Plants and Pumpkins for a Tablescape

Darin Engh from Engh Gardens has some tricks for creating an impressive decoration from plants and pumpkins.

Out of the Garden Centerpiece


1. Hollow out pumpkin

2. Place 2-3 ornamental cabbage & kale inside pumpkin

3. Garnish with rosehips, oak leaves, maple leaves, and grapes or berries

4. Place wet sphagnum moss around edges to hold in place

Use as a beautiful temporary centerpiece, and afterwards, plant it and enjoy in your yard.

Burlap Tablecloth

Lay burlap across table, hot glue fall leaves where desired.

Baby Boo Placeholders

1. Hollow out pumpkin

2. Place a small votive of water inside.

3. Place a rose wrapped in cabbage leaves in the votive.

4. Cluster berries around the edge.

Use as placeholders or small party favors.

*Brush pumpkins will olive oil for that finishing touch.

Pumpkins – the ultimate symbol of fall. Their pleasing shapes and warm colors remind us of the smoky sweet glow of jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween and the taste of pumpkin pie by Thanksgiving. But when it comes to culinary charisma or decorative charm, not all pumpkins are created equal. Many heirloom varieties break the “round, orange” mold by offering different shapes, textures and unlikely colors like salmon, blue-gray and green. Such nontraditional pumpkins add uniqueness to fall decorating and bring amazing flavor to favorite pumpkin recipes.


Galeux d’Eysines (Cucurbita maxima) – meaning “Embroidered with warts from Eysines”, is a visual masterpiece. It has a pale salmon-orange skin covered with amazing veins of protruding warts and yields plenty of smooth, rich pumpkin for pie.

Long Island Cheese (Cucurbita moschata) – likened in appearance to a pale orange wheel of cheese. This is a pumpkin that is flat, tan, and utterly delicious. Inside is a buttery orange. Dry, non-stringy meat produces the most delicious pies, much favored by gourmet bakers.

Turk’s Turban-acorn squash

Turban squash are very distinctive, looking more like ornamental gourds than edible fruits. In fact, they are probably more popular for their decorativeness than for their taste, since the flesh is not that sweet even when ripe. Turbans are shaped like a large Buttercup, but most are orange or multi-colored (orange, green & white), with a very large knob on the flower end. The flesh is moister than most squash and is good in soups.

Baby Boo

Tiny little pumpkins, white in color.

Sweet dumpling winter squash are round, dainty, and a perfect single serving size. It has a very sweet, tender golden-orange flesh and is terrific for an individual stand-alone entrée or for stuffing. Very similar in taste to the Delicata. If they don’t sit perfectly level just trim a bit of the bottom off before baking.

Ornamental Cabbage & Kale

Ornamental cabbage and kale are cold-loving plants that thrive best in cool, moist, sunny locations. The foliage will be more vivid and attractive in cool weather. Light frosts will actually intensify the brightly colored inner rosette. These bright colors range from showy white, pink, and reddish-purple leaves. They are further grouped by leaf shape, cabbage with the round, smooth leaves, and kale with feathered or fringed leaves.

Magic Berry Coralberry

Large lilac-pink fruit adorn the arching stems of dark green foliage in fall. A vigorous yet graceful shrub that is effective in a shrub border, mass planting or large-scale ground cover.

For more information, you can contact Darin at Engh Gardens in Sandy or online at

Add comment