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.

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Today is January 1st and I’m a Garden Blog celebrating 10 years online

Hey, I’m the garden blog of Flowergardengirl. Today is my 10th birthday. Today is January 1st and I’m a garden blog celebrating 10 years online. I’ve been through a dozen or more changes. I’ve been hosted at 10 different sites with WordPress being my favorite. I’ve grown to include several urls and we have big plans for 2012. We have become a company with tax id and everything.

We have never been anything more than a garden blog or page in our earlier life. We aren’t a professional institution. We came up through the ages the hard way. We aren’t affiliated with anyone. Mostly we just change at the whim of our owner. Sometimes she blogs a lot and then she gets distracted and we go on the back burner for a few days or weeks. We don’t always stay on topic and we love North Carolina. There will be more stories about North Carolina in the 2012 garden blog subjects.

The Flowergardengirl garden blog is going to get a huge dose of creativity during 2012. Read on:

1. It will host another blog for Best Garden Blogs. It’s called, a Garden Around the Corner.  Best Garden Blogs is under construction but you can follow the link for a sneak peek. Best Garden Blogs has been around for over a year now and was moved around in an effort to find the best and safest place to host it. The first year it was open—it was hacked and all the files were duplicated causing a nightmare for Anna. There is currently a backlog of blogs wanting to get in and will be included on the new website. So if you have requested to be included—be patient–it will happen. For now–go to our Facebook page and join! Garden Bloggers and Friends

Garden Bloggers and Friends will have a magazine which is part of the ongoing Best Garden Blogs magazine which has 3 issues already published. It too has seen growth and currently has over 1,000,000 views. The first issues are as follows: Toil the Soil, Toil the Soil With Chickens and More, and Toil the Soil March Issue of Kitchen Garden.

There is a spring 2012 issue planned and will focus on garden sheds. If you would like your shed considered then please use the contact form at the top of this website and send flowergardengirl a link to your blog. If you don’t have a blog then send her a photo of your shed and a brief description.

2. Flea Market Gardening is hosted here at the Flowergardengirl blog. Some of you notice when you arrive that the url changes to that address. Right now there are a few posts in the categories which cover the 2011 topics but there is so much more planned for this subject. Starting with—a mini magazine on Mason Jar bouquets. Watch for this to be released the end of January 2012.

If you would like to share your Mason Jar bouquet then email me a photo with your info to annalooper at gmail dot com. No entries after January 15th, 2012.

Subscribe to my site for future topics for these mini-magazines. See our first magazine here! Flea Market Gardening

3. Flowergardengirl will be posting daily again to this blog.

Flowergardengirl is a writer but she is not an English major. Her expertise is in computers, design, gardening, and flea market gardening. Should you find a grammatical mistake or misspelling….move along….and forgive. She wishes to blog and do her best in these areas of weakness but it’s just not her strength. Some folks choose not to write because they are afraid of mistakes. Anna chooses to write and not be handicapped by it.

Anna has a technical degree in electronics and produces her blog, magazines, and books on a MacBook Pro using numerous programs.

What jobs has Anna accomplished in her life:

Wife of 33 years, mother of two grown boys, mechanic on the flight line, cheerleader in high school, biology teacher for 10 years, waitress, owned a Service Master franchise, taught adult education classes to Air Force wives, career Air Force wife, pitcher for the women’s Air Force softball team, self published 4 magazines, built websites and community pages, managed a garden center, made moonshine, driven a race car, worked on a race car, water ski champion, driven cross country, designed a house, designed several gardens, designed container arrangements, won yard of the month in 3 states, podcast producer, produced commercial for local television, and the list goes on…. ;)

Some of her stories and photographs are published in known magazines, online publications, and professional materials. She is currently writing a historical novel about gardening and a children’s book about gardening for the deaf.

Looking forward to seeing you every day in 2012 and thank you for following my blog, my projects, my dreams, and my gardens. Hugs to you all—Anna

you can follow me on Facebook

Growing Your Grub interview with Flowergardengirl

Last week Steve Howard at Growing Your Grub sat down with Flowergardengirl and she shared tips and tricks for successful gardening. She also talks about how her new site, Best Garden Blogs has gained so much success.

Tomorrow–is the premier issue of Toil the Soil! A garden magazine for the everyday gardener. Giving gardeners a voice so others will be inspired.

Kitchen Gardening 101 with a twist

This is kitchen gardening 101 with a twist. The twist is……..

We are going to plant a vegetable garden hydrponically. The little cart above is a display at a nearby garden center and would not hold up to the process we’ll use in our backyard garden but isn’t it pretty?

(every time I say hay–that should say straw! do not use hay. Use rice, straw, alfalfa, wheat—but no hay)

When I say we, I am referring to Mr D and I. I do the planning and he supplies the muscle and money.

He was sitting in his Lay-Z-Boy tonight and I was surfing the internet for information on large scale raised bed gardens. When I was satisfied the moment was right….

Mr D–do you know what would be a good idea?

He says no.

Me: Well we need to build a garden out of oat/alfalfa/wheat bales and create a drip system that will constantly feed the system.

Mr D: Allright honey.

Me: We’ll get a bunch of alfalfa/wheat/rice bales and make a perimeter. More bales will be added in rows with an isle between and down the center.

Mr D: Uh huh.

Me: The back row will be three bales high with one bale butting right up to the bottom bale of that back row. The side rows will be two bales high. The front will be one bale high.

Mr D: We’re selling the truck you know?

Me: I know….but we can have the hay delivered.

Mr D: Won’t the hay decompose?

Me: Well yes but that is the point—it will rot from the inside out and that is what helps to feed/sustain the plants. The bales will last a season or two perhaps.

Mr D: They will sustain what?

Me: Corn, tomatoes, squash, beans, watermelons, and other vegetables.

Mr D: I will trust that you can grow vegetables in hay bales but how will you keep them watered?

Me: 4, 55 gallon water barrels will be located on each corner of the garden. They will be filled and garden hoses that will weave around the plants supplying a slow drip to the plants.

Mr D: 210 gallons of water a day? You do know we pay for our water?

Me: No silly, it’s a slow drip just to keep the hay wet.

Mr D: How will you keep the deer from eating the hay and your plants?

Me: They will be contained inside the fence we are going to build from metal fence post–inserted in the outer bales—and then wrapped in plastic screen material? The outer bales will be planted up with petunias which deer hate.

Mr D: Won’t this be ugly?

Me: No, cause we are going to put a cute screen door at the front entry and tons of other stuff around the perimeter to make it unique.

Mr D: Allright honey.

Me: Thank you! We won’t have to weed, bend over, water, or ever buy store bought veges again. We might need a freezer.

Bale growing is called hydroponics because you need to keep the bales wet for the system to work. I want to raise the beds because water run off is always contaminated unless you live in the boondocks. Last year my plants suffered a bit from being in the ground and receiving run off water.  I will fill the drums with tap water which will sit long enough to evaporate the chlorine.

Bale gardening is supposed to use less water believe it or not. I’m going to attach inexpensive hoses to the bottom of the drums and then poke a hole where each plant is located. When I need to fertilize, I’ll just add it to the water in the drum. I’m going to use compost tea. Espoma has a new organic fertilizer called Gro-Tone that I trialed last year and loved it.

Stay tuned everyone. I will document the process.