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In this project, we will plant a fall urn, with guest June Spanier of June of All Trades. June will demonstrate how to use the best of colorful fall plants to create a vibrant autumn arragement for your frontdoor decor.

While watching this video, you will also notice an inset picture-in-picture demo. June will simultaneously demonstrate how to use the same plants to build a similar arrangement using the 36" Sonata.


  1. one 23" Crescendo Urn

  2. soil to fill 3/4 of the container 

  3. gardening gloves

  4. fall flowers and plants from your local garden supply/greenhouse, 
    June used:
    ·  rudbeckia
    ·  kale
    ·  celosia, June chose bright red
    ·  dusty miller

    ·  chrysanthemum, yellow

  5. faux pumpkin decoration on picks/sticks (but you can also use real)



First, start with a great container.  June likes the 23" Crescendo Urn from TierraVerde because it is made of 100% recycled materials, and is lightweight so it is easy to move around, if you need to, after your arrangement is planted.  Keep the water reservoir in, but remove the drainage plug for use outdoors.

Start by filling the container with soil, about 3" from the rim of the planter.



Create a focal point.

Start with rudbeckia, which is has a bright yellow flower with a brown center.  This perennial is available from garden centers, blooms in August and will stand up to changes in temperature as the nights begin to cool in Fall.

Tickle the roots to open the root ball once you remove the plant from its nursery container.  In this arrangement, June is planting this tall plant towards the back of the planter, so create height.  This plant will be the focal point.





Add some bright fall color!  Celosia is a good choice because of the itensity of its red or yellow hues.  It also comes in orange, or pink, so check the availability at your garden center.   Because these plants are often grown as bedding plants in gardens, you could replant these from your own garden into the container in Fall.

In this arrangement, June is placing the celosia beside the rudbekia, at the back of the planter.




We will now start building the arrangement towards the front of the planter.  June next plants dusty miller.  This silvery, spiny leaf will contrast against the large green leaves of the rudbekia and the celosia.  Plant the dusty miller in the front, on one of the sides.  If you want symmetry, you will need to plant two dusty miller plants, one on each side of the planter.

In this arrangement, June is planting an asymmetrical design, so will only plant one pot per plant type.

As you layer in these smaller plants, remember to backfill the soil.

Next, add the mum.  Here, June chose yellow, but chrysanthemums are available in a wide variety of colors including many variations of oranges, rusts and reds.  These color options can help with your overall palette direction for your design.  Plant the mum in the front of the arrangement, opposite to the dusty miller.  Leave space in the front centre for the kale.

Next, add the kale or cabbage.  These are hardy and cold-weather loving.  They will become more vibrant as temperatures cool throughout the season.


Add some final decorations such as faux pumpkins, if you like.  You can use real mini pumpkins, also.  However, these could start to get mushy as the season progresses, so keep this in mind.  

When using decorative elements such as faux pumpkins on picks/sticks, remember to push the object down into the soil so that the pick/stick is not visible!


Remember to keep watering your live plants throughout the season.  

Photography and video credits:  Dane Nelsen, Minnesota

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