Closeup of pumpkins and fall leaves

How to Refresh Your Planters for Fall — The Lazy Way


How to refresh those tired, parched summer garden planters for Fall with color and with ease in less than 20 minutes!

I really, really intended to replant our garden pots on our courtyard entrance for Fall.

I really did!

But then . . . . .

. . . . then it was the middle of October!

Anyone else?

Nothing says “Welcome” like crusted over, dried up, let’s face it, dead, mop-head grass.

Just being real, folks!

Finally enough is enough.

If I couldn’t find time to plant something fresh, maybe I could turn what I had into a purposeful display. Make it look intentional, rather than just lazy.


closeup of decorative terra cotta planter with dried grass tied with burlap ribbon

I cut a long length of burlap for each planter.

Tied it nice and tight, up high with a square knot and left the two tails hang over the front of the planter.

Now my dried, sad grass is the anchor, the focal point for a fresh Fall display!!! 


Decorative terra cotta pot with tall tuft of dried grass surrounded by three different colored pumpkins and fall leaves

Now it’s as simple as tucking in variety of pumpkins, guords and faux Fall leaves.

Some of these pumpkins are real and some are on picks that stick down into the soil. Be sure not to use loose faux pumpkins or your down wind neighbors will enjoy all the color in their yards.


view from above of three different colored pumpkins with faux fall leaves and berries tucked in for filler
The other planter with more pumpkins and leaves and the burlap ribbon tails

That took less than 20 minutes even counting cutting the burlap!

Full disclosure: I spent another 15 minutes locating a bag of Fall leaves and pumpkins in my decor stash.



View of both finished planters on the courtyard entrance columns at dusk

And I love them even more at dusk.

Why did I put this off, when it ended up being soooo simple?

If you have an annual grass that is done, even if it’s in the ground rather than a pot, think about tying it up with Fall colored ribbon or burlap to be the anchor of a great Fall display. Once it’s tied up to look intentional, add in your Fall accents with mums, leaves, pumpkins and guords. Choose the colors you love and work in your garden and with your house. if you need some height, add a garden stool or maybe a small hay bale. 



The Big Takeaway:

Transition your dried summer grasses for Fall with some ribbon to become the focal point for Fall decor.

Then add the Fall colors and icons of pumpkins, mums and guords. You’re set. Couldn’t be any easier, or cheaper (two of my favorite adverbs).


  1. Barbara at Mantel and Table

    Brilliant Diane! I’ve had so many dried up porch planters over the years. This would have saved me so much angst. THIS year will be easy thanks to you! So THANKS!

  2. Rebecca

    Fabulous job. So pretty.

    • Diane

      Thanks Rebecca!

  3. Donna

    What a fabulous idea! Talk about making lemonade from lemons! Love it!

    • Diane

      Thanks Donna! I am the ultimate lazy gardener — at least at the end of the season, when the heat and bugs have worn me down!



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Diane Sudhoff
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