It’s pumpkin time…almost! I already have a large pumpkin growing in the garden, and Instagram and Pinterest are full of pictures of my beloved heirloom pumpkins in all shapes, colors and sizes! I am still holding out until September before the pumpkins start magically appearing all around our home, but I sure am busy getting ideas and making plans! I especially love French Country inspired fall decor both indoors and out, and I love to incorporate shabby French touches whenever possible. Each year I challenge myself to come up with new designs and color schemes for my outdoor displays, but I absolutely must include soft, muted-toned heirloom pumpkins along with magical mums and beautiful autumn kale!
It is hard to pick a favorite, but I love the soft, peachy-coral color and shape of the Musquee De Provence pumpkin as pictured above in lovely Aix-en-Provence, France. I discovered them several years ago and now it just wouldn’t be fall around our home without several of these beauties! Source: Pinterest
A few years ago I began incorporating softer colors in both my indoor and outdoor fall decor. This year I am hoping to find some pumpkins similar to the ones in the photos I will be sharing today, which are from the fall of 2013 (at our previous home). I had created a French Country inspired fall porch and garden display using heirloom pumpkins in muted tones, beautiful fall plants and chippy garden pots. Of all my fall decorating it is still my most favorite ever! I am looking forward to revamping this look at the yellow brick home!
This amazing container garden via Sunset Magazine is a perfect example of the beauty of Autumn’s softer colors and the eye catching effect of mixing different kinds of foliage in similar hues. Being a lover of all things fall, I still enjoy using traditional fall colors in the garden and around the porch, but my favorite fall plants usually have muted gray-green, silver or pastel hues. French country fall decor must always include chippy urns, lots of fall flowers and heirloom pumpkins!
The photos I am sharing today were originally posted on my former blog, but I decided to “re-blog” them here for all my new readers too. I truly loved this display and I hope you find it inspiring!
I am always drawn to cool and muted pale tones and all types of heirloom pumpkins which add a bit of romance and a vintage feel to the fall and Halloween porch and garden. With such a wide variety of pumpkins, gourds, and squash to choose from these days it can be overwhelming when you get to the market! This particular year I did have an idea in mind of creating a soft, romantic French theme, so that helped me narrow down my choices. For this display I chose only heirloom pumpkins and squash with soft, muted hues and plants with similar tones.
Each year I pick one “show stopper,” pumpkin, and this large white beauty fit the bill! Be still my heart! I have not been able to find another one like it since…but maybe this year!
I enjoy savoring every little detail of autumn’s beauty! Next to pumpkins I get most excited about all the different varieties of autumn kale and ornamental cabbage! They are so beautiful in mixed container plantings or as a single specimen plant nestled in between heirloom pumpkins.
In the past I had used lots of deep purple ornamental cabbage, but for this display I chose the Brassica “Peacock Red” with it’s interesting foliage. This variety is more gray/green with purple striations. The lighter color gave me the inspiration for this new, softer grouping. As I was arranging my display I noticed that the purple striations in the kale also brought out the striations in the Musquee De Provence pumpkin when they were placed side by side. Nature is amazing! I have always loved this photo, which reminds me of a painting. My husband is an very talented oil painter and I would love to have him paint this one day!
Of course every fall garden and porch display must have mums! Normally I would not use yellow in this area of the garden, but the special hybrid yellow mum pictured here was a bit muted and had lots of coral tones in the blooms, so it paired beautifully with the coral and peach pumpkins I had chosen. The softer yellow was also a nice contrast against the other greens and gray hues in the grouping, and popped just enough for interest without being distracting.
Over the years I have learned to create beautiful and cohesive outdoor displays by using garden accessories as inspiration and incorporating them in the design. The patina of this shabby chic, succulent-filled urn was perfectly matched to the white and buckskin pumpkins and the result was picture perfect! Of course you can never go wrong with combining pumpkins of all shapes and colors with shabby, chippy urns and garden pots.
This Triamble pumpkin (also known as”shamrock squash”) had a similar shape to the scalloped edges of our vintage bird bath which made a simple and stunning display. The silver-gray icicle plant had succumbed to the first frost by the time I took the photo, but I thought the interesting color and texture of the remaining foliage was a perfect “nest” for my pumpkin.
Style Tip: To create a display similar to the one I have shared today, consider pairing plants with a wide variety of textures and foliage shapes with fall fruits in similar tones and hues. Don’t be afraid to stack and layer pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes together too. Incorporate a chippy white urn or terra cotta pot with a lovely, aged patina for old world, European charm.
Long Island Cheese, Green Jarradhale, Musque De Provence Pumpkins and Triamble squash are all unified by their soft tones.
Isn’t this little cutie just peachy keen? It looks so sweet nestled in a bed of white alyssum. I have not been able to find another pumpkin quite like this one! Keeping my fingers crossed to find one this year! It won’t be long now!
After sharing and discussing all these photos I would love to be able to run straight to the market and start on my pumpkin displays, but alas it will be a couple of weeks before they arrive! Nevertheless I have enjoyed revisiting my old garden and I have gotten some ideas for what I would like to try this year. If you have enjoyed this post and love French Country and shabby chic fall decor, you will certainly want to follow my Pinterest board, Oo La La Fall!
I hope you have also gained some inspiration for creating your own displays using muted heirloom pumpkins and fall plants. I have a few volunteer pumpkins growing right now and I am keeping my fingers crossed for heirlooms! I have decided to grow my own next year and I have included a link below in case you are interested in purchasing seeds and growing some too! Even though heirlooms are my favorite, there will always be a traditional Jack-O-Lantern (or two or three!) to greet guests for Trick-or-Treat! What colors and types do you prefer? I absolutely love to talk pumpkins and fall decor, and I look forward to hearing your ideas too!