When I think about the fall season, some of the things that come to mind are the leaves changing colors, cozying up by the fire with a glass of wine, and lots of pumpkins! Though the leaves don’t really change around here, there are certainly times when it gets cold enough for a fire and we certainly have a lot of pumpkins…which are perfect for making your home feel more like fall.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take the girls to Buchanan’s to choose some fall flowers and pumpkins to decorate our front porch. I love going to Buchanan’s because they have an incredible selection, a friendly staff, and a wonderfully informative blog. (Their videos have so many useful tips and make you feel like a gardening pro!)
We were having so much fun deciding what to use on the porch until the mosquitoes showed up…but we had a great time anyways! So today I want to share my tips and tricks for selecting the best pumpkins to use in your decor this fall.
When it comes to pumpkins, there are a few basic things you need to know that will help make the selection process easier.
Skin – colored part of the pumpkin
Flesh – what you take out with the seeds when you carve the pumpkin (usually used for cooking)
Ease of carving – how easy is it to carve?
Ribbing – the vertical lines that run from the stem to the bottom of the pumpkin
The first thing to do before getting your pumpkins is to decide how you’ll be using them. Will you be carving them, using them to decorate your home or eating them? Determining how you want to use them will help you select the right ones.
Types of Pumpkins
When you think of pumpkins the classic orange pumpkin comes to mind, but there are so many more varieties. For my fall inspired porch design, I chose to use a combination of classic orange, ghostly white, and blue pumpkins.
Classic orange pumpkins
These pumpkins are what you see most frequently and are usually small to medium in size. They have smooth skins and are great for carving or if your kiddos want to paint them. You can eat most varieties of this type of pumpkin, but the one best for eating is the pie pumpkin. It has a buttery flesh, which makes it especially delicious in baked goods.
Ghostly white pumpkins
As much as I love the traditional pumpkin, sometimes all the orange can be too much, especially on a front porch where everything is so close together. Mixing in ghostly white pumpkins can help break up the orange and adds something unexpected. In general, these pumpkins are best used for decorative purposes, as they aren’t good for carving. However, there are some varieties you can use for baking.
I love these pumpkins because the color is so unexpected! These blue pumpkins are more of an heirloom pumpkin and provide a beautiful contrast to earthy browns, rich burgundies, and traditional orange tones for fall. They tend to be wider in diameter and shorter in height than the classic orange pumpkins, so they aren’t a great choice for carving. However, they’re excellent for cooking.
All three of these pumpkins are fabulous for decorating, but when it comes to carving the classic orange pumpkin is the winner. But what makes the perfect carving pumpkin?
The best carving pumpkin…
Has a flat bottom – You want the pumpkin to stay in one place, especially if you’re carving it. You don’t want the design to be off center because the pumpkin was rolling around.
Is hollow – Though all pumpkins have seeds and flesh, you want to make sure the pumpkin is hollow. To check if it’s hollow, just knock on it.
Has a smooth surface – Textured skins make it more difficult to carve, so pick one with a smooth surface.
The End Results are Gorgeous!
Incorporating pumpkins is a fun way to instantly freshen up your decor. As a designer, I love pumpkins because they come in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors.
You can add miniature pumpkins to your coffee table for a fall inspired vignette or place larger ones by the fireplace. And of course, you can never go wrong with using them to decorate your front porch. (Don’t worry…no pumpkins were harmed in the making of this porch!)There are so many things you can do with them!
Hopefully, the tips and tricks I shared in today’s post make selecting the perfect pumpkins for your home a little easier. For more fall decorating and design ideas, follow me on Instagram.