Third Time’s a Charm

Fall decor with bittersweet in a traditional living room. Pumpkin display using an urn and small cake plate. White pumpkins, plates, and more.

I know I keep showing you this dresser. I hope you don’t mind if I show it to you one more time…but this one’s a keeper! I just got the dresser and honestly wasn’t sure quite what to do with it. I have been trying one thing after another attempting to get it right. I think I may have finally done it.

Fall Decor with Bittersweet

I waited patiently all summer to cut my bittersweet. Here it is the day I cut it.

I brought it inside and started putting it in buckets and pitchers. I arranged everything while the vines were still fresh and pliable. Once it starts to dry it’s very difficult to work with and the berries fall off.

Then I waited.

And waited. It took 3 days for the berries to start popping.

But pop they did.

I felt like celebrating! I planted this bittersweet about 4 years ago. The first 2 years all I got were vines and leaves.

Last year I was able to cut about 4 pieces of vine that had berries.  It wasn’t until this year, 4 years in the making, that I really saw the fruits of my labor.

Patience does pay off.

An urn I already had…bittersweet…moss and a pumpkin.

I have learned to “never say never” but I plan to leave thisfall decor with bittersweet alone until I decorate for Christmas. By that time maybe I’ll have the dresser polished and repaired. One can only hope.

FYI ~ I had a few readers tell me they had never seen bittersweet or didn’t think it grew in their area. It grows wild mostly on the east coast of the U.S. as far south as North Carolina but has been known to thrive as far west as Nebraska. Many people don’t like it because it can be quite invasive. The vines grow up but they also grow down into the soil and spread. The berries come on in mid-summer. They are green at first and then turn to yellow. At this point it is ready to harvest. As it dries the berries pop open and the orange berry is exposed. Truly the moment of triumph.



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  1. Mickie Passmore says:

    A very elegant decor. I live in California and I have never heard of bittersweet.

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  4. Elzabeth@ Blue Clear Sky says:

    That is a pretty vignette, Ann. I especially like how you have the leaf plates standing up.

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  6. I love it- and the bittersweet is just gorgeous!! Thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

  7. Cathy@My1929Charmer says:

    I never knew you brought in the berries and then they popped? I’ve never grown it but happy yours is paying off for you. You can show me your dresser anytime you want, so incredibly beautiful! Thanks for sharing your inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  8. Now I never knew you could bring it in and have the berries pop but I am quite sure that my grandmother grew it and decorated with it every year…or gathered it in the woods or something / she’d use it, vines, driftwood, etc and create displays over her fireplace mantel with it

    Yours looks lovely :)

  9. Very interesting about the bittersweet. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it anywhere. The berries are so colorful and true fall colors. Your dresser is beautiful! I LOVE the pumpkin with stars. I have a ‘thing’ about stars. :)


  10. Andrea at Opulent Cottage says:

    Your new dresser is gorgeous! The vignette turned out perfect. And I’m swooning over those beautiful chairs!
    Cheers, Andrea

  11. Your bittersweet is beautiful, I would love to grow it.
    You vignette is beautiful and the pumpkins look really great, I love the dresser and what you’ve put on top.
    Love and hugs, Cindy

  12. Yes, I would say you have reach “success” with your vignette. It looks lovely. Bittersweet doesn’t grow around here (at least as far as I know), but I never knew that about the berries — looks perfect on your dresser.

  13. I had never seen bittersweet until people started sharing it on their blogs, and I can so see why everyone loves it. I live in North Carolina, but I haven’t seen any around here. I’ll have to check into it.

    Ann, your vignette is perfect.♥

  14. Nancy at maddalee says:

    Your blog is lovely, I’m so glad I came across it! I especially love the star pumpkin, very nice!

    Nancy at maddalee

  15. The bittersweet is gorgeous. I wish we had it. I have never heard of it in Texas, though. So you decided not to paint the dresser?

  16. I can never get tired of that dresser, it’s beautiful and it looks so nice with your Fall decor! The bittersweet adds the perfect little pops of color to your vignette! I love it!

  17. Well I guess you answered my question about whether bittersweet can grow in my area. I guess I’m too far south. It is so pretty and almost doesn’t look real! It’s so perfect looking. You are so lucky to be able to just clip that from your yard to use like that. It’s lovely around your pumpkins. That was smart thinking to grow it so you could use it like that.

  18. Beautiful vignette for your sideboard. Love the fall oranges and golds. Good job.

  19. Your autumn decor is gorgeous! And not only do I love your dresser, but the yellow slipper chairs that flank it. We don’t have bittersweet here in northern IL that I know of. Had no idea it “popped” like that when it dried out. So pretty!

  20. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    This dresser is a real winner, for sure! You have it decorated festively for fall! Oh, I would love to have a bittersweet in my yard! It gives any vignette that little touch of fall! Beautiful!

  21. Olive Cooper says:

    Bravo Ann. It is beautiful. I think that is how I felt when I was able to layer hydrangeas from the mother plant and grow my own hydrangea babies.

  22. Bittersweet just seems to make vignettes pop! Love it. Everything looks so festive!

  23. Brenda Kula-Pruitt says:

    I adore that dresser! And it looks so pretty with your fall vignette.

  24. Love the bittersweet, and thanks for explaining about where it can live. As I read your blog, I was wondering why I hadn’t planted this wonderful plant.
    I am in love with your pumpkin with the stars. Everything looks wonderful. :)

  25. Looking good! The dresser and all the goodies look beautiful. We don’t have bittersweet here in California…at least I haven’t seen it. The colors of the buds “shout” autumn!

  26. Beautiful symmetry and I love that bittersweet. Thanks for that info as I didn’t know. Now I will…..if I ever lay my hands on some!!!

  27. Just the right pop of color…looks wonderful. Thank you for all your recent recipes…I love to cook as well as decorate!

  28. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    It looks beautiful, Ann! I think the dresser has really fit in with your living room decor. I love it between the two chairs. Your decorations are beautifully done ~ simple yet elegant!

  29. Love the whole look Ann. Our bittersweet doesn’t bloom until early December here, so I use it at Christmas time. I haven’t even started decorating yet, I did manage to buy some mums and plop them on my porch but that’s all so far.

  30. Maury @ Life on Mars says:

    Beautiful! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that dresser and i would talk about it a lot too if it were mine :-) I love berries in the fall. I’m hosting a rehearsal dinner in a couple of weeks and I’ve ordered golden aster with red hypericum berries and I think it’s going to be so pretty!

  31. Gorgeous…I’ve never heard of bittersweet before….display is perfect for the season!

  32. Liz@Infuse With Liz says:

    That’s really neat Ann! I didn’t know how their berries changed!
    I like the urns with the pumpkins! I’m glad you embraced the chest
    and kept its original look!

  33. Jill Flory says:

    Absolutely beautiful! I like bittersweet too but have never used it. There are plenty of places around that sell it in the fall but I’ve never purchased it. If I spend money on some pumpkins I feel like that’s my allotment! I never thought of planting my own bittersweet! Wonder if my hubby would be agreeable to that!

  34. Denise T. says:

    Beautiful autumn arrangement.

  35. Keeping it Cozy says:

    Gorgeous! The dresser is so pretty I don’t ever get tired of looking at it! What a lovely fall vignette and the bittersweet truly makes it. You have a real talent for putting vignettes together… I love how it’s balanced, yet each side has its own personality. I could use your help in my house! :-)

  36. Ricki Jill Treleaven says:

    Very pretty, ANn….I love to use bittersweet in fall decor! Like the urn, too!!!

  37. Just gorgeous. I love the real bittersweet and always have. Very nice vignette!

  38. Leigh Powell Hines @Hinessightblog says:

    That is very pretty, Ann. I like the pumpkin with the cut-outs.

  39. Judy Clark says:

    Your chest is perfect and perfectly decorated. Love the pumpkins in the urns. Also the star pumpkin.


  40. Anne that chest is pretty and I love the vignette. Real bittersweet is a lot prettier than my fake stuff.

  41. I love your new arrangement! I think you perfected it, so I’d leave it until Christmas too!

  42. debbiedoos says:

    Third time is a charm Ann! I love this piece and you have it so tastefully decorated.

  43. Your chest is gorgeous and I’m jealous of your bittersweet. You really have patience to wait four years for berries. Sort of like my magnolia..I’m still waiting for blooms.. .Your vignette is really pretty, too.’

  44. Jessica @ Mom 4 Real says:

    It’s gorgeous, Ann! I am so jealous of your bittersweet…I am making a special trip to the Farmer’s Market this weekend to get mine. Your Fall vignette is so lovely,

  45. Your fall display looks very nice. Like the furniture, too! I need to get off my butt and do some decorating, but it’s more fun to look at everyone else’s! I had wondered where to get bittersweet. I didn’t know where it grew b/c I’ve lived in NC 45 yrs, and I have never seen any. I wonder if it grows in the eastern or western part of the state? Then again, I’d probably better stick to the artificial stuff. It’s not like I could keep it alive.

  46. Mary Alice Patterson says:

    Beautiful! Your bittersweet adds a gorgeous touch to your new vignette on your chest of drawers.
    Mary Alice

  47. Love this vignette. The berries are so beautiful and I just the the leaf plate a gorgeous.


  48. It’s absolutely beautiful! I like bittersweet. I’ll try to grow it next year. Great to arrange while pliable!

  49. Very Fall, it’s all so beautiful.. Love that urn as well. Where is the Growers Daughter??
    Probably too far for me. I can always dream. Linda

  50. How beautiful it all looks!! Very Fall. Love that urn as well. Where is the Growers Daughter??
    Probably too far for me. I can always dream. Linda

  51. Just beautiful, Ann…I love your Fall vignette!! Your bittersweet is so pretty…yes, your patience paid off.

  52. Ann, that chest has the prettiest patina and I love the vignette. It is perfect.

  53. GORGEOUS vignette Ann! I love it!

  54. Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers says:

    Oh, it looks wonderful! I love the look of bittersweet. I usually buy it cut from the farmers market, so I don’t have to worry about it taking over.

  55. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Ann! Yes, you’ve got it this time! I love the vignette & need to pin this.

    I had no idea about bittersweet either. I’ve never seen it real before. its’ so pretty!

  56. Michele @ Finch Rest says:

    Yes, ma’anm you TOTALLY got the dresser decorated perfectly- it looks GREAT, Ann!

    I am so excited about your bittersweet. I have always loved the real stuff but never planted it. It looks so awesome.

  57. Beth - VA says:

    i love the star pumpkin … i just love fall decor. so great!! i never will tire of your decor … that is why i keep coming back. ha. ha!! big hugs. (: