Masses of mums have arrived at local garden stores, ready to be shepherded to our dooryards to replace summer’s now-bedraggled geraniums. Natalie Van Staden stands surrounded by what seems like acres of them, deep-green mounds with alien eyes peeking up, just beginning to open. “This is really how I like them best,” she says.
If pairing a mum with a pumpkin is the way you give a one-day-to-the-next fall makeover to your front porch, Van Staden would like to help you change that. Following her around Bayberry Gardens — the Truro nursery she and her sister Brittany Souza and brother-in-law Tom Kane manage — is a lesson in a different approach that takes advantage of the plants’ autumnal hues but makes them players in a scene that is wilder and more real. And because she pairs them with perennials, her choices are practical, too.
What Natalie sets up to decorate the dooryard now will play a role in the landscape later, permanently planted there once the weather turns cold.