Fantastic Fall Fete

Fall is perfect for outdoor entertaining. Crisp air, blue skies, and colorful foliage set the scene. Add flowers, candles, and cherished friends and family, and you have a memorable afternoon en plein air.


A simple lineup of candles and flowers adds a showy display to a table. Cart your best and favorite dishes outside and indulge.



pull out the stops for entertaining

Decorate your patio or deck just as you would your formal dining room. Guests will love the thoughtful touches and spectacular sights you create with seasonal flowers, produce, and nuts. A three-tiered stand (left) is laden with squash, roses, nuts, and apples. Arrange with candles for a centerpiece that glows at twilight. The dining table (below) has a stenciled table runner, a stenciled tray, and mini galvanized buckets with roses and feverfew. A twiggy container lined with a glass cylinder holds a showstopping arrangement of flowers and foliage. Flowers draw guests to the table.

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The bounty of fall begs us to go outside and celebrate the beauty of nature.


mix and match

One type of bloom is nice, but a mix is nicer. Create something super-special with a variety of fresh flowers from the farm stand: zinnias, roses, and dahlias, in colors of the season. Pretty wine bottles add artful drama. Copper- and verdigris-painted walnuts complement a silvered antler.


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A breakfront of flowers impresses guests. Add leaves and twigs, and send friends home with wrapped bundles when the evening ends.


Nature provides a bounty of decorative inspiration.

entertaining checklist

For the best party, attend to the details beforehand. That way, you can spend all your time with your guests.

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• Table

• Chairs

• Trays and totes


Tablecloth or runner







Stock up on farm-stand flowers and seasonal produce, and cut a bit of foliage from your yard. Make sure you have plenty of wine and other beverages for nondrinkers.  


DIY nut wreath

Nuts in their shells are durable, long-lasting and can be reused from year to year. Simply secure a mix of walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts to a 10-inch wreath form with hot glue. Paint the nuts a copper color and finish with a verdigris wash from the paint section of a craft store. Hang the wreath in a cool, dry place, away from weather. The wreath can also be used horizontally, as a candle ring.

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