Using nature’s harvest and a bit of imagination to liven up the landscape

Story and Photos by Susan Jasan

Fall is a delightful time of year with cooler temperatures, fall color, and a bountiful harvest from your summer garden. It’s a delightful time for youth and adults alike as Halloween brings alive a host of imaginary creatures.

A little imagination goes a long way in this rake and hose lady. It appears a tomato plant frame was used for part of the design. Any remnant fabrics or old clothes round out the ensemble.

Your garden or home landscape is a perfect setting for any creature your imagination can conjure up. Create a burlap pooch or turn a leaf rake into a garden doll. A pumpkin tower is great fun and can be any size. Imagine a pumpkin house, whether full size or in miniature, sure to attract the attention and interest of visitors and passersby.

This straw, corn stalk, and pumpkin house is a favorite. A wire and wood frame support the structure.
Mr. & Mrs. delight in a sunny fall afternoon in the lawn. Artificial heads were used here to lengthen the show over a long period in this public garden.

Plan a get-together of friends and family. Have them bring pumpkins, garden items, old clothing, garden tools, and an assortment of household items or decorations from any season. Put all of the various items together and have a scarecrow-making contest. I’ll bet the kids will come up with the most creative creatures of all!

Baskets, straw, dried grasses, and a bounty of pumpkins and gourds make a great backdrop, whether for passersby at your home, family fall pictures, or here on the hillside among an assortment of fellow “scarecrows.”
A scarecrow made of a pitchfork, watermelon, and sunflowers seems to have trouble keeping up with the delightful burlap bow-wow.

On another note, consider adding some “naturally formed insects” to your repertoire. Artist David Rogers has been creating fascinating “Big Bugs” since 1994. Each one is crafted from natural materials with lessons about the insects. His goal is to help the public learn and appreciate the value and role of insects in our environment.

David Rogers’ Ants sculpture is 25 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 10 feet high. Rods of bent willow make up the body and antennae, with cedar legs.

Consider making your own insects, on a smaller scale, to mimic Rogers’ work. There would be lessons in materials, structure, and nature all wrapped up in one.

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