Fall is one of my favourite seasons. I love to take in all of the beauty of the time of year, while it’s natural or cultivated. But it always goes really quickly. Between the rush of back to school, an array of family birthdays in September and also an annual convention for me and a trip overseas for my husband in October, we frequently appear surprised to discover it’s November.

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Sometimes more actually is more, just like with this undulating edge of mums and ornamental kale.

Mary Prince Photography

I would love to really go all out with autumn planting if I only had a team in addition to thousands of dollars in my autumn gardening budget. Darn it all!

As much as I love fall plantings and decor, I often find myself at a nursery or a farmer’s market feeling overwhelmed because I attempt to figure out what I want and how much it’s going to cost.

At my old house I had things figured out: cornstalks tied to the front posts, a scattering of pumpkins at the bottom and a couple of mums flanking the front door. It looked great. Our first fall in the new house, we had been in the center of landscaping, and that I didn’t even attempt to do anything about the porches.

Alison Hodgson

This past year I decided that was it. Early in September I visited an orchard with the children and bought two pumpkins that were nearly a matched group. I brought them home and temporarily set them by my front door on a couple of overturned pails. The flash of orange from the austere white and black of my entry was amazing, and that I could not wait to bring some flowers.

Alison Hodgson

At a local nursery, I showed the owner pictures of my front porch and the galvanized washtubs I wished to use as planters. After a bit of playing around we depended on three mums, a decorative kale and a decorative grass for every tub. The pumpkins will be tucked in the front of the tubs, with the kale falling.

Alison Hodgson

They looked beautiful and continued the rest of the season. And I was surprised to understand, as pretty as they had been, I didn’t get the exact same delight I had pulling into my driveway and viewing just the two pumpkins.

This year was particularly busy, and I chose to keep things simple. I kept my eyes open for a different pair of pumpkins (curling stalks were critical!) . The moment I found two I liked, I set them on their quasipedastals and have been enjoying them for weeks.

Last week I took two of my kids to the apple orchard, and they brought home tremendous pumpkins. We set them on the back porch, where we can view them through the French doors and admire them all day long. Four pumpkins are the extent of my autumn decorating, and I could not be happier.

Maybe you have had a busy season too and have been tempted to write off decorating, believing it’s too late to do anything. I hope you will be inspired by how the smallest bits can perform so much regardless of your house’s size or style.

Julie Ranee Photography

With the front porch you can see the hand of a maximalist clearly on the job — this homeowner didn’t skip anything.

Julie Ranee Photography

But if you pull tight and revolve around the front door, you will understand that the summertime planters, the cornstalks, the the wreath are a lovely combination. Even if you skipped the sunflower swag and everything else on your porch, it would still look fantastic.

You may be surprised to see just how far a bit goes, regardless of the size and style of home.

Rikki Snyder

Two large mums, also one medium mum, plus two small pumpkins and a scattering of leaves a perfect fall porch.

Banyon Tree Design Studio

Pine Street Carpenters & The Kitchen Studio

This house and the one above it could not be more distinct, but with just a couple of temptations on the steps are all that’s needed to bring a bit of fall beauty.

David Sharff Architect, P.C.

My default is to put this pair of mums on either side of the steps flanking the front door, but on an angle at the end of the bench looks just right.

Rikki Snyder

The large hanging basket with the exuberant porch planter and the ornate architecture is amazing. The simple addition of fitting mums and pumpkins is surprisingly ideal.

The Yellow Cape Cod

The enormous mum and enormous planter may not qualify as simple, but this is one of my favourite appearances, and it can be easily replicated: one large mum — it doesn’t have to be so large — yet another small mum, a tower of pumpkins and cornstalks about the columns. In case you have a wreath, fine, but skip it if you do not.

Rikki Snyder

Rikki Snyder

Here one small mum, one small pumpkin and a simple corn swag on the door are so gratifying.

As you can see, smaller mums look just fine; just be certain to match the container with the head of the flowers. The only way to really go wrong is with a small mum and a too-large container.

Rikki Snyder

Inform us : What about you? Are you a maximalist or a minimalist with autumn decor?

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