Tar and Feathers
Flock of Crows
Black birds set an unwelcoming scene when they alight around a doorway flanked with stalks of dried corn. There are two kinds of crows here: Some are cut from tar paper, a weatherproof material used in roofing, and others are artificial store-bought ones. Both perch on vines and pumpkins with the help of metal wires.
Someone mischievous must have dug up these pumpkins etched with designs inspired by plant roots; tar-paper leaves and vines climb the wall behind them. Embrace the quirks of nature for this display: At the pumpkin patch, pass over perfect-looking globes and opt instead for those with lopsided shapes, cracks, and unusual shadings.
Stalks on the Dark Side
Ears of decorative corn turn sinister, courtesy of a generous coat of black spray paint. The dried husks are braided around wire to make a door swag that’s subtly spooky—and simultaneously chic.
Autumn’s bounty has found its way from the field, creating a seasonal backdrop for a sit-down feast. Look for unusual produce at the farmers’ market or pumpkin patch, keeping an eye out for moody hues and interesting shapes and textures. This display includes Black Futsu and Long Island Cheese pumpkins, as well as bowls of knobby black radishes.
Cool-season crops converge to form beings that stand guard over the fields (or the porch). Inspired by the celebrated fruit-and-vegetable portraits of Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, these faces are made of produce and plants. A scarecrow sees it all with eyes made of cabbage leaves, a bur-oak acorn cap, and a white bean. A Spanish-moss beard and burlap cloak keep him shrouded in mystery.
A parsnip nose, long-bean eyebrows, and a black-carrot mouth add character to a warty face inspired by a creepy count.