Fall Fruits for Decorating

Orange, red, and gold, are the most identifiable colors of fall, so seasonal decorating commands them if you prefer traditional color themes. Creating harvest hues is easiest when you have a good palette of garden material to gather. Here are several bright, festive fruits that no garden should be without. All can be used to create a warm, homey indoor and outdoor decor.

Festive, Decorative Fruits

The deepest orange-red ‘Rouge Vif D’Etampes‘ pumpkins make delicious pie and are premium decorating squashes.

Pumpkins are a must, but not all orange pumpkins are the same. Some are squashed, such as the classic, broadly ribbed, darkest orange-red ‘Rouge Vif D’Etampes‘ pumpkin. The smoother, comparably shaped heirloom ‘Long Island Cheese‘ is a near-neutral pale fawn orange. Then there are classic pumpkins decorated with devilishly decorative warts, such as the prolific ‘Grizzly Bear‘, or larger ‘Knuckle Head‘. For real decorative presence and find jack-o-lantern making look for the large, tall, deeply ribbed ‘Igor‘ or try growing it next year.

‘Atomic Orange’ soft flint corn has real autumnal good looks. (Image by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)

If you like to decorate with dried ornamental corn, then put some pretty varieties on your list for next year’s garden and seek out favorites at local farmer’s markets. Of the beautiful orange bunch, ‘Atomic Orange’ Corn most certainly has the biggest WOW factor. The soft flint corn is the deepest orange imaginable. For a color fiesta, brilliant ‘Painted Mountain Corn‘ comes in spectacular color mixes and the plants are prolific!

Stems of dried Tabasco peppers brighten up a rustic vase.

Pots of festive ornamental peppers, such as the hot and tasty ‘Pippin’s Golden Honey‘, which has peppers that turn from purple to yellow to orange, or sweet ‘Tangerine Dream‘, make great container specimens that look good outdoors for front door or patio decorating or indoors for the Halloween or Thanksgiving holidays. (Click here to learn how to make beautiful seasonal containers with hot peppers.) Pepper stems also look beautiful when dried and added to vases in autumn. The fruits retain their color for some time.

Red and yellow blend into a pleasing orange, making the ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ one of the prettiest as well as tastiest apples for the table.

Harvest tables look appealing with decorative orange apples, squash, and other seasonal fruits. The 1830 English heirloom apple ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin‘ has decorative bright yellow fruits blushed with red and orange. It also has remarkable flavor. Some even rate it as one of the best eating apples available. Gardeners with enough space may consider planting a couple of these desirable fruits trees.

Fruits and berries can be grown or collected. Brilliant orange bittersweet vines from wooded roadsides are worth collecting for table arrangements as are the berried branches of brilliant orange-red Pyracantha fruits or viburnum berries (Click here to learn more about growing native viburnum for fall).

Collect these and other garden gems for decorative Placement Indoors and Outdoors. Add to your arrangements the last flowers of the season or bright newly fallen leaves. The natural color of the seasons never fails to brighten the home.


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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