With October just around the corner, it is time to get my pumpkin on. Truthfully, nothing makes me happier than the prospect of fall. I think I’ve become even more obsessed with it since I moved to California because our seasons really aren’t so pronounced and therefore you have to work that much harder to actually feel the transition. 80 degrees? Don’t care- I am unapologetically putting that football game on, making a pot of chili, and squeezing into my skinny jeans and Frye booties. Ideally I’d throw on my new Anthropologie wool poncho to complete the autumn vibe, but I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it (and remember, I do not have AC).
Another fall ritual in my house is “pumpkin” branches. I first discovered these artistic gems at Trader Joe’s when I moved to San Francisco in October 2005. They have carried them every year since and like clockwork, they show up in the flower section about mid-September and on my table shortly thereafter. For $6.99 I think they make a stunning fall statement and there is virtually nothing to do to arrange them. Just stick them in your favorite vase and voila, fall has arrived.
Or, to keep it even more simple, just pull the branches apart and put them in individual vases and scatter them around the house (on a mantel or a bedside table, for example).
This is actually an old wine jug from a winery in Santa Barbara and I just washed it out and peeled off the label (yup, that’s how we roll in this house…jugs o’ wine). It’s perfect for branches and single blooms.
Now I love, love, love orange, but sometimes I also feel like less is more. So with a pop of color in my kitchen, I was confident doing a more subtle fall spread in our dining room. I picked up these grey and white pumpkins at Roger’s Garden in Newport Beach. I realize grey pumpkins are tougher to come by, but white ones are easy to find and I think they too are unique, especially when clustered together in various sizes.
Don’t make it complicated. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a pile of pumpkins at the supermarket. These little guys are $0.99 each and look adorable in a bowl or basket or scattered down a table.
Besides, while there are many little things you can do to enhance the change of seasons, even in Southern California where we are in the height of an Indian Summer, there is still unarguably something about the late afternoon light and the quality of the evenings that unequivocally says “fall” regardless of whether you have pumpkins on your table or chili simmering on the stove. Enjoy it. Don’t make it a big deal or you’ll miss the moment while it’s here.