Nothing says Halloween quite like a display of pumpkins. You can find pumpkins and gourds already in season as early as mid-September and as long as you don't cut the skin of the pumpkin it will usually stay fresh and pretty throughout the holiday.
When you are considering a pumpkin display, look for rustic items in your garage, shed or attic. An old tin wash-tub will look fabulous filled with pumpkins. To reduce the amount you need, add a layer of straw and fill the tub up to three-quarters full. Layer the larger pumpkins on the bottom and leave your most unusual or interesting pumpkins for the top.
Place your tub near the front door to welcome guests. As the leaves on the trees change color, have your children select the prettiest leaves and tuck them in and among your pumpkins. Add vines, berries, nuts and other natural elements to add depth and color as the season changes. Right before Halloween you can raid your tub and make traditional jack-a-lanterns or hollow out your pumpkin, insert a bowl and fill it with candies, ice or a holiday mixture. It will look great and be a good use of the gourd.
Tips: Don't allow your pumpkins to sit in water, always fill a container with a layer of rocks to create drainage. Check your display after a surprise rain and drain off any water. It is a good idea to cover your display with a tarp before storms. Just hold down the edges of the tarp with rocks.
Reviews: If you have a product, store, or service you would like reviewed on my column, please email me for shipping and press photo information.