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Hi everyone!

In reviewing my stats this morning for this blog site, there are two key items people are searching for:

How to Overwinter Plants AND Holiday Workshops

OVERWINTERING

I’ll start with the “overwintering” topic. I’ve shared a few video’s on my process on how to overwinter specific tropical plants on my Container Crazy CT Facebook page. If you visit there, scroll down to find several. This should be helpful to you. There are also various posts on this blog showing the process – use the search bar to find them, which I see some of you have!

HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS

On the Holiday Workshops, please visit my sister site called WorkshopsCT – that is Workshops (with an “s”) – sometimes missed is that s, and CT for me, Cathy Testa or Connecticut!

As of today, my first holiday workshop in early December is completely sold out – and all attendees have been contacted (emailed) just yesterday to ask which item they plan to make.

I will be contacting workshop no. 2 attendees for the weeknight workshop soon as well.

I’m also offering a mini workshop at a senior center right after that – then comes my custom orders!

All current information about my holiday workshops are on www.WORKSHOPSCT.com.

Gift Card in PPT

HOLIDAY GIFT CARDS

Additionally, don’t forget, this is a GREAT time to get a gift card for anyone you wish to provide a gift to this upcoming season. They are applicable to workshops registration fees based on the amount you desire.

SHOP SMALL DAY RAFFLE

And, I will be raffling off a decorative item on Shop Small Day, November 25th – so stay tuned to my Facebook page under Container Crazy CT to learn more about that.

To enter the raffle, there will be some guidelines, such as like the page, share the post, tag a friend, and you must pick up the prize if you win!

TODAY’S FROST

It was definitely frosty this morning – I know, because after a very early brisk morning walk, I walked over to my greenhouse to check if the heat was working properly – and it is!

The glistening sparkles on my hydrangea, along the path to the greenhouse, was as shiny as a Christmas tree as the morning sun was hitting the frost upon the leaves.

If you didn’t move, dig out, or protect your tropical plants by now – I suspect they are damaged by the frost.

We had a good season of being able to wait – because we had the warmest October on record here in Connecticut, and my plants, like my Mandevilla and Cannas were still blooming yesterday.

We got a few extra weeks of time to get our gardening chores done. Most weather reporters on t.v. were saying the “growing season” was over as they gave everyone the heads up of the frost coming this week, and they continued with saying that most people wouldn’t have plants out this time anyways – but NOT TRUE. Plant people like to save the enjoyment as long as possible. You may have been pushing the limits of the outdoor plants.

Fortunately, I had taken down my last big red banana plant on Monday – and glad I did – Even though, it did not get hit by frost yet, I noticed the root base had a portion which got mushy – which meant it was starting to rot a little – so, although we did not have frost yet, and the days were warm, the soil was cold and wet – always something to consider, so it was good I got it out and stored before that rotting situation got worse – and got other tropical plants dug out earlier in the month.

Hope you did too!

Cathy Testa

 

 

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Beautiful Weather!

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Happy Friday Everyone!

How about this beau-beau-Beautiful weather we are having – and it will continue for the next few days! Yipeeee!

Not sure if I’m totally diggin’ the cool night’s though – it has slowed down the ripening of my cherry tomato plants, but it sure does help for a restful sleep. And overall, the non-stressful weather has been fab for my other plants – they are not as stressed from high humidity this year.

Just a few notes – as updates, for today:

Terrarium One-on-One’s

I am offering Terrarium one-on-one sessions, at the bookstore, on Tuesdays and Thursday’s, by your scheduled appointment times. Hours are between 10:30 am to 6:00 pm, starting August 31st thru Sept 26. Only date not available is Tuesday, 9/12.

If interested, see my Facebook Events or my http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com site.

Location is the Book Club Bookstore & More, 869 Sullivan Avenue, South Windsor, CT, where by the way, I have thriving houseplants and succulents available there – still doing well, if you have a need to spruce up a tired plant at your home, swing by to see!

Overwintering Plants Demo’s

I’m offering my demo on how to overwinter plants early this season, so that if you are interested, you may learn first and then get ready to take care of your plants in October right before or after our frost date.

If you prefer to wait, I will also be offering it in October at my house on 10/14.

The sessions are being offered at the bookstore (address above) and at my home based location in Broad Brook, CT. All session dates are posted on http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com

Because the themed plants for my May Container Garden Workshops were houseplants, this type of plant will be discussed on how to transition them to the home before it gets too cold out. And I will be including my usual tropicals, and talk succulents too.

Succulent Topped Pumpkins

This is a fun workshop for the fall, our 2nd annual. It will be offered at my home based location and at the new Stafford Cidery. They are filling up quickly so be sure to register early.

Dates are 10/7, 11 am – my place in Broad Brook, and 10/16, 6 pm, Stafford Cidery. You know where to find info…Yup, http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com.

Other Late Season Tips

We still have PLENTY of time to enjoy our plants – but here are some top of mind tips:

Let plants flowers go to seed. Wait for seed pods to blacken to collect. Store them for next year. Be sure to keep them out of sunlight, it a semi-tight container or dry envelope, in a cool room, and label them. You may try your hand at sowing them next year.

Cut old gone by flowers off plants, such as Canna plants. If the flower dries up and is papery, you may cut the stalk off the plant – it will help other stalks to push growth and bloom. Or you may leave the seed pods on the plant too to collect. These plants are beautiful all the way till frost – still lots of time to enjoy the flowers and foliage.

Watch your succulents. If we get really COLD DAMP rains – they sometimes don’t like this as it may cause some to rot. I moved some of my succulents in to the greenhouse already that were outside. It is not mandatory to do “now” but just be mindful of what I told you in my workshops about transitioning plants. When the cold wet rain hits, it may dampen that soil while cold out – not a good scenario for succulents. They like the soil to dry between waterings too.

Collect wild nature items now for fall decorations. I added a new workshop on Succulent Wreaths, for example, and we are having the Succulent Topped Pumpkins workshops. Wood sticks, beach shells, feathers, pine cones, if you find them, think creatively. Items which may be attached are good finds for free while you are outdoors exploring.

Water your container gardens even if it rains. So, you may be thinking, I don’t have to water my plants – it just rained. That is somewhat true – but if your pot outdoors has lots of foliage above the pot rim, the rain water may not have trickled down into the soil. Check it anyways. I do this with my big pots of elephant ears and banana plant. Many times, the soil isn’t that wet after a rain fall. Feel the soil. We may slow down our watering routines, but it doesn’t completely end.

Cut off damaged leaves from cold snaps. When we get cool nights, you may see a yellow leaf or two on your plants, like elephants’ ears. Take the time to cut it off with clean pruners. That will look better and keep your plant healthy. Speaking of that – remove any mush you see on your plants if something rotted.

Watch for caterpillars. I saw a few on my Canna leaves when I noticed some rugged edged holes, and looked “under” the leaf – sure enough, a white interesting fussy caterpillar was having her snack. I took those off, cut off the damaged leaves, and that took care of that.

Ever see a pattern of holes on a Canna leaf which are lined up in a row symmetrical style?

My friend just sent me a photo of just that – and what happened is the bug ate thru a “rolled up” leaf – before it unfurled. It created a pattern when the leaf opened. You may have seen this too, and thought – Wow, that insect is a Picasso!

Send me “Your Proud Plant Pics”

I get so excited when you send me a photo of a container garden which you made at my May workshops to show how well it is doing – or a photo of a plant you bought from me this season.

Please feel free to text a photo to me if you wish.

I love sharing success stories on my Instagram feed. It makes me proud – and happy you are enjoying your plants as much as I do.

That’s all I can think of for now. Enjoy your weekend. It’s gonna be a beauty.

Cathy Testa
860-977-8473 (texts welcome!)
containercathy@gmail.com
www.WORKSHOPSCT.com

Time is moving so fast…

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Something surprising is happening – I’m receiving registrations for my annual December holiday workshop now – in the middle of August.

Last year, it was in October when registrations began, but August – wow – thank you.

I think it is a testament to the effort I put into all of my workshops to make them fun with quality materials. And because of your continued support and attendance, I am able to keep my workshops going and offering them as a great value.

What I mean is, I work hard to make all my workshops “quality” – from providing a warm atmosphere to offering quality materials. And when plants are involved, which in most cases they are, I make sure to offer healthy, thriving plants.

Since being at the bookstore in South Windsor with a temporary vendor/pop up plant shop this season, I’ve heard repeatedly from customers, “Your plants are gorgeous.”

Believe me – it hasn’t been easy, because after all the bookstore is not a nursery environment per se – but fortunately, the space there has beautiful bright in-direct light for my various houseplants showcased. The many plants and plant gifts available for purchase there are doing well – and they are available while supplies last so swing by soon if you can before summer is out.

Even my stag-horn ferns on wall boards continue to do well there. It is proof how well various houseplants will thrive with bright indirect light, and in some cases, fluorescent lighting. You don’t need a really full sun type of room to enjoy many houseplants. Many will do fine in home environments where some light is cast or there is ambient lighting.

I also maintain many types of plants in my private greenhouse from perennials, tropical, cacti, and succulents – where there is various sunlight situations, because some are put under shade cloth, while others are in full sun spots in the greenhouse – and I coddle my stock of plants for use at my workshops and for sale to anyone interested.

It takes me two hours every morning to water my outdoor container gardens and inspect my stock plants, making sure they are doing well, and give them plenty of coddling.

I tell myself every year, don’t put out so many containers at the house because I become a slave to them – but I truly can’t help myself. That is like trying to ask a fisherman not to buy another lure – or a shoe fanatic to not purchase a new fancy pair of shoes.

In addition, when I set up my workshops, where we combine nature with art – I do a lot of extras in advance so all is well-organized for my attendees, which I really don’t think others would take the time to do.

For example, for my terrariums workshops, I wash every bubble bowl by hand to make sure they are sparkling, and I package materials, rinse items, and again, make sure all the plants are doing well or get them fresh from growers for each session.

Sometimes, preparing for a single workshop takes a whole day of time. Truly. You may find this hard to believe, but it does. Of course, I want to make the whole package right for my attendees so all is well-organized. Is that going overboard? I don’t think so.

Again, it isn’t always easy – there are so many challenges, but I continue to be obsessed with my plants and workshops. I’m always taking pictures of my plants too – it is to the point, I could be classified as a plant paparazzi. Good thing plants are not shy. The photos are posted daily on my Instagram feed.

But I love it all – and I’m so happy my regulars and new attendees love it too. Thank you again for supporting my small business. I could not be doing any of this without my loyal fans and new plant friends.

As I mentioned in the title of this post today, time is moving so fast – it has been a fast and fun season and now fall is approaching already – summer is almost over, and I’m so excited to be offering more workshops this Sept, Oct, Nov and of course, DECEMBER.

In the meantime, maybe I can grab some beach time between my workshops before summer is gone.

Cathy Testa
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com
www.WORKSHOPSCT.com
www.CONTAINERGARDENSCT.com
http://www.CONTAINERCRAZYCT.com

For my various locations and workshop venues, please visit the LOCATION tab on my workshops site. Thank you. Cathy T.

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Cathy T takes up-close photos of plants in her greenhouse. She is a Plant Paparazzi!

Plants Around the Coop

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It’s Friday again!

And here I am, posting pictures from 2016 in the order of being downloaded to one massive folder.

Here’s the next 6 or so…

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This photo is from the back side of my chicken coop. I attempted to have chickens here at my home 3 times, but it doesn’t work out due to predators in the woodland area around my yard.

The first time we got chickens, we attempted to let them free range in our yard after they were here for a while.

One night, after getting back from dinner, one of our chickens was roosting on the railing of the steps by our home’s entrance door. We were surprised to see it huddled by the corner of the house on that railing.

This was odd, and I suddenly remembered that we forgot to close up the chicken coop before going out to eat!

Steve carried the chicken back to the coop in our backyard, but unfortunately, he was greeted by a trail of feathers from the chickens which were not so lucky – or as smart as this one. A predator had gotten them all.

Every time I attempt to do another round of chickens, they get attacked or stalked. The chickens would go to neighbor’s homes to free range and this would frustrate me. I thought, “Why on earth won’t they stay in my yard? It is huge, there is a luxury pen for them, and what more could they ask for?!”

A farmer once told me it is because they feel threatened, and this made sense. We finally gave up on trying to have chickens here. Too many foxes and coyotes.

The chicken pen and adjoining enclosed coop have been empty, and I’m trying to think of what creative way to use the pen part – which is covered by two beautiful kiwi vines which produce a bit of fruit each season now (they require about 5 years to produce, and require a male and female plant.)

As far as the enclosed part of the chicken coop goes – it has become a storage shed.

The photos above are of that ‘now shed’ on the back side. I put an old pallet box I found there and filled it with left-over soil from containers or projects.

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Last year, I plopped one of my elephant’s ears into the wooden box pot and somewhat forgot about it. When I take a leisurely walk through my backyard, I stop to take a look and snap some iPhone photos.

Colocasia ‘Blue Hawaii’

This elephant’s ear is Colocasia esculenta ‘Blue Hawaii’ from the Royal Hawaiian (r) Series. And it is one of my favorites of the elephant ear world – although I have many.

A zone 9-11 plant, not hardy to our CT planting zones but easily overwintered, is from “John Cho and the University of Hawaii’s breeding program.”

‘Blue Hawaii’ is named as such probably for the obvious reason that its veins on the leaves look purple-blue, and it is striking, to say the least.

I just love it. The two photos above of it were taken mid-autumn. Before or right after frost, I lift the tubers from the soil to store them for the winter because they are not hardy to our planting areas, but easily regrown in early spring inside the home and then transitioned to the outdoors when the summer temperatures are warm enough (same timing as tomato plants).

As you may know, I offer a demo day to show how I store plants such as these every Autumn. This year I’ve added a new date to provide a demonstration a bit earlier because people want to repeat the process at their own home, so this will give them time before frost arrives.

There will be three sessions on Sept 27, 2017 (early session), Sept 30th (early session), and again on October 14th, which is near when we will probably have our first fall frost.

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In front of the enclosed portion of the now-empty coop, well empty of chickens but filled with supplies and remnant smells of chicken poop, is a lovely Hellebore perennial.

I can’t recall which ‘cultivar’ this one is named from, but it is growing so well in this spot – which makes me especially happy – because I ordered a tray of these one year per a client’s request but never heard back from them when the plants came in.

No matter, I ended up selling them at a market and had one left over for here.

Hellebore

Hellebores are plants which I consider excellent performers in the foliage category for gardens, container gardens and patio pots.

They are reliable, long-lasting, have beautiful semi-evergreen beautiful coarse, solid, almost rubbery like foliage – the leaves are tough and thick – and deer won’t eat them.

In containers, they make long-lasting fillers and of course, they bloom, but the blooms on most species nod-down. When taking photos of the blooms, I need two hands so I can turn the flowers to face up to show their beauty. They are stunning – almost rose like.

Hellebores (Helleborus), a.k.a. Lenten Rose, are easy to grow in my opinion. I’ve started to slowly collect them over the years. They like part sun to part shade, full shade, and tucked in the right corner in sun with good part shade part of the day, they do fine as well. I have them in moist areas in deep shade, and areas with part sun – they seem versatile to me.

These plants have a certain elegance to them. I recommend them for use in both container gardens and gardens of the ground.

Oh, and by the way, they bloom very early in the season, sometimes even when there is still a bit of left over snow on the ground. There’s nothing like seeing a bloom in February or April when our plant world slowly awakens from a winter’s slumber.

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Quiet opposite of the Hellebore’s blooming time is the bloom time of Anemone (windflower), shown above, which blooms late in the season, not early.

Anemone ‘Margarete’

Anemones were in a big pot in my backyard which housed a big red banana plant (Ensete) and some other fillers. I had to wait a long time for the anemones to bloom because this cultivar blooms in September, but it was worth the wait.

This type of plant is what I refer to as a “welcoming” plant in your container gardens. It is the one people will be drawn to for its beauty and feeling of remembrance from when they used or are using the same plant in their gardens. Or maybe it will be a memory of their Grandmother growing them, but I feel they are welcoming and charming.

This one is a Japanese anemone, called Anemone x hybrida ‘Margarete’. Like the hellebore, it is deer resistant. It likes full sun to part shade and is hardy to our CT planting zone. I am expecting them to return in the pot which is rather large and filled with quality soil, and right now, in winter, covered with a board and tarps to protect it.

I selected this one for my container garden workshops because of the color and doubled petals. Oh, and the stems on this one grow very tall – up to 30″ – which made it a perfect candidate next to my big banana plant. If it were a short one, it wouldn’t have amounted to much in regards to structure and scale in the pot with the other companions.

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The last two photos in this Friday’s series of 2016 photos are not from near the chicken coop but by my house.

On the north-west corner, one photo of my red banana plant (2nd photo), that did pretty darn well. This photo was taken at the end of the season. It will be my next monster plant – year two on returning it from its winter sleep this year, or year three. I’m starting to loose track!

The other photo is of an urn I keep on my front steps year-round. Urns are great for that. They may be used all season and kept outdoors because they won’t crack and are tough.

Starting in spring with spring candidates in the urns, and even in winter with greenery for the holidays. I am happy I picked up these two urns a few years ago – each has a drain hole too which is required for plants to do well in container gardens.

Begonia ‘Lady Francis’ and Ruellia

I was super-duper impressed with this Begonia ‘Lady Francis’ in the urn last year. I selected three types of begonias for last year’s container gardening workshops – and boy, I’m glad I picked this one, and the others as well (‘Gryphon’ and ‘Dragon Wing Pink’).

But ‘Lady Francis’ had something other than the typical beautiful (and welcoming) flowers all season long, typical on begonias – it has darker foliage.

Treated as an annual in our CT planting zones, this plant is a hybrid with bronze-dark mahogany leaves and lots of double, pink flowers – but the foliage was full and lush all season long, which impressed me. And it was easy to grow.

From a container gardening perspective, it is a beautiful filler.

Begonias really rock it in container gardens.

This urn is at the front of my house which gets mostly shade and stays cooler, but it did fine. I would roll the urns a bit to the edge of the steps to make sure it received some sunlight when, in late afternoons on the north side of my house, the sunlight hits that spot.

As I mentioned, the foliage is a bonus on this plant because it adds a dark tone to combinations in pots – something very useful when designing your combinations.

I want to mention also, the filler tucked in the corner was a different one which I really liked last year. Called Ruellia (false or wild petunia). It is not hardy, but easily over-wintered, so it may be regrown the following year.

Ruellia or false petunia has leaves that are blade like and produces trumpet-shaped soft purple flowers – at least this variety does. It can take full sun or part shade to shade. This one is compact so it stayed low and tucked in the corner. The flowers bloomed in late spring and mid-summer. I feel it did better than a typical petunia, it lasted a long time and the flowers looked great.

Well, that’s it for this Friday. I have a busy day ahead, and busy weekend.

Have fun during the Super Bowl too if that is your thing!

Cathy Testa
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

For information on the fall demo and our upcoming workshops, please visit www.WORKSHOPSCT.com.

Upcoming Activity:

Feb 8, 2017 – Wednesday – Down to Earth Garden Club Presentation
“Six Design Tips for Container Gardens”

Feb 11, 2017 – Saturday – Floral Arranging Workshop
Broad Brook, CT by Cathy T and JEM’s Horticulture and Floral Design

Mar 18 and 22 – Sat, Wed – Botanical Living Wall Art Workshops
New this year! by Cathy T of Container Crazy CT

Stay tuned for more.

Thank you – Cathy T.

Thanks for all the LIKES!

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Just a quick post to say thank you to my blog followers, friends, and newcomers of this blog site called Container Crazy CT.

I saw this (below) in my stats this morning!

500-likes

As for this week, I’ve started doing a bit of “fall decorating” and started taking down some of my pots and container gardens – primarily the ones with vegetable plants in them.

The fall decor begins. #autumn

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I figure I have a lot to do – If you’ve ever been here – you know I have pots everywhere on my deck, in the back yard, around the house, and along the garage.

My process involves first removing all the worn out veggie plants by pulling them out, sometimes requiring a hori-hori garden knife to dig around the roots, and putting the vegetative plant parts in a bag to toss in compost piles. Then after, I will take the pots of remaining potting soil and dump them either into a larger pot somewhere in my yard or into a garden area or bin. Note: The old potting soil is utilized as a filler with compost – it won’t hold water as well in pots year after year, but can be used again as an ingredient so to speak in gardens or mixed with other organic ingredients so it is not wasted.

Green but pretty! Final harvest of my veggie summer #containergarden #containergardening

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As I worked, I collected any veggies on the plants still growing – there were the Juliet plum shaped tomatoes (green) but this summer the red ones were fantastic and I had many, many picked from a single plant in a big pot, then the oddly shaped Uba Tuba peppers which have a mind of their own – I can’t eat them if hot so my husband does the tasting, and he said those are odd cause they go either way – some sweet, some super hot. I also had a couple Tomatoe Ugly left on another plant in a pot – yup, called Ugly. They are good for cooking – but my Mom complained about their shape because they are like bumpy and lumpy –  I had given a plant to my Dad for his garden – and she just didn’t like those – LOL.

Taking down my veggie pots. #containergardening #containergarden

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I took a batch of the Stevia plant and hung what was left in the garage to slowly dry. I am not an expert at drying herbs, but figured I’d try to do so – it is a wonderful, natural sugar substitute good in teas, so maybe I’ll try it in my sun tea concoctions when I hang a mason jar in the sun with lemon, mint, sometimes cucumbers, and a dash of honey and water to make a refreshing healthy drink. Perhaps crushed Stevia will work well as a substitute to the honey in my sun teas. My sister told me one way to dry out herbs slowly is to put them on a cookie sheet and inside your car on the dash board in the sun – I will have to remember that one!

#gardening #lemongrass

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However, many of my other large container gardens will remain in place to demo at my October Workshop on Overwintering Plants. It will be held on Oct 15th – Details are on http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com. I will be showing exactly how I take down the tropicals and store them – it is more of an informal workshop – walking and talking around the yard, but registration is required. It falls when we usually get a first frost either right before or after – Mid October.

The big black pot above is one I refer to as, “Cousin It.” It is the first time I grew Lemon Grass in a pot and sold them too at my May Container Gardening Workshops – and I love how full it got – it handled the drought very well this season and intermingles between other plants, and the bottom portions are edible – so when I take this baby apart – I will take a shot at storing the edible parts of it for cooking or teas. The lemon grass can be divided also to produce more plants. Also, this pot had a purple pepper plant that did give us great peppers, and the tall Canna ‘Austrailia’ grew super tall from my homegrown rhizomes. However, they started to topple over – bummer. The green banana plant didn’t fair well. It just didn’t take off despite my constant watering routine this year which was tough this year in particular due to lack of rain.

Pots at a discount store called Ollies in Manchester. #containergardening

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I also decided to go visit a budget type store after I saw an ad for it in the newspaper and after a friend texted me to say there were pots there at good prices. Most of the pots were about half off normal retail prices I’ve seen at stores, some had a tad bit of damage, many were not really my color preferences but some were large and nice. All stacked so a little tricky to get at if you don’t have helping hands. I decided to wait and maybe return to get some for stock at my workshop next year on Container Gardening.

That’s all for today – Just some highlights. I also attended the Brimfield Antiques Fair last week and posted tons of photos on my Instagram pages. What fun that place is but I told myself to hold back at buying too much. I ended up with some small pots that look like real clay or similar to hypertufas, but they are plastic. I got a few – thinking these will be nice for succulents – perfect size!

Got these at #brimfield. Will make nice succulent planters. #brimfieldantiqueshow

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Cathy Testa

 

Why I love (and I mean LOVE) Container Gardening!

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Everyone who knows me, or has attended my container gardening hands-on workshops in the spring and summer months, is fully aware that I am nuts about container gardening. I love it. Even in winter as we stuff beautiful mixed evergreens into our pots to bring life and some color into the winter landscape – we are enjoying a form of container gardening.

Today, I am listing just some of the reasons why I love (and I mean LOVE) container gardening – and I think you should too:

It is easy, fun, and fast – Provides instant gratification! Even in winter, stuff in some greens, add some berries, and voila – You have a beautiful container garden on your front steps to welcome your holiday guests.

Cathy T Winter Pot

A Beautiful Barrel Stuffed with Mix Greens and Decor for the Winter

Container gardening takes less space and energy than in-ground gardening does to achieve success. It is instantaneous and provides lots of color and life to your yard. Just watching the plants and its visitors is good for your health. It makes you pause to view it all.

It is okay to make mistakes – This is how you will learn about plants. Plants in pots are more forgiving. You may easily fix mistakes quickly by re-potting or re-positioning the container to suit the plants’ needs, or the decor look you are attempting to achieve outdoors.

Deer can not jump onto your deck or easily visit your patio (hopefully) to dine on your plants in the containers and patio pots, and groundhogs have a difficult time reaching them too. Nice!

Your pets enjoy them – Cats enjoy them for shade in the summer, and they like to hide behind the planted pots when observing the birds or checking out the yard from different areas.

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Cat inspects the bees buzzing into a Mandevilla bloom. Little coco bowls with succulents make nice little decor on table tops.

If you have dogs, they usually like to sit by plants in pots to rest and relax after playing in the yard. They are less likely to tromp thru big pots of plants which are up high or elevated versus a level big garden inviting them to run over it and everything in it, or dig there. Setting up a garden to be pet friendly is somewhat challenging compared to plants in containers where you can monitor your little furry friends near your entertaining spaces by you, your home, doors, and entrances. Just be sure to keep any poisonous candidates out of your pots if they are the curious eating types.

Plant caddies (trays with wheels) allows movement with a slight push of the pot anytime I want, or anytime the plant wants, to be relocated if it needs more sun or more shade, a better home to view it from, etc. That’s flexibility. You don’t even need to get your hands dirty.

It is instantaneous – which is important in today’s world. Most of us want to enjoy beauty around us without too much time if we are busy with work and other fun things. Container gardening is quick, it is not too difficult to learn the how-to’s of Five Must Do’s by Cathy T – once you know them, it is simple and gratifying – and you end up being addicted.

You may use practically “any” plant – You are not so tied to your planting zones or rules because you are enjoying your plants for the summer season, you can use tropical plants and more. Don’t limit yourself to just annuals in the summer season, there are so many choices.

Drama is created with big and bold – Think different, big, unusual, and BOLD.  We like beautiful and showy backyards – and container gardening is a great way to achieve this BOLD look. Just one big plant which grows fast in a gorgeous pot will stop you and your friends in their tracks.

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A HUGE container garden with showy tropical plants extends the season into Autumn (Photo Protected by Copyright)

You may create niches by grouping or staging various pots together. Potted plants will divide or connect spaces, they frame your view. It is an “extension” of your decor of your home and using some pots creates an additional room outdoors while entertaining your friends or being solo enjoying nature. The right pot can draw you out into your landscape to escape and veg’ out – something we all need to do more of, right?

Winter container gardens with evergreens dress up your outdoor space too – two pots by an entrance with greens, berries, golden or red sticks, is a way to say enter here and enjoy the holiday party. In Autumn, you extend your outdoor spaces with plants in pots that will remain until the first frost – they give so much those potted plants.

Not many bug problems or diseases in potted plants, and if there are any, you see them right away because your patio pots (and indoor house plants in pots) are usually near you. Potted plants have a more sterile environment as well, so the incidence of pests problems are less likely. If pests occur, the containers are easy to treat or quarantine.

If it fun to observe the cute visitors to your plants – hummingbirds, hummingbird moths, butterflies, bees, or even your mother in law admiring your patio pots! It helps your important pollinators – when you see bees visiting a flower, you will hear them buzzing as they go in and out to collect their nectar. It feels good to assist our little friends; we need them so lend them a hand by planting flowering plants in pots.

Bee on Turtle Head Cathy Testa

Bees enjoy a perennial (Turtlehead) flowers in a Container Garden

It helps your health – as you sit up close and personal enjoying your patio pots in your deck chair – you tend to relax, smell the aromas which calm your senses, and you take time to breath deeply – rather than think about all the weeds you have to pull from a garden bed. The distraction of admiring your potted plants in various mixed combination is a form of meditation which is very beneficial to your balance and harmony.

It is not too physically intensive, so if you have any issues with your back or knee problems, or digging in dirt in the ground with a heavy shovel is not your idea of fun, this type of gardening is for you. You may elevate pots or position them in a way for easy harvesting of veggies, herbs, and other goodness. Right outside your door – kitchen container gardens rule.

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A pot on the deck by the pool – two pots say walk here to lawn area, etc.

You can hide problem areas in your landscape, or place beautiful container gardens on your steps or patio to utilize pots as amazing focal points, or test the scale of a plant to be planted in the garden by putting a pot there first. Plants in pots are functional art – they say, “Go here, step down there, look here, and stay here to enjoy life and nature.”

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The amazing colors and patterns from an elephant ear – Colocasia ‘Mojito’

Textures and/or colors to be added to the garden later are easily tried out by using plants of them in a pot in your garden first. If you are unsure what to plant in your garden, put a pot there for a while and contemplate the look and feel of the plants’ style, look, colors, etc.

Lastly, you can create containers of lush plants, strategically place them on your patio or deck, and drink a margarita – now that is my idea of gardening and reducing stress.

And let’s not forget – during the winter, you can admire all the beautiful container gardens and patio pots you have arranged and grown from last summer as you browse your own photos or ‘Pinterest Pages by Cathy T‘ and Instagram photos – This will help you get through the winter months when there is more snow on the ground than anything.

Container gardening and patio pots are part of life today for adding beauty all around. Add a rain barrel to the area near your pots in the summer to use natural resources to water them. Keep an empty big barrel by a greenhouse or garage door to fill with snow during winter, and take it inside to melt onto the soil of pots of dormant plants being sheltered for the winter.

We all will enjoy container gardening as much as I do. I hope…

Cathy Testa
http://www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

 

Search Terms – A Look at Last Week’s

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I thought it would be fun to share some of the search terms which were received last week on Container Crazy CT’s blog. Search terms are words or phrases people use on search engines like Google to find posts on my blog. The terms are not visible to the general public but can be seen via stats and such on the blog’s background pages by the blog owner only. I would never reveal anything private and luckily all of the searches are directly related to plants and, as you can see, decorating for the holidays which is appropriate for this time of year.

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People are definitely searching for holiday decorating ideas, and many are asking about how to use mesh ribbon. Then there are the plant related searches, and last week, people were looking for information on Kalanchoe ‘Fantastic’ and Petasites japonicus, for example.

Some were looking for information on gardening techniques, such as “how to dismantle a garden” or “where to find Gingko trees in Connecticut” and information about “overwintering plants in the basement.”

Hopefully, they found what they were looking for, but if not, I thought I’d add some additional information here on some of their specific search terms:

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The “mesh ribbon” search

As you can see, many folks are looking for information and ideas on how to use mesh ribbon.

Mesh ribbon has become super popular for its ease of use in the decorating world. It can be used to make a big, puffy, large show on a variety of crafting projects. With a couple of twists and turns, mesh ribbon makes quite the festive creation as it is added to wreaths, arches, and anything you can think of. I love using it.

I think the only downfall with mesh ribbon is when exposed to sunlight over a long period of time it fades. Otherwise, it is perfect and reusable each year so it doesn’t get wasted or tossed out – it can be disassembled as easily as it can be assembled and stores well in boxes after the holiday season is over.

Mesh ribbon comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns and can be found practically anywhere. It comes in every color imaginable. I’ve used it on the Fourth of July, Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day – it is easily attached to container gardens to add some bling.

4th of July Succulents ContainerCrazyCT_0001

One person searched the question on “if you can cut mesh ribbon?” And yes, you certainly can but be sure to use a very sharp pair of scissors.

For assembly to wreaths, I use zip ties to gather and pinch sections of the mesh ribbon together or you may use green florist wire. You may see how I did this on the following posts:

Three Easy Ways to Use Mesh Ribbon

This post above has been viewed quite a lot this month. People new to mesh ribbons are searching on how to use it, how to attach it, and looking for creative ideas.

You should also check out how I use zip ties to attach mesh ribbon to various crafting projects. Remember to use green or a dark colored zip tie so it doesn’t show between your decor, etc.

Using Zip Ties to Attach Mesh Ribbon

This post shows how I attached the ribbon on wreaths and other holiday decorative items. I find gathering it in spaces between each puff is easily attached when using zip ties. They are so handy on crafting projects and I attempted to show what I mean in the post above.

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The “overwintering plants in basement” search

I hope the person looking for this information was able to locate it on my blog because I’ve written and spoken about how to store tender tropical plants many times, but I think maybe the general nature of the search term words used implied they may be looking for what is needed in a basement to keep your plants there over the winter?

For starters, most basements are dark with very little natural light, so for plants that go dormant naturally in pots, a basement is a well suited location to move your plants in the winter. Canna and Colocasia (elephant ear plants) may be allowed to go dormant in their pots, and may be moved to the basement if your basement is frost free, stays cool, and you have some space to put them.

If you have plants which require a period of dormancy in order to bloom, along with some darkness and reduced watering, such as Clivia (which comes to mind because a nurseryman gave me one recently) or Amaryllis (Hippeastrum species) which is sold around this time of year and forced into bloom in time for the holidays, the basement is a good place to place them for their resting/dormancy period.

In addition, some bulbs, corms, tubers store well in dark, dry areas of the basement. It is important to note some underground storage organs like conditions a bit on the damp side, while others like it dry. Look up your type of storage organ (Dahlias, Canna, etc.) for which you are storing in the basement to determine which they like – dry and dark, or damp and dark.

By the way, Amaryllis do not technically require a resting period in order to bloom, but to control the blooming, many people will bring the plant inside after the summer season and store them in the basement. The plant should not be watered, as is with the case of Clivia, for a period of time before you bring it back out into a warm sunlight area in your home. So basements are perfect for plants like these two examples.

Basements typically remain cool but do not go below freezing which is another reason why they are so handy for plant storage. I put my boxed up Canna rhizomes by the basement door corner area on shelves and they seem to like this spot best (the sweet spot). Also, if you heat your home with a woodstove which is located in the basement, this can make the basement too warm for storing conditions, so bare this in mind. Or keep the boxed up underground storage organs far away from where your woodstove is located.

In the fall, I showed my workshop attendees exactly where I stored my boxed up storage organs so they got a feel of what I mean – each home is different, so you need to determine what you have and work with that (such as a cool basement, a cool closet or room in the home that is not heated fully in winter, a sunroom that is not heated, maybe your garage, garden shed, etc.). They need to be a place where it does not go below frost but is not too warm for growth.

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The “how to winter a maurelli abyssinian banana” search

Oh gosh, I hope the person searching this topic found what they were looking for on my blog because I’ve documented the steps I’ve used which have been successful for many years on storing the Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ plant (red banana). Here are the links where you may find this information:

Storing My Big Red Banana Plant

This post above has the step by step process with photos. Storing takes place in late October or early November.

Overwintering Red Banana Plants

Red Banana Plant Revived Again

What should I do with my Container Gardens and Patio Pots?

In the fall season, workshops on the ‘how to’s’ are offered in my area of East Windsor, Connecticut. Each steps is demonstrated and step-by-steps workshop handouts are provided, especially useful for the attendees of my May Container Garden Workshops as a follow-up when the season comes to a close.

Plant Searches

It was interesting that Kalanchoe ‘Fantastic’ showed up twice in the same week. I’ll have to look around to see if the nurseries are offering it right now – This could be why there has been an interest in learning more about this plant known as a paddle plant. This variety has a fantastic coloring pattern to it of light green, creamy off white, and pink. Maybe folks are seeking it out because it is so pretty inside the home, and this plant makes a nice houseplant because of its look, easy care, and light watering routines, especially this time of year in winter.

Other plant searches were on Petasites japonicus, which is one I’ve written about due to its huge round leaves which are very showy in container gardens, and by the way, it can be overwintered in a shed. I’ve done it many times by moving the pot with a Petasites in it into the unheated shed before winter with success. This is a perfect plant for container gardens because they are a nuisance in the ground – aggressive spreaders. So in containers they are contained and controlled, plus their tough nature makes them easy to overwinter – they make it in an unheated shed every year. See Troublemakers Turned Stars post for more about aggressive plants which are stars in containers and patio pots.

The other plant searched for was a Salix (willow) which I don’t believe I’ve written extensively about on this blog – looks like it is time to do.

Of course, as I mentioned above, I would not share any searches which seemed private in nature. There was one odd one, and let’s just say, I’m glad it was not about me! It had the words: Crazy + Cathy. I’m crazy alright but only crazy about plants, container gardens, art, and of course – holiday décor this time of year. It is time to deck the halls…

Enjoy your week everyone,

Cathy Testa
www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

The Complete Search List from Last Week as typed by the searcher:

  • How to transport a tree in a pickup
  • Salix purpurea ssp. Lambertiana
  • Cans recycle garden
  • How to use mesh ribbon
  • Meshribbonrubanemaille
  • Dismantling a garden
  • Christmas decorating with mesh ribbon
  • Kalanchoe thyrsiflora fantastic
  • Can you cut mesh ribbon
  • Uses for buffalo snow
  • Christmas mailbox swags
  • How to assemble a fresh herb wreath
  • How to decorate with mesh
  • How to decorate a Christmas wreath
  • Instead of a traditional Christmas wreath
  • Overwintering plants in basement
  • How to make barbed wire wreaths
  • Fantastic kalanchoe
  • How to winter a maurelli abysinnian banana
  • Decorating with mesh
  • Nurseries in CT that sell ginko trees
  • Petasites japonicas
  • 20 facts about the coneflowers
  • What is the herbal plant that can cure
  • Decorating with wide ribbon
  • Petasites japonicas

Be Thankful. Be Creative. Be Colorful, and Just Be! Giving Thanks.

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Thank You to All Followers

November is the month of being “thankful” for all we have in our lives. I would like to express here my heartfelt thanks to you, my fellow followers. To the friends and family who inspired me to follow my dreams, to the bloggers out there reading and liking my posts and sharing their passions, to the mysterious rocks stars (fake or not) taking an interest in little ol’ me, and to the people in the plant world providing me with great networking opportunities, and to the artists offering their talents as guest speakers, and to many, many more, I say today, Thank you. Thank you also for posting your reviews and testimonials.

Current Followers

This morning I was looking over my stats on my blog. Currently, I have 73 WordPress followers, a total of 522 Facebook Friends liking my pages, 60 email followers, and 197 Twitter followers. It wouldn’t be right to say I have a total of 852 followers because some are the same people on one or the other platform, but roughly its somewhere about 600+ people.

I’ve always said too, it’s not the number of, but the passion of the followers which truly counts – and people who follow this site enjoy container gardening, art, and plants probably as much as I do. Each and every one of them is important to me because of their similar passions and interests.

Followers of this blog receive an update in their WordPress Reader (which is a special background page for WordPress users), via email, or both depending on their settings each time a new post is added. For social media, they are notified of posts in their feeds.

Getting new content quickly (as it is posted) is beneficial, especially for hot topics and new workshops on the horizon being offered by Container Crazy CT.

wordpress-logoWordPress Followers

WordPress followers have a blog of their own on WordPress, as opposed to followers which may be from Facebook or Twitter. As noted above, they get notified in their “reader” when they follow another WP site.

Sharing is caring in the world of bloggers and blogging, so one of my goals is to share posts by my fellow WP followers on this blog on a routine basis to spread the love and the information, as they share similar knowledge, ideas, interests, tips, and more. Thank you WordPress Followers – I’m following you too!

Facebook Followers

For my connected social networking services (such as Facebook or Twitter) through my blog’s publicize feature, it shows that I have 301 followers on my Facebook page for Cathy T’s Landscape Designs page, which means there have been a total of 301 Page Likes for it.

Cathy T’s Landscape Designs’ page is where I originally started my business about container gardening and garden designs, among other services. It is the official name of my business, but over the years, my services focused on all things container gardening and exotic tropical plants, and a bit less on landscape designs.

This is why I also have a Container Crazy CT Facebook page, which more suits what I currently offer in the world of container gardening and hands-on workshops. This page has a total of 221 Page Likes as of this writing, and seems to be growing.

If I could only merge the two Facebook pages together for a total of 522 Page Likes! Some are the same people, but no matter, it is all good – and it warms my Facebook soul to have them participate on my posts with their comments about their container gardening passions too.

Thank you Facebook Friends – Love hearing from you and seeing you every day.

Email Followers

Currently, my Container Crazy CT site has 60 email followers. These primarily consist of clients, workshop attendees, artists or bloggers, networking contacts, and anyone else out on the web that came across my blog and decided they wanted to keep in touch by receiving a post each time it is published.

If you want to receive instant notifications as they are posted, this is a great way to not miss a thing, especially upcoming speaking engagements at garden clubs and the workshops offered related to combining nature with art or container gardening.

Thank you email friends – I know how email can pile up – and I hope you enjoy receiving the updates regularly!

a-cute-twitter-logoTwitter Followers

As of today, I have 197 followers on Twitter. A big thrill was when Martha Stewart started following my Twitter feed last winter. And, recently, Dr. Allan Armitage started following me too. Both are rocks stars in their field of work and study.

While it may not be the “real” Martha, and maybe Dr. Allan Armitage has a helper for his social media feeds, it is cool to me – especially because Martha is in the world of all things fun for design and crafts, and the Dr. Allan Armitage is a Horticultural specialist. These two facets are what I love in my world of business offerings, that is combining nature with art.

If it isn’t really them, I still will enjoy fantasizing that it is. If it is really them – Thanks!!!!

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Sincerely,

Cathy Testa
www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

To see more reasons why you should follow this blog, check out this former posts on “Five Reasons Why You Should Click Like, Share or Comment.

Oh and Don’t forget my Instagram and Pinterest pages. More on these later!

https://instagram.com/cathytesta/

Repurposing Prescription Pill Bottles as Seed Containers

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Recently, I decided to use the plastic pill bottles provided by my pharmacy for our prescriptions as small storage containers for my collected seeds. The pill bottles are small enough, have a label on them already which I can write the plant and date on with a sharpie marker, and the amber color of the plastic pill bottles are dark enough to prevent light exposure.

Pharmacy containers are made from light resistant plastic and meet USP light standards for light transmission and USP tight standards to protect the contents from contamination for pills, so I figure they must offer the same protection for seeds. Plus, it feels great to repurpose these pharmacy pill bottles rather than tossing them into the recycle bin.

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Before taking seeds from plants that you want to try sowing next year, it is important to know that several changes take place in seeds as they mature and ripen on plants. Sometimes, you may notice the outer parts covering the seeds start to become dry and brittle. Eventually, as it dries, the seeds fall naturally from the plant or the coverings crack open to reveal the tiny seeds held inside.

Seed Coat Colors and Moisture Content

The colors of the seed coats will change as well as they mature. They may change from a light color to a dark color such as brown or black. But what you may not realize, since it is not visible to the naked eye, is the moisture content in the seeds reduce during their maturation process.

Some seeds need to retain moisture while others can tolerate a higher percentage of moisture loss as they naturally dry. It depends on the species of plant. Each is different. Fortunately, we can leave the moisture content percentages to the professionals as they know when to harvest their seeds for optimal germination.

Seeds may dry some more after harvest and/or before you store them in a container. If the seeds become too dry, they may not germinate the following year.

It is difficult to determine what is going on with the moisture content, but it is helpful to know because many people get frustrated when they sow a whole tray of harvested seeds – only to find out they won’t germinate. Feeling frustrated, they think they lack a green thumb, but it could be just the reality the seeds have gone bad because they did not mature fully on the plant before harvest, or because they were stored inappropriately.

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You may notice seeds or their outer coverings are hard on some species of plants. A good example, which comes to mind because I just collected them, are Canna seeds. They are as hard as rocks or marbles. They need to be chipped in order for water to enter the seed when sowing them.

How Seeds Travel

In nature, animals will eat seeds and carry them to different places, the first being their digestive tract which will soften the seed coats as its pass through their gut. When released to the ground, the seeds will most likely germinate if the environmental conditions are right (light, temperature, water, oxygen, etc.).

Other seeds have interesting spines which become attached to animal fur, and our clothing when we do gardening work. This is another way in which plants modify their parts to make sure they are successful at getting off the plant and into the ground to grow.

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An example of seed coverings that are spiny are the seed pods of Castor bean plants. When broken open, you see the seeds within but the outer parts are covered in spines. Another modification to seeds are the wings we see on maple tree seeds which make them fly. They are called ‘Samaras’ and are on ash and elm trees too.

Then there is the method of moving seeds by water – think coconuts. Even explosions are used by plants to burst seed coats open which shoot seeds out and about to disperse. Clever those plants are in their strategies. No high speed WiFi needed for them.

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As noted above, if seeds are taken off plants too soon, they may not be fully developed. They may still germinate but the plant may not be of good quality or short-lived. Additionally, if seeds are not stored appropriately, they may loose their ability to germinate.

Storing Seeds at Low Temperatures

Seeds should be stored at low temperatures and low-humidity. You may have heard about how seeds can remain good for many, many years, even up to 75 years. This is true, but usually it is with the case of seeds with very hard seed coats. They will not germinate unless the seed coat is nicked, scratched, or chipped so it can take in water. Fires are another way in which hard seed coats are broken or damaged. Nature always finds a way.

Some people will keep their seeds in their refrigerators to keep them long term which works, but if the seeds have too much moisture content at time of harvest, the moisture inside the seeds may freeze. Moisture proof containers help this situation.

As for myself, I haven’t done much seed collecting over the years, just a bit here or there. I’ve stored them in envelopes before but this new method of using the pill bottles is handy and convenient. So far, it has worked.

Just a little tip!

Cathy Testa
http://www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

 

 

 

How to Make Kissing Balls for the Upcoming Holidays

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Container Crazy CT offers several classes and workshops year-round where Nature with Art are combined.

There are several classes offered every season, such as the annual Container Gardening Workshop in May and a Kissing Ball and Holiday Creations Workshop in December.

And this weekend is the Storing Tropical Plants Demo where steps will be demonstrated on how to overwinter plants such as Canna, Elephant Ears, Angel’s Trumpets, and banana plants.

During the months between the spring and winter, special guests artists are invited to hold various hands-on style classes with the the mission to educate, share, and create – and most importantly, have fun with friends.

On the drop down menu under the “Nature with Art Class Programs” from the top of this blog, you will find descriptions for each workshop scheduled in 2015 and upcoming in 2016.

Starting Early – Kissing Ball Workshop Dates

We realize that many of us don’t like to start thinking about Christmas or the Holidays until at least early November, but when you have workshops to setup, some things need to be ordered in October so we are ready when December arrives to make our wonderful holiday creations. This is why places like Hobby Lobby are stuffed with Christmas crafts already, where you may find decor to add to your kissing ball or wreath at the workshop.

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KISSING BALL & HOLIDAY CREATIONS WORKSHOPS

The December upcoming hands-on workshops have been scheduled. Seats are limited for the first big workshop date of December 5th, so register early. We gather to make beautiful holiday creations with a mix of fresh evergreens and socialize. It is a fun day and a great way to make your own kissing ball just in time to place it on your porch or hang it in a hallway.

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See How It’s Done

Kissing Balls Shown on TV by Cathy T. See how they are really fun to make and require a bit of time, but they are beautiful and unique when hand-made with your special touches – and the fresh evergreens smell wonderful – not to mention, when you hang them outdoors, the birds like to perch on them – so pretty when snow is falling upon the kissing balls. You can find steps on how to make Kissing Balls on the web, or watch the video linked above, but when you gather with a group – it makes the whole process extra special because you are with a large group of enthusiastic attendees, the mechanics and amazing greens are here for you, and you learn from Cathy T and attendees with their own unique ideas, such as adding lights to the balls. If you live in East Windsor or surrounding towns in Connecticut, come on down and join us – we have attendees all the way from New Haven joining us annually.

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Open Studio Days and Mini Session

Additionally, there are other opportunities to craft away and make beautiful round kissing balls with a wide mix of evergreens to adorn your home indoors and out. An Open Studio week is offered where you may schedule your own appointment to make an evergreen creation at a time convenient for you. Lastly, we have a Mini Session on December 12th. We also make square or round wreaths, candle centerpieces, and mail box swags at these workshops – you pick the one you want to make.

How to Register

All you need to do is fill out the Contact Form. Cost is $30-$45 (+ sales tax) based on item you select to make, and pre-payment is required. Once you sign-up here, you will receive the 2015 price list and details with instructions. Location of the workshops is East Windsor, Connecticut.

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CALENDAR OF WORKSHOPS

For a handy view by month, click on the CALENDAR menu.

An Attendee Listens to Cathy T's Instructions at the KB Workshop

An Attendee Listens to Cathy T’s Instructions at the KB Workshop

ARTISTS ARE INVITED TO TEACH

Artists are invited to teach and a page shows the Featured Artists for the upcoming season. If you are an artist utilizing any aspect of plants, nature, or the environment in your designs and would like to introduce your product along with DIY instructions for Container Crazy CT’s attendees, please contact her at 860-977-9473 or containercathy@gmail.com to arrange a date and discuss your ideas.  All classes are taught by professionals and artisans with years of experience to share with the interested attendees.

We hope you will join us.

Cathy Testa
ContainerCrazyCT
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com