Cathy T’s Container Gardening Services – What I Do for You


Good morning everyone,

It always surprises me when someone isn’t aware of what I offer as part of my small business called, “Cathy T’s Landscape Designs”, and under the umbrella of, “Container Crazy CT.”

This situation just happened the other day. I was chatting with someone I’ve known for several years, and she asked if I was into banana plants?

This question was a surprise to hear because I’ve blogged about them, sold them, and especially like tropical plants.

Before I could answer, she started to tell me how she was growing some in her home for a garden club event.

As soon as I started to tell her about the big red banana plant I grew in a large planter a couple years back, she paused to listen.

This discussion reminded me of how I once told a garden center owner that many of my friends were not aware their store existed. He kind of listened but I don’t think he believe me – because they are well established.

Funny how that happens.

So, today I’m sharing what I shared at my last garden talk – some quick highlights of what I do. Hopefully you will join me this season for any of the following:

Cathy Testa

Cathy Testa

First – A little bit about my style. I tend to like showy foliage plants, and big tropical plants because they are exciting and grow fast in container gardens. I enjoy storing tropical plants over the winter months so they may be reused each season as well, so as part of my classes and talks, I often share how to do so – store tender plants.

Taking Down a P

Taking Down a big Red Banana Plant – All Steps are On my Blog!!

Storing tender plants (or tropical plants) is something I enjoy. On my blog — this blog, you will find prior posts which show how I do this – The photo above, from a prior blog post, shows me holding a 7 foot long leaf of a red banana plant (Ensete) and the trunk after it was chopped down following an October frost two years ago. It was amazing how this plant grew that particular year in a very large cement planter.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (1)

As you can see, in these two photos above – the red banana plant grew to about 12′ – 14′ feet tall! I was so in love with how lush and tropical it looked, I kept taking photos of it. So, my style is kind of like that above; I like to create outdoor oasis like places in my surroundings, where you escape to a feeling of the tropics. And I tend to enjoy using unusual plants, like cool looking edibles in container gardens. I spoke about edibles quite a bit last season at garden clubs and farmers markets.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (3)Container gardening or arranging plants in patio pots is my favorite thing to do and offer as part of my services offerings. I’m a small business located in the Broad Brook section of East Windsor, CT.

Barrels in-front of Joe's Fine Wine & Spirits by Cathy T

Barrels in-front of Joe’s Fine Wine & Spirits by Cathy T

Store front seasonal container arrangements, such as various plants in spring, summer, and fall – and then changing them out for winter displays with fresh evergreens, and even fun off-season decor for the holidays is what I offer to local store front type businesses. This dresses up the store front, welcomes customers, and even encourages friendly communications with your visiting clients. For referrals or more information about the container garden installations, feel free to contact me or complete the Contact Form at the bottom of this blog post. Or click on Testimonials above on this blog’s menu bar.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (4)

I also offer container garden installations at homes. And for special outdoor events, such as weddings, graduations, or any type of special celebrations at your home. The container gardens filled with lush plants are available for purchase or rent. To read about my Container Garden Services, click HERE.

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Consider this alternative of enhancing your outdoor space with container gardens filled with beautiful plants the next time you are throwing a special party or event. After all, container gardens are enjoyed for months to follow in season, and are long-lasting compared to other outdoor decor which is there just for the day – and never to be seen again. Containers make wonderful gifts and decor for events. For more information, contact me or fill out the Contact Form at the bottom of this blog. It is important to plan early and in advance for special events.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (5)

Fun gatherings where attendees learn hands-on is another service offering by my business. It started with offering classes in the winter months, and transitioned to workshops on container gardening and other classes related to combining Nature with Art. Last fall, we had a special guest speaker come in to teach us how to make hypertufa pots, and this spring, we will be making eclectic windchimes. The topics vary but they all focus on combining nature with art. The 2015 class schedule is posted above – via the menu bars – on this blog. Click on CALENDAR to see the upcoming events by month.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (7)

First on the 2015 list is an April class on making eclectic windchimes. And every May, a Container Garden Workshop is offered. This year’s theme is, “Powerful Perennials in Container Gardens.” To see the complete class listings, please click on the menu bars of this blog and look over the drop down menus by month. Sign up is via the contact forms on the blog pages.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (6)

The workshops are held in Broad Brook, CT. They are convenient, educational, and a great way to network with other gardening friends. But most of all, they are fun! Last year, we held two sessions on Miniature Gardens with special guest speaker, Rondi Niles of Gardening Inspirations – it was held twice because everyone enjoyed them. This year, the Container Garden Workshops will be held twice as well. I hope you will join us and share the events with your gardening friends.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (8)

In the warm season months, classes are held outdoors. During the winter, inside a classroom. Every December, I offer a class on working with evergreen plants to create amazing holiday decor, such as evergreen kissing balls, wreaths, and candle centerpieces. It fills up fast and is an event everyone enjoys as well – organizing groups is one of my passions – and is a great way to network and meet new gardening friends, or those who enjoy creating and making items for their home’s outdoor surroundings.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (9)

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (10)

And last year, a new activity was added to the Cathy T’s offerings – Walk and Talk Home Gardens tours – Very informal, fun, and the hosts are homeowners willing to share what they have done in their gardens – with the rule that there “are no rules!” It can be informal, messy, or amazing – it is a way to share and learn from each other. Last year, we toured a pond garden in Enfield, an urban veggie garden in Wethersfield, and a sunny hillside garden in East Granby.

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (11)

Edibles Container Gardening 2015 (12)The Walk and Talk Home Garden Tours for 2015 are underway. We have two lined up so far for 2015. Again, see the menu bar with drop down menus of all the activity. If you are interested in sharing your home garden, please reach out – it is a great way to exchange gardening tips, meet new gardening friends, and share what you know, how you have created a garden in your special spaces, and it doesn’t matter if your garden is big or small, perfect or imperfect – we want to hear from you! To contact me about a tour, e-mail or fill out the Contact Form at the end of this post.

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So there you have it – in a nutshell: Container Garden installs for homes, businesses, and special events. Lots of nature and plant related classes which are all DIY and include taking home your creation – and educational! And Garden Talks at Garden Clubs, appearances at farmers markets (Ellington and East Windsor again in 2015), Garden Tours at People’s Homes, and more.

My business is based on 8+ years of growing from my inspiration and passion of plants and container gardens, experimentation which lead to knowledge and taking courses over the years, and knowing the right way to care for plants in container gardens and patio pots, circling back to more experience. It starts with having a passion and inspiration! Let’s meet to share the passion together.

Cathy Testa

To learn more about Cathy Testa, see her BIO.


Photo Attribution Below

Photo Attribution Below

Hi Everyone,

It occurred to me one day as I was walking around my yard with my sister in law how many little tidbits we shared with each other about plants and gardening just in general conversation. The same situation occurred when I was at my sister’s house recently checking out how she was starting her vegetable garden again for the season.  And of course, walking and talking about plants happens when visiting friends’ homes too.

So many of us, whether new to gardening or experienced, have ideas and tips to share when we feel open to do so and are having spontaneous conversations about what we have done in our yards and with our gardens or container gardens.

So this spring season of 2014, I’m kicking off an “informal, no pressure” type of group for anyone interested to “Walk & Talk Home Gardens.”

And I’m happy to report, two volunteers have already offered to have an hour at their home, which I’m internally grateful!

The Kickoff Dates:

  • First date is June 7, Saturday, 2:30 pm (Wethersfield, CT)
  • Second date is July 26, Saturday, 10:00 am (Enfield, CT)
  • Third date — to be announced — the theme will be “A Shady Nook”.
  • See Garden Club Talks for information on these two kickoff dates.

The Ground Rules:

We want to keep this simple and no pressure – so we are instituting some ground rules, and here they are:

#1 – Perfect or Pathetic

We truly don’t care if you have a showcase garden or one that is small and untidy – SERIOUSLY.

There are way too many times when I’ve met homeowners, gardeners, or professional gardeners, where people instinctively criticize their gardens.  It is a gardener’s bad habit.  They see a little fault and point it out. I do it too!

So please, if you have even the smallest of space, don’t hesitate to offer an hour at your home.  And if you have an exceptional garden, don’t think you have to spruce it up – which is what I’ve seen done so many times for professional garden tours, when in my opinion, their gardens are already perfect.

“This group is not a garden tour – it is a walk & talk chat opportunity.”

Maybe you have a recommendation on where to get seeds you have tried in your garden, perhaps you came up with some trick in the garden no one has seen before, or you tried a new plant.

We all have techniques we’ve tried out – and it is fun to talk about it. So much can be learned in one statement of something said while walking around with no pressure!!

Oh by the way, this group is for any type of gardening and of course, container gardening too.

Maybe you had some recent work done to your yard.

For example, last year a friend told me how she removed huge boulders with the help of her uncle and they totally cleared her yard which is now open.  Some of the cool things they did was create stone furniture with the salvaged boulders – and she had such an experience to share because she worked on the project with her hired help.  Any type of situation is doable for this group – even those “under construction” or not finished.  And if you do have an amazing wonderful garden, these are on the list too.

#2 – Only One Hour

As a host – you only need to commit one hour of time – and we are even going to go as far to say, if you have an emergency, a scheduling dilemma, or whatever – you have the right to change or cancel your hour.  Of course, we want to avoid changes to the schedule because there are only 5.5 months of gardening to enjoy – but we want this to be flexible and no pressure.  We all have very busy schedules and understand that sometimes things come up we can not control.

#3 – No Food Required

If you are a host – you do not need to put out lemonade or anything during your hour – we don’t want any pressure on your part – you are already showing us a part of your world and that is enough.  Let’s keep this informal and simple. No work on your part – I know how hard this is to do because I like to put out goodies when I have people at my home, but we don’t want any kind of expense on your part, or pressure. It’s optional.

#5 – Confidentiality & Respect

A confidentiality form will be signed by attendees – Just Kidding!  But because this is for enjoyment, not for “expertise” or “judgement,” we ask that you respect the homeowner’s property and keep in mind these walk and talks are not about someone showing you a perfect situation, but to have a nice time and see some tips.

To Attend:

There are no fees, but we would like to know a count of who plans to attend.

So to sign up:

Once you have indicated you would like to join the hour, the Walk & Talk home address will be sent to you.

To Volunteer:

Call me at 860-977-9473 and I can explain more – please do not hesitate to do so.

It’s a great way to meet friends and share for fun.

Thank you so much,

Cathy Testa

Photo Attribution:  “Garden Gate with Flowers” by debspoons, courtesy of