musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mums in the Pumpkins

I saw this idea of using a pumpkin as a fall garden pot a few years ago and every year since, I would buy chrysanthemums and pumpkins with the intent of trying it for myself. . . but every Autumn would go by with the mums doing their thing and the pumpkins doing theirs - and not together. I simply wanted to use the pumpkins as 'pots' for the mums. Nothing terribly difficult. . .

Well. . . this year I brought Hubster on board and check it out!

I picked up these great chrysanthemums at our local grocery store.

And had one more waiting for me at home.

Hubster went out to a produce farm and walked around the field until he found these great pumpkins.

You'll need a large knife and bowl or pan. If cutting inside, cover your counter or table with newspaper to make clean up a little easier. We used our wooden picnic table outside - making clean up pretty much non-existent. Besides. . . it was great entertainment for the dogs. You'll see them here and there in the pics:-)

The first step is to make sure your pumpkins are large enough to handle your mums. You will *NOT* be planting the mum directly into the pumpkin, but just setting the pot inside. This requires a larger pumpkin than you might think. Measure your pot and make sure your pumpkin is *at least* 3" bigger around.

Now cut out the stem. . .

Remove the seeds

We saved the seeds to roast (rinse in cool water, spread on lightly oiled cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and put in 200 oven for several hours until crunchy on the outside) and all of the pumpkin goodness we trimmed out to cook down (trim 'meat' from outer rind, cook with a little water over medium heat until soft. Strain well. Mash with a food processor and freeze.) for pumpkin pie (YUM!) later.

Set your pot on the pumpkin and mark around it - remember that most garden pots are larger around the top than the bottom.

Cut the pumpkin opening using the marks you just made.

You will need to carve into the meat of the pumpkin to make the opening larger all the way down. Be careful to not go through the outer layer, or remove too much of the fruit that the wall of the pumpkin gets thin and weak.

You will want to check the size of the opening by setting the pot in it. Just keep trimming (be sure not to take too much off at a time) until the pot slides in.

Pretty cool, isn't it? It's fairly easy to do and, lucky for me, Hubster did all the hard work-work.

To help the pumpkin pot last longer, I lined it with a plastic grocery sack.

This will hold the excess water that will drip out of the bottom of the chrystanthemum pot when you water. If the temperatures are high where you live, you can also put some ice in the bottom of the pumpkin (remove the mum, place the ice, then replace the mum) to help keep it cool.

Isn't this a grand Autumn decoration perfect for Halloween through Thanksgiving?

Thank you Hubster!

You could draw a Jack-O-Lantern face on your pumpkin for Halloween if you like. The chrysanthemum would be it's 'hair.' Too cute! Use smaller pots and pumpkins for a Thanksgiving Dinner centerpiece - add some English Ivy for interest. Or use fall pansies instead of mums. Oh! The possibilities!!

Have a Mumsy kind of day ~

Robin Z

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