What a Great Year!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Today’s post is to say thank you to everyone for participating in my workshops and supporting my small business this year! I would not enjoy any of this without your smiling faces, creative enthusiasm, and continued support.

Garden Wall Art

This year was filled with lots of new activity.

I offered several new workshops, starting off with the “Garden Wall Art with Staghorn Ferns” and “Kokedama Balls”.

I have two prototypes of the wall art with Staghorn Ferns at my home. To care for mine, I run water around the moss from my kitchen sink, about every 2 weeks and then let it drain.

I showed my watering process on Facebook one day too. These boards were very unique and because the plants over winter well, even in low temp rooms, they are very worthwhile.

Staghorn ferns were a new introduction in my plant offerings this year and I’m happy to have shared them with attendees.

New Grower, Need Seeds

I also want to take a moment to thank my new grower source – you know who you are. This is how I was introduced to Staghorn ferns and many of the new plant offerings this year.

Each year is filled with plant learning and to have a supportive local grower made the difference. I also grow some of my own plants too. After years of experimenting, I’ve managed to be successful with some varieties, and also, grow many from seeds.

That was another “new offering” – Growing from seeds, utilizing my favorite seed source, Hudson Valley Seed Library. They are a fav because they are certified organic by NOFA-NY LLC. And they have signed the Safe Seed Pledge. Plus, they have amazing art on their art packets by commissioned artists – something I enjoy.

Terrarium Bowls

Also, we held several workshops on making “Terrarium Bowls” with cacti, succulents, and houseplants. One group drove all the way from Maine to attend.

I have received photos from attendees of their terrariums made in my workshops – and wow, many are thriving. Good job by all.

What I love about terrariums is you may change up the decor in them to suit the season. Toss in a holiday ornament and some other mini Christmas items, and you make it fit the seasonal decor in your home right now.

Succulent Topped Pumpkins

During the autumn season, I held several workshops on making “Succulent Topped Pumpkins.” This was the 2nd annual round, but had many new attendees, and I thank you for being part of these sessions, which was lots of fun.

And, I’m happy to report, my prototype pumpkin is still doing well. I have been keeping a little log on my prototype’s performance because I want to see how long it will last before the pumpkin decays.

It goes like this so far:

9/18 – Made my prototype succ pump
10/11 – Only one plant lost so far
10/23 – Week 6 – doing great! Plants are “upright” and growing. Kept in house.
10/31 – Posted a photo on Instagram – all good
11/12 – Notice a little spot of white cotton on the side of the pumpkin. Removed it with soapy water. Jelly bean plants are upright. (Note: hairdresser’s pumpkin doing well in her shop too.)
11/16 – Still awesome
11/12 – Posted a photo on Instagram; no rot of pumpkin and plants still doing great.
12/18 – My succ pump still growing well. Starting using a mister bottle to spritz it at times. Hairdresser said hers still great too (3 months).

I noted, just this week, on the 18th, of spritzing the moss. Before I was watering it, as I showed in my workshops, using the dribble method. Either way works fine.

I’m very impressed with my pumpkin not rotting yet – it is the Cinderella type (probably more gourd like) thus, holding up very well.

I also keep it away from heat sources, on a table in my kitchen area, which gets bright light for part of the day. And I keep a fresh paper towel, folded under it, because condensation may happen and that would contribute to pumpkin rot.

But other than that – it has been easy-peasy. And my hairdresser, Kelly, who also attended my workshops with a group of friends, put her’s out at her hair salon shop – and it is doing just fine.

The only down fall is my succulent pumpkin doesn’t match my Christmasy holiday decor, but I’m determined to keep it going to see if it will last into the New Year.

Holiday Workshops

Wow, my Holiday KB Workshop was the biggest ever and it is the 8th year of holding these fun and festive workshops.

I thank everyone for attending, and hope you will return next year.

Many creations were awe-inspiring, by the newbies and regulars. What I’ve learned is each year, the returning attendees (non-newbies) are improving their design talents. Some have become expert level. Congrats.

I also had a group travel from far to attend, all the way from NY. Thank you for having faith in me to travel that far to be part of our holiday creations. I hope you will return next year.

Micro-Greens Growing

And we can’t forget my “Micro-greens and Sprouts Growing” workshops held this season, also new.

As I noted in my talks on this topic, I tested my own process of growing them for one year, and was so happy with the results, and the fact this is an easy indoor container gardening method which may be done inside the home with limited tools, I had to offer it as a workshop topic.

When showing my process at a local farmer’s market, there was standing room only in the presentation room. My process was also featured in a newspaper, and I held this talk at a few schools too, as part of their wellness programs. And, it was an offering at a women’s conference too.

I appreciate everyone who had me come talk on this topic at their locations. I did hear back from a few people from the market session, telling me they continue to grow the sprouts using my method with success. And a couple teachers who learned my process took it to their classroom, started teaching it, and expanded it on a larger scale.

Newspaper Features

Speaking of newspapers and magazines, my workshops were featured in a few this year and last year – Thank you to Go Local Magazine for reaching out and featuring my offerings, as well as Courant Community Reminder News. Special thanks to both editors, photographers, and writers for featuring me. It was fun to have you here, and to see your amazing talents in return. Oh, and there was a mention in the Hartford Courant too.

If you wish to read them, search by:

Microgreens Pack Nutritious Punch by Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community (2017)
ContainerCrazyCT Combines Passion For Plants, Art by Annie Gentile, Courant Community (2017)
Container Crazy, by Amy White. See GoLocalMagazines.com (2016)


Micro-greens and Sprouts Growing at Home
Terrarium Bowls with Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti
Flower Arranging Workshop
Kokedama Balls Hanging Plant Art
Botanical Vertical Wall Art with Staghorn Ferns
Container Garden and Patio Pots Workshops
Basic Seed Starting and More
Overwintering Plants Early in September
Overwintering Tropical Plants in October
Holiday Kissing Ball and Wreath Making

Upcoming for 2018:

In January, after I regroup from a busy December, I will be posting the dates for the 2018 workshops. I’ve been pondering new topics, and, by the way, suggestions are welcome.

If you wish to be informed immediately of new dates, please click the FOLLOW WORKSHOPSCT blue button on the top right of this site.

By doing this, every time a new post is added to this site, you will receive an email notice.

Happy Holidays

We are almost at the holiday weekend mark. I am still decorating. Some people have come by for custom wreaths or kissing ball orders, and to pick up some of my secret table top items for gifts. Thank you for supporting me as well in this small business world of mine – I so appreciate your pick-ups and special orders.

Well, I just wanted to close off by saying, Thank you again to all my attendees. It was a great year and a busy one. Ho, ho, ho!

Cathy Testa (a.k.a., Mrs. KB Claus – at least this time of year)






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