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Succulent topped pumpkin

My New Favorite Succulent Pumpkin

 

Succulent topped pumpkin

I like how Pat varied the colors of the nandina pods, using green, orange and red.

I found my new favorite succulent pumpkin on the Instagram feed of Pat Roach of Cerritos, CA. I love its loose, airy look, which came about, Pat says, because her original design needed something. "I wasn't thrilled with it," she admits. "After I glue-gunned all the cuttings, it looked heavy, dark and dense." Inspiration struck when she noticed sprays of pea-like seeds in her front yard, growing on heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica, USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10).

Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica)

Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica)

Pat "fixed" her pumpkin by adding a dozen seed-pod sprays, each about four to six inches. The pumpkin itself is 2 feet in diameter, and the succulents---also from her garden---include echeverias, kalanchoes and crassulas. Trailing cuttings of blue-gray Lampranthus deltoides and red-stemmed Othonna capensis 'Ruby Necklace' contrast nicely with the pumpkin's heft and visually tie the arrangement to its "container."

Not that the pumpkin actually contains anything; embellishments are  simply attached to it. Using hot glue makes such compositions easy to assemble, and because the squash stays intact (and succulents live off moisture in their leaves), it'll last for months.

In her post, Pat graciously credits designer Laura Eubanks for the inspiration. She also mentions "Make a Succulent-Topped Pumpkin," the YouTube how-to that Laura and I made back in 2013, when topping pumpkins with succulents was new. As Pat notes, "They're everywhere now. All over the world!"

Laura Eubanks and Debra Lee Baldwin video

Succulent-Topped Pumpkin Design Ideas

This gallery of succulent-topped pumpkin design ideas are mostly by Laura Eubanks of Design for Serenity, who pioneered the concept in 2011. It caught on immediately, becoming as popular for fall decor as wreaths are for the holidays. After several years of making pumpkins for sale, Laura now devotes her time to designing in-ground gardens.…

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Make a Succulent Cornucopia

A succulent cornucopia makes a refreshing update on the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece, and then after the holiday, you can remove the plants and pot them.  As early as midsummer, craft stores begin stocking holiday containers like this wicker cornucopia

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