On a cool, shady porch, an arrangement of pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash can last for months. Tucking small pots of ivy down among the fruits softens the hard shapes and adds graceful lines.
Thanks to constant hybridizing and the rediscovery of heirloom varieties, pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash are now available in an astonishing range of shapes, colors, and textures. Farmers’ markets and pick-your-own farms are good sources for these varieties, and even grocery stores stock a wide selection in season. Pumpkins and winter squash displayed outdoors will last longer if they’re in the shade rather than in direct sun. If nighttime temperatures are likely to drop below freezing, cover them with a blanket to protect them from the frost. If they begin to soften but aren’t moldy, use them for cooking. Gourds can be dried and used year after year.