Paula Spletter, North Haven Garden’s creative director extraordinaire (and long-tenured Dallas County Master Gardener) loves color and texture, but doesn’t rely solely on blossoms to get them for her seasonal decor. Her favorite? Super-hip succulents, of which she keeps a good supply growing in her garden year-round.
While gourds and pumpkins are abundant during the fall season, Paula offers a quick tip for a simple centerpiece that requires no carving. You’ll need a small handful of moss (sheet moss is ideal) and a variety of succulent cuttings, preferably snipped and allowed to dry for a day or two before use. Affix the moss to the top of the pumpkin with a few dots of hot glue; allow to dry. Arrange the succulent cuttings on top of the moss; be sure to include a variety of colors and forms as well as small and large cuttings to create a nice composition. Affix each with a drop of hot glue. For larger pumpkins, Paula often finishes her creation with dried tips of branches, small pinecones, or even nuts. These mini-pumpkins make fabulous place card holders for a Thanksgiving table, too! Paula considers them a sort of long-term floral arrangement, noting that they’ll last about one to two months indoors.
Paula’s blending of succulents with other textures also extends to holiday plating. Here, she uses a simple white cake plate and adds a nest of green Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides). With snips of garden greenery—here, Camellia, Boxwood, Yaupon Holly, Junipers, and Magnolia—she layers the succulents to create a unique composition, finishing it with a bright green apple and a few dried almonds in the shell. It’s a fresh, low-cost way to bring the garden indoors this season, and perfect for the holiday table. Paula’s final tip? Up the ‘heirloom’ factor by using a cherished vintage dish or add interest with collectibles or even costume jewelry.
See Paula live in person during our Holiday Art & Gift Market on December 3rd, where she’ll be offering demos, tips and tricks for bringing your own garden inside this season.
Register for free here!