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.

Incrediball hydrangea with red coleus

Cottage Style Decorating with bold hydrangeas

Cottage style decorating with bold hydrangeas can be seen here at the home of Flowergardengirl in North Carolina zone 7. I’ve been working with hydrangea cultivars for the past 10 years and have learned what they will do fantastically and where they have weaknesses. They will bloom prolifically if fertilized at the right time. What you fertilize them with turns out to be a key factor. Continue reading

Store front seasonal landscaping to attract customer traffic

How to Increase customer foot traffic with store front seasonal landscaping

Have you ever wondered how to increase customer foot traffic with store front seasonal landscaping? I offer you this example which sets the mood before the customer enters the store. Showing the customer that first impressions are important starts with the store front landscaping.

Colorful annuals and bright textured greenery will enhance the look of your business and get the customer in the buying spirit. What is a buying spirit? One that starts with a good feeling about the place. One that draws the customer through the door. After all, you have to get them in the door to sell them something.

Your budget for retail landscaping should be between $500 to $1,000 dollars per season for front beds of this size. These beds belong to June DeLugas Interiors in Clemmons, NC. 

Architectural features, potted arrangements, ground plantings, and attractive mulch are the rule for retail landscaping projects.

These Foxtail ferns are set off by placing them in this statue fountain. The light green against the weathered concrete is both eye catching and calming. Makes you feel relaxed as you anticipate your shopping experience. Splashes of color dot around at every level.

We want the customer to window browse as they pass on the sidewalk. Get them to look at the landscaping and next they’ll be peering in the windows. That’s what I created with DeLugas’ Christmas store front displays.

I wasn’t going to miss this chance to let the flowers grow between the fence pickets. Makes folks smile as they cross over the threshold. It’s just one last chance to appreciate the business before they speak with a salesman. Almost everyone looks down when they open the front door.

There needs to be varying heights as done here with the Popcorn grafted shrub rose. There is another store front landscaping idea beyond and I’ve planted two roses to mark the beginning and ending of this cottage fairyland setting.

One topiary rose on each end of the property helps to mark the territory.

Both topiary rose trees are coming back in bloom after about 3 weeks of rest. They will cycle off and off until frost.

Don’t forget that under the awning and further back toward the store–you’ll have unique sun requirements. I’ve used begonias and impatiens for the shadier needs. They still pack non stop color and come in attractive colors and textures. Angel Wing begonias are fabulous for this instance because some store fronts have both harsh sun and shade as a challenge.

A major challenge for store front landscaping ideas is the need for tall plants that flower throughout the growing season. I addressed that issue with a cleome cultivar. They do not seed and achieve drawing the eye upwards toward the window.

A gate that leads to the window beyond this setting was placed as so because the owner’s list of services was painted on the glass. Customers might miss this information if it weren’t for the clever direction your eye takes as you admire the flow of the flowers.

Every angle was considered when it came to drawing the customer in the door.

Six packs of annuals are the focus for  this container arrangement idea. Don’t be boring. Use two different varieties.

Softscapes, hardscapes, texture, and color are all used to create June DeLugas Interiors store front curb appeal.

I’m sure you’ll agree. This is a place you’d feel would take care of your questions. They would be more inclined to give you personal service. That’s exactly how June wants you to feel. June DeLugas Interiors sells new and antique garden decor as part of their whole home decorating business. Drop by to see the showroom or call and make an appointment with June for your interior design consultation.

Nantucket Blue Hydrangea

Shocking blue hydrangea with Nantucket Blue

Meet the shocking blue hydrangea called Nantucket Blue. New petals look lemony yellow and then mature to this deep blue which is shockingly gorgeous.

It’s ok with me if you drool and gawk at these photos.

There are also shades of lavender on the same plant.

Loving the lemon lime new buds.

This hydrangea will bloom till frost cause it blooms on new wood.

I used Espoma Holly Tone in the spring and will apply again two more times before frost.

I live in zone 7 North Carolina and these grow in morning sun and afternoon shade.

And so cool it has some lavender blooms—which may be the case if your soil is higher in ph. This is not a type ph sensitive hydrangea but will show some variations. Add Espoma Soil Acidifier for blue hydrangeas to enhance the blue.

I’m going to cut a bouquet tomorrow. They have stolen my heart.

Hydrangea Bouquet from all of my hydrangeas can be viewed here.