Bring on the magic of fall with beautiful pumpkin arrangements (no carving!).
Try surprising design elements
Reds and oranges
Here, red-orange pumpkins mingle with glory lilies, pomegranates, red winter berries, and--most surprisingly--golden and cherry tomatoes.
The sculptural quality of white pumpkins really pops against wood paneling. White anemones and an assortment of seedpods, leaves, and acorns in a medley of browns complement them here. Try propping some pumpkins vertically for added height and texture.
More unusual pumpkin varieties
Yellows and golds
Striped yellow pumpkins lend a lighthearted twist to the traditional fall palette. Combine them with yellow Iceland poppies, kumquats, and grapefruits in a sunlit space; leave citrus leaves and twisted pumpkin stems intact for a just-picked feel.
Miniature striped green-and-yellow pumpkins join a trio of copper vases and a casual arrangement of red, orange, and yellow flowers. It's all about fall color--without a maple leaf or corncob in sight.
Pale greens and whites
No need to fall back on clichés. These two luminous, deeply ribbed pumpkins, paired with crystal wine decanters and a collection of fall seedpods, create a fresh modernist tableau.
Color them natural
All pumpkins have south-of-the-border roots. It's no surprise their most subtle orange tints team up perfectly with the silvery green of succulents to create a western feel. Vivid orange orchids add an original splash of fall color.
Simple and natural
When the seasonal bounty is this gorgeous, it's best to leave well enough alone.
That's the thinking behind these casual arrangements of pumpkins and squash in their fresh-from-the-vine state, assembled in minutes at the Apple Farm in Philo, California. Mixed with leaves, berries, and fruits clipped from the garden (or readily available at florists and grocery stores), plump pumpkins and winter squash dress up a porch or patio table.
A weathered wood farm table provides the perfect backdrop for this grouping. Some tips:
Add height A terra-cotta bowl forms the base, elevating a mound of persimmons above the rest of the arrangement.
Contrast shapes Persimmon leaves and branches jut out at various angles, breaking up the roundness of the fruit.
Contrast color Creamy acorn squash provides the finishing touch.
Position your arrangement at one corner of the table for a more casual look. Some tips:
Create a base Start with a trio of standard pumpkins (odd numbers create a more pleasing display).
Play with texture and scale A miniature 'Munchkin' pumpkin at one end provides visual contrast. Two kinds of rose hips resemble miniature pumpkins.
Tuck in fringe Birch twigs with leaves attached surround the central display.
More fall color tips
Pick one color from your home's exterior--such as the porch, trim, or brick pavers--and let it set the palette for the decor you choose. With all of the vibrant colors and textures of fall, a warm and inviting entry couldn't be easier to create.
Cool harvest greens For this entry, yellow and green gourds and squash fill honey-colored baskets and sit among bluish-gray pumpkins. A spray of wisteria leaves embellishes the front door; yellow and green oak leaves on branches fan out from a bucket just to the right of the front door.
Twilight white with silver
As the sun sets, white pumpkins and potted white violas capture the fading daylight as no color can. Terra-cotta pots are painted silvery gray to match the porch.
Moody purples with lime
Pots in different shades of green set the stage for this composition. Purple-flowered Johnny-jump-ups fill three of them; the fourth one holds coleus, whose chartreuse leaves are veined with dark purple.
All make ideal partners for light-colored pumpkins. Coleus are best in warm climates and need to be brought indoors before the first frost.
More on decorating with leaves
Rust and orange
Plump orange pumpkins are clustered on brick steps along with a scattering of reddish liquidambar leaves. Branches of bittersweet holding red and yellow berries fill the rust-colored buckets behind.
Where can you get these unusual pumpkin varieties? You can buy them at farm stands, or think about growing your own. It's a little late for this year, but you could have your own crop of giant pumpkins ready for Halloween 2014. And for 2013, here are some great Halloween decorating ideas, including tips on carving pumpkins like a pro. But pumpkins aren't just for decorating--they're good eating, too. Here are some of our favorite pumpkin recipes.