Fall Pictures

Halloween decorations at Kroger, Sept. 13, 2018.

The fall season is an exciting time for decorating your home and garden. For the home, autumn invites calming and cozy colors and smells that allow relaxation in an otherwise busy season. For gardening, the cool weather invites plenty of time to get outside and work enjoyably without the suffocating heat of the sun.

Here are a few simple tips for embellishing your home, garden or dorm room before the winter months steal the last of our warmth and happiness.

Cinnamon brooms and pinecones

Most people that I’ve asked have never heard of a cinnamon broom, and I don’t blame them — they are surprisingly hard to find. I even went to three stores searching for one to no avail!

I experienced my first cinnamon broom back in my middle school days when I came home on an October afternoon to the smell of sweet cinnamon that immediately put me in an autumnal mood. Imagine a broom made out of sticks that a witch might ride, but it smells strongly like fresh cinnamon rolls.

Even though I couldn’t find one now in stores, they’ll probably be around later this season or online. Instead, I am substituting the broom for scented pinecones that have the same effect and have already made my apartment smell amazing this season.

Porch decorations

You may start seeing pumpkins and wreaths filled with yellow, orange and red leaves around now, but there are even more ways to decorate your porch or front yard. Corn stalks are one popular way to express your fall festivity. In the same vein, hay bales and mums can add a lot of character to any porch steps.

The garden

Now, we arrive to my favorite topic: gardening. Now is the perfect time to prepare your garden for spring, which may seem counterintuitive. Why would we prepare our gardens for spring when we haven’t even made it to winter yet? Well, I’m about to tell you why.

Bulbs are the name of the game. Bulbs usually need an entire period of cold weather before they blossom in the spring, so now is one of the best times to plant them. Bulbs will also come back every year, which classifies them as a perennial plant rather than an annual. On top of that, they’re cheaper now than when they bloom in the spring. You can get 25 bulbs at Walmart for only $5.99!

Fall is also the time to plant any hearty trees or bushes before the cold winter months, and they don’t require too much maintenance. The best way to learn how to care for a plant is the tag that usually comes attached. Beyond that, there are more than enough internet sources that you could use.

If you live in an apartment complex that doesn’t allow landscaping, maybe investing in a raised garden bed for the porch is the way to go. That way you can protect it from torrential rain, snow and sunlight depending on the plants’ preferences.

If you live on campus and aren’t able to garden at all, consider joining a club or looking for opportunities to spruce up public gardens around Virginia Tech and Blacksburg for the autumn months. Hopefully with these tips, your home will become a beacon for fall festivities.

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