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Dead Flower Blues | The Gray Boxwood

The beginning of fall brings so many things: crisp air, fall festivals, spiced ciders, new Starbucks drinks, leaves changing colors – and dead flowers. All the money I spent on beautiful, cascading flowers to fill my pots have seen better days. True, they may still look alright to the unsuspecting eye from far away, but once up-close, you see the brown and sad-looking things that are just begging to be put out of their misery.

Or, if you are like me, the new season gives the yearning for a new look in your flower pots. I treat pots like jewelry around my yard: little extra punches of color and variety! With fall upon us, I am ready for a new piece of “jewelry,” so I start pulling out all those dead flowers, making way for autumn’s bounty.


Once you have a blank slate (an empty flower pot), the gears can start rolling. There are so many uses for pots outside of flowers. I love to stack pumpkins and gourds on them and create pillars of fall for all to enjoy. The idea is simple enough, but many do not take the time. Your extra thought and time of stacking or grouping fall’s bounty into your pots will make an impact that lasts the whole season long.

I will admit, we here at The Gray Boxwood grow our own pumpkins and gourds. If you do not have the space for growing pumpkins (or no green thumb), check your local farmers’ markets and shops.


The important thing to remember when picking out varieties to stack is the stems. You do not want to enclose or seal the stem of a pumpkin as that can cause rotting. It is always best for a pumpkin or gourd to be allowed to dry naturally with no obstruction. You may be inclined to just pull the stem off the pumpkin so it is easy to stack.

Dead Flower Blues | The Gray Boxwood

Dead Flower Blues | The Gray Boxwood

Dead Flower Blues | The Gray Boxwood


Do not pull the stem off a gourd or pumpkin as this will cause the pumkin to leak too much and rot as well.

Instead, try to find varieties where the stems “lay” over and are not straight up as this will also help the pumpkins to be stacked evenly.


I always try to find three different sizes of pumpkins with the smallest. This creates an eye-pleasing pyramid effect. (You can also choose two or even just one pumpkin to stack.) Choosing three or less pumpkins will help the stack to avoid becoming too top-heavy and add stability. After you have picked your favorites, start being creative. Mix and match colors and looks to create your own unique blend. Stack the pumkins and gourds you chose and give the perfect welcome to any passerby.

Dead Flower Blues | The Gray Boxwood

Dead Flower Blues | The Gray Boxwood

Good pumpkins and gourds will last all season outside until they start freezing. Once frozen, they will rot and need to be discarded.

In upcoming posts, we will continue to show you great ideas for fall decorating both inside and out! Let us know what you like to do in the fall season by leaving comments below.

Happy stacking![hr]

Images by The Gray Boxwood[divider]

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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