Garden Photo of the Day

Cherry’s Succulent-Topped Pumpkins

Making holiday decorations from the garden

uniquely shaped and colored squash topped with colorful succulents

Today we’re visiting with Cherry Ong in Richmond, British Columbia.

Fall is the time to close the garden, and it seems like making topped pumpkins has become a tradition for me. Here are this year’s handmade Thanksgiving gifts. (I kept two for myself!)

green-grey pumpkin topped with various green succulentsA pumpkin topped with succulent cuttings from the garden

light green pumpkin topped with dark burgundy succulentsThe variety of textures and colors of succulent leaves makes a beautiful arrangement.

hydrangea flowerhead between two white succulent-topped pumpkinsA dried hydrangea flowerhead adds to the display.

small white pumpkin topped with nuts in shells, pinecones, and succulentsI tried something different this year. Some of these pumpkins are topped with mixed nuts, pine cones, silver bell eucalyptus, and strawflowers. Those that have succulents require weekly watering, but those that don’t require even less maintenance.

another small white pumpkin topped with mixed nuts and white strawflowersWhite strawflowers (Bracteantha bracteata, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) are from the summer garden. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

uniquely shaped and colored squash topped with colorful succulentsThis season brought a lot of Turk’s turban squash to the nursery. These are brightly colored, attractive gourds measuring up to 10 inches (24 centimeters) across. They are excellent for baking and stuffing but are also stunning in fall displays as decorative gourds, so I made a whole lot of what I have dubbed “fairy crown” pumpkins. This very old variety has been in cultivation since before the 1800s. Unlike the classic succulent-topped pumpkins, these are decorated from the bottom side to show their interesting shape and colors.

close up of Turks Turban Squash topped with green and pink succulentsIt’s been quite fun creating them, and even more fun giving them away. Succulents are from the garden.

pumpkin arrangement with dahlias and berriesThis is a pumpkin tulipiere. I saw the project on Martha Stewart and thought I’d try it this season given all the gorgeous pumpkins. The flowers and berries are all from the garden.

another version of the above pumpkin arrangement with dahlia stems cut shorterI wanted to make the version airier like a tulipiere, so I changed it to singular dahlia stems. My family said it was is too spindly, though, so I cut the flowers shorter to make this version and added beautyberries from the garden again.

process of building pumpkin arrangement, holes being drilled into pumpkinsHere’s a process shot that shows the drilled holes for the dahlia stems to go in.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. wittyone 11/21/2022

    Love the colors of the pumpkin in the pumpkin tulipiere. The colors are so beautiful and muted. Generally I am not a fan of pale colors, but these are soft and wonderful.

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/21/2022

      Thank you for your kind words.

  2. fromvirginia 11/21/2022

    These are all beautiful! Do you have a video where you show the process?

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/21/2022

      Laura Eubanks of Designs for Serenity is the creator of the Succulent Topped Pumpkin. Here is her video tutorial:

      Katherine Tracey of Avant Gardens has an excellent written tutorial on it in Fine Gardening:

      Sorry no video on the Pumpkin Tulipiere but here's the link on Martha Stewart: It's pretty straightforward and I don't think a video tutorial is needed. I would suggest you change the water daily so it is fresh and doesn't smell.

  3. mathorn20 11/21/2022

    That's so impressive

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/21/2022

      Thank you. Fun too!

  4. sheila_schultz 11/21/2022

    I always look forward to your Thanksgiving pumpkin creations, Cherry. I do believe that this year's selection have exceeded all expectations! They are amazing. Happy Holidays to you and your wonderful family!

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/21/2022

      Awww, thanks Sheila. Wish I could design like you!

      1. sheila_schultz 11/23/2022

        Cherry, you surpassed my skills years ago! We all have our own styles... and your style keeps growing and changing with the times and your eye for beauty. Style is ever changing but only progresses when one looks for possibilities! You are more open to possibilities than anyone I know... Be proud of yourself, my friend. I certainly am. Enjoy the giving of your beauties!!!

  5. user-7007672 11/21/2022

    Gorgeous, Cherry. Your creativity shines through.

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/21/2022

      Thank you. Wish I could send you one!

  6. User avater
    treasuresmom 11/21/2022

    What a neat idea!

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/21/2022

      We can all thank Laura Eubanks and Martha Stewart!

  7. JaySifford 11/21/2022

    Cherry, you are so amazing.

    1. perenniallycrazy 11/21/2022

      Thank you Jay and back at ya!

  8. btucker9675 11/21/2022


  9. User avater
    simplesue 11/28/2022

    Very original and eye catching, never saw anyone else come up with this idea before! So pretty!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Shop the Store

View All Products