everything has started to, or completely died back for the fall, I have been waiting to cut the Dahlia's and pull the bulbs, re-cut the bed, and lay hay over the root system of the new trees, all of this after I tame a wild grape vine growing in the corner.

So snip-snip, and it's gone - well, most of it anyway. And what better use for it than in a wreath perfect for my fall decorating ideas? I pulled it all out to the driveway, and got my tools ready: an old pot, a pair of scissors, twine, and time.

Eventually, after tying knots about 22 times, I ended up with something that resembled a small, but very green wreath.

So, now what? I know - the suspense! Scott, "Margaret", Melissa and I went to the market this morning and I decided to buy my decorating pumpkins. Slightly early, I know, but I am decorating our company's new development for a meeting Monday, and I thought a fall theme would fit the bill. So after the market, I spent the early afternoon shopping for fall accessories, faux winter berry garland, cornucopias, that kind of thing! So pumpkins, mums, and pansy's, square copper pots and faux winter berry garland leads us where?

Why this of course! Our very own pumpkin topiary, or pumpkin snow-man, as a neighbor boy riding his bike called it.

"What are you takin' pictures of?" he asked.

"My fall decor" I replied.

"Why did you make it look like Snowmen?" he wondered.

I shook my head - "They're not snowmen, they're topiary!"

"What's a topiary?" he questioned.

"Ummm, it's a plant that is trained to grow on an object, or an obelisk,"

"A who?" he interrupted.

"An obelisk - you know what, ask your mom ... she'll know!"

I sure hope he pronounces it obelisk.

And here we are: the end.


  1. I adore your topiaries!!! What a great idea~ your "fall decor" is wonderful

  2. beautiful artie, I love the real things when it comes to decor! Five Stars vickydarnell

  3. I LOVE your orange snowmen lol....the topiaries are gorgeous...and I really like the touch of the green grape wreath..very different and fresh!

  4. Will you come live with me? I love everything you do!!!!

  5. Welll...Gorgeous little pumpkin man you have there! You guys are talented with a capital T!!

    Miss NY and the beautiful falls...

  6. So cute and creative Artie!!!! Let's hope the 'neighbourhood boy' is not a big fan of the Rock Group "Smashing Pumpkins".

    Also wish to congratulate you on your completion of the bookcase.
    Unequivocal, it was well worth the wait.

    WISHING YOU A SUPER SUNDAY of relaxation.

  7. LOVE the pumpkin snowmen. The topiaries are gorgeous & I am in love with all the pumpkins used in your decorations... The more I visit you the more I'm a lovin you... I already decorated for fall too... Love that time of year and we live in the motorhome so sometimes we are where it's fall but mostly in Florida where it isn't... I have a great imagination... I pretend by turning the air down and yes making chili... :-D


  8. Great pumpkin did you keep them from falling off each other? Is there a metal stake going thru the middle of them? I'd like to make some this year! Don't you just love the questions kids ask?! So cute.

  9. Wow, this is beautiful Artie! I love topiaries & this one just rocks! :0} Diane

  10. You've captured the essence of fall in the northeast beautifully.

  11. Oh Artie,I'm so gald you put this in your blog.I love it.Please show us more of"your secrets".ha.I love the story of the "snowman".Keep up the good work...Ann

  12. Ooh, all your hard work paid off. The porch looks beautiful, Artie! Pumpkins are for sale here already, but why bother buying them when they'll just turn to mush in the heat?

    Justine :o )

  13. Beautiful. Your entry is fabulous...I envy your front door. I have to wait until right at the last minute to buy pumpkins because of the heat.

  14. Fall decorations have been out over a month here, so I don't think your ahead of time. I do the flowers for our church (silks) and I put all the Mums etc. in church for the first weekend in Sept..

    Love your 'snowman pumpkins' ;). Thanks for sharing.


  15. Topiaries and obelisks! That poor kid had no clue what language you were speaking! lol
    I love your pumpkin snowmen. I need you to come out to California and give me some autumn spirit. I haven't even a shred of autumn decor yet.

  16. Fabulous! I want to go to this!!!! But I'm in Texas and like you said, it's barely fall yet. haha!!!

  17. Hummmmm sure hope he pronounced it these are just darling...should add a couple at the shop door...hugs ~lynne~

  18. Artie, I love your topiaries - you're so creative and so motivated - always up to something, and something great!

    The conversation with the neighbor boy - priceless!

    Thanks for bringing my memories of Fall to life! I grew up on the East Coast and Fall is what I miss most! I love and miss the earthy smell of the fallen leaves on the ground, the wonderful weight of the heavy comforter that is now probably needed with the cool night air, and the food - ooooh the food! Hearty soups, stews and homemade breads - Out here in Coastal So Cali it's just not the same as that! It's great, but not the same :/

    Enjoy the day!

    OOooh! I almost forgot! Yes, I'd LOVE copies of that RL room from different angles than I have! It's my favorite as well! Birds of a feather ... Thanks so much for offering!

  19. It might be hard to find any seeds this time of year but I'll bet you could grow them there. If you can't get any, I'll have Katie look for them next time she is visiting her friend in Austin. Have a lovely visit!

  20. Well, what I want to know is, where are the eyes made of coal, and the top hats? Maybe you can spray paint them white and put the eyes, nose, and top hats on for Christmas decor! Laurie (bargainhunr)