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Butcher’s block - Sept. 18, 2013

My favorite time of the year is upon us! Cooler temperatures, football is in full swing, and of course Halloween candy fills the grocery store aisles! Fall brings with it not only the seasonal changes, but changes in the landscape. Out with the spring and summer plantings and time for the fall pansies and kale, and not to mention the pumpkins, gourds, and cornucopias! If you’re like me, the first crisp autumn morning brings the desire to decorate. My love of decorating is inherent; I am my mother’s son. My mother has always made sure that a house is so much more than four walls and a roof, but a home. So from the inside of the home to the outside, I strive to do the same.

I usually begin decorating for fall late September or early October. While the perennials will last all winter, all the extras have a much shorter life. Instead of having to replace the pumpkins and gourds you put out in October right before your Thanksgiving festivities I have found a few extra secrets to get the most out of your outside decorations.

1) Be picky about your pumpkins. When selecting any outside decorations make sure there are no cuts, knicks, or skin removed from the pumpkin or gourd. This will make the pumpkin begin rotting much sooner.

2) Make sure to select items that have a solid base. This prevents items from tipping over and laying in damp grass or flowerbeds that would facilitate decay.

3) The best kept secret is to purchase clear enamel spray paint. Make sure to clean the pumpkins or gourds well with a wet washcloth and allow to dry. Spray liberally with clear enamel spray paint, giving them a heavy glossy coat. This helps to protect against all the outside elements and also gives your décor a clean shiny look.

Happy fall, y’all!