Coming Clean

Okay, the succulent-packed pumpkin in the previous post cost just a fraction of the amount named.  It was all a bit tongue-in-cheek, because little projects like this always add up to more than expected.  The actual cost was about $60, with two-thirds ($40) going towards succulents.  Five or so years ago, the selection of succulents was limited, but they could be bought for a pittance.  Now, however, they are “in,” and the cost is two or more times what it was just a short time ago.

Also, the pumpkin is a hard-skinned French heirloom, ‘Rouge vif D’Etampes’, and can last months indoors.  Perhaps even more importantly, the fruit is not cut; green sheet moss is glued to the top of the pumpkin and then, to hold the succulents, a plastic pot liner (trimmed to 1-inch tall) is glued to the moss, as shown below.  For more tips, you can read the column in the Greenville News here.


Cinderella pumpkin–ready for a top mop of succulents. Arrange from the outside toward the center, trailing types first, then rosettes, and finally upright forms.

In the U.S., seeds for the Cinderella pumpkin can be found online at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Moving on to something new, look at this chrysanthemum and butterfly I spied yesterday at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The mum is ‘Miss Gloria’s Thanksgiving Day’ and the butterfly is an American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis).  It’s very similar to the better known Painted Lady, but can be distinguished by the small white spot on its foreweing in the orange field just below the black apical patch, as well as two large eyespots on its hindwing, best seen from the underside when the wings are closed.


An American Lady visiting ‘Miss Gloria’s Thanksgiving Day.”


16 thoughts on “Coming Clean

      1. Pam Allgood

        Those hard shell squashs do last a looong time! I think you should try for at least 6 months! Think of all the cute things you could decorate it with-miniature champagne flutes for New Years, hearts for Valentines, shamrocks for St Pats, etc! LOL!

  1. susurrus

    Gardening projects do have a way of going over budget but I’m glad you ‘fessed up. $287 did seem a bit steep. Having said that, you might be lucky to buy one as nice for that from a designer florist (I hear they charge at least $30 per burnt finger).

  2. Mary Hancock

    We were the first to know about the details at Fearrington Garden Club. Thanks for being our special “famous” guest speaker. We loved your talk.

  3. Marian St.Clair Post author

    Chloris–Both the chrysanthemum and the butterfly were a surprise. Goodness–look how beautiful they were on November 16–and it was 33 F (just above freezing) early that morning. The butterfly was very quick and hard to photograph, but I was happy with this pic.

  4. Hoe hoe grow

    Looks very interesting, and I guess it will last a fair while too. I am unable to give it a go as naughty mice ate lots of tiny chunks out of my pumpkins while they were still growing!

  5. pbmgarden

    I like that chrysanthemum. “Miss Gloria” would be pleased, don’t you think, to host the gorgeous American Lady. Usually in late October i get a few days to enjoy monarchs passing through, but sadly this year they didn’t come.


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