Christel Colla's autumn pumpkin arrangement

Pumpkin Lemongrass Chrysanthemum Autumn Containers with Christel Colla

Pumpkin Lemongrass chrysanthemum autumn containers with Christel Colla! 

I’ve introduced you to Christel’s kitchen garden  and her husband’s collection of tin signs so let’s see what Christel is doing today. Looks like she’s made us some pumpkin Lemongrass chrysanthemum autumn containers.

She’s the most inspiring person always coming up with new garden designs or making some kind of outstanding container arrangement. Her talents go beyond the garden to music and card crafting. I’ve never seen a person be so obedient to God to develop all that God has given them and she’s so generous to share. Thank you Christel.

Her husband Johnny….cut out the tops and Christel scooped out the insides which makes them last longer. Christel lives in California and that day it was rather warm but the cooler days to come will extend the life…..the good part is the pumpkins can be easily peeled away at planting time and all goes right in the garden or divided for places in other containers. If you live in a frost free zone…the mums will continue to be green for quite some time.

She said the pumpkin scraping was labor intensive. She was so tired but this part can’t be skipped or you’ll have a rotten mess too quickly before the season is done. Good job my dear friend. You always go the extra mile and do it right.

Please leave a comment telling Christel how much you enjoyed her giving us step by step instructions. I enjoyed it so much that I just had to share.

Christel first used Lemongrass and planted that in the pumpkins.

Next up the autumn flower selections

Sitting on Christel’s porch is a gorgeous pot of ornamental peppers…fittingly..a nice companion autumn container arrangement with the pumpkins.

And isn’t it to die for…..

Christel’s husband..Johnny..cut the pumpkins for her. This is a hard task and he is using a hand held power saw. Pretty smart I’d say. Saved Christel an hour or more she said. She was grateful. Johnny helps her do a lot of things…both are lucky to have each other. Both are immensely talented in a lot of areas.

Thank you so much for letting me use your photos Christel. I love you for it.

Thought you might also like to see Christel’s kitchen garden from a few years past. I featured her in a magazine that is no longer around but these photos sure tell the story. Christel changes this with each year and season and her fruits have grown in so nicely. She does keep up her bird feeders every day. Hats off sweet friend. Always a pleasure.

yellow fiat bees jpeg

I think a Fiat would make me feel better…so Fiat, make my day!

I think a Fiat would make me feel better… so Fiat, make my day! I’m going through a bit of a challenge right now and at the moment during my painful delirious moment all I can think about is owning a fiat decorated like the two above. You see, I’ve got Ramsay Hunt Syndrome which a lot of my readers don’t know and today the news got worse. Because of my weakened immune system, I’ve been diagnosed with Polymyalgia Rheumatica and I can barely type this. Next week I go for a biopsy of a nerve in my face. All of this in hopes that super steroids will ease the pain in my joints and stop the prognosis of going blind.

Oh, that sounds so horrible right? I got Ramsay Hunt Syndrome because the chicken pox virus hid in my face nerves and reared its ugly head about 6 weeks ago. An awful pain in the ear and then total paralysis on the right side of my face. Driving a Fiat 500 has the power to make that seem trivial. Today the paralysis is 80% improved but I still have post herpatic neuralgia which means the ear and jaw pain stuck around. The doctor said that only a Fiat 500 would make a difference.

Since all this pain was sticking around and my joints felt like they were on fire every time I moved—I went back to the neurologist–who asked me if I had a Fiat 500 yet. I said no–so he said–well let’s do more test and they came back that I have major body inflammation. I have twice the normal readings for that sort of thing. Super steroids and more pain killers were prescribed. The doctor is certain I have Polymyalgia Rheumatica. It will take me up to two years to recover all the while taking all those steroids. I need to do low intensity exercise which I assume to mean driving a Fiat 500 to the YMCA to go swimming and such easy stuff.

I am a hugely talented garden artist and have been turning down lots of jobs due to my illness. I do not want to quit designing and have kept two very important clients. If I can get to feeling better, I’ll rebuild my business but in a totally different way. I’m going to put in a killer kitchen garden in my backyard. Think garden design beyond your wildest imagination. It will have a screen door, ornamentals and edibles, places to sit, shed of my dreams, fence that will stop traffic with its beauty, and paths all over. I will give tours and have educational type things. Fiat….are you up for the challenge? Sponsor my dreams? Pretty please.

Now I can pretty much deal with all this pain and suffering. I can deal with the couple of years I’m going to need steroids and pain killers. I can deal with the fact that I won’t be gardening as much. But I can’t deal with the fact that I don’t own a Fiat 500.

If I owned a Fiat 500, it would encourage me to go to the YMCA and swim and workout enough so that when I do get stronger—I can garden again–and haul my flowers around in the coolest car on the planet.

And you Fiat? What say you?


merle cocker spaniel puppy

Writing what you think and thinking while you write

Me and the Hobbes puppy went walking in the park this afternoon. I’m debating writing what you think and thinking while you write. Hobbes was just happy he didn’t have to do either.

I have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome which is the chicken pox virus active in my facial nerves. It’s basically shingles in those nerves. If you’ve had shingles then you know I’ve been in tremendous pain. But Neurontin and pain killers have kept me afloat. Well mostly I’ve been kept afloat with prayer. I hugely believe in prayer. Continue reading

Fine Wine weigela, Snow Storm spirea, Oso Easy Paprika, and Gertrude in unison

This is the spring shout out by ‘Fine Wine’ weigela, ‘Snow Storm’ spirea, Oso Easy™ ‘Paprika’, and ‘Gertrude Jekyll’. I can’t believe my good fortune to have them all blooming at once. ‘Paprika’ is more manageable of the Oso Easy™ roses. I’ve had them all and they were aggressive growers taking over huge areas of the bed. I ended up giving them to a landscaping company and only kept ‘Paprika’. I love it….looks like orange sherbert with lemon drop centers. Look delicious.

 Oso Easy ‘Paprika’ is practically pest resistant. I use Safer™ 3 in 1 to help control mildew and aphids. This time of year in my zone 7a high humidity gardens the aphids run rampant and will attack the new growth. Safer™ takes care of pest and mildew as will Hot Pepper Wax and both do it organically.

I love the dark green leaves with the orange flowers. Hard to find a pretty orange and this is a grand one. This is spring 2011 with Flowergardengirl.

Just behind the Oso Easy™ ‘Paprika’ is another ornamental shrub by Proven Winners Plants and I had to move this ‘Snow Storm’ spirea 4 times before finding a spot it liked. Each time I moved it—it took a season before it recovered. This is its prettiest season yet. It is in a semi dry spot, with about 4 hours of direct sun a day. It blooms profusely for about 2 months. It didn’t like our hot drought summer of 2009 and was in a location too dry and too many hours of sun–the leaves burned up. Then it was in a spot too wet in the summer of 2008. Now it’s happy. Continue reading