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.
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.