No succulents on hand? Buy trays or bags of cuttings on Etsy, she suggested, or adopt plants at the garden center — maybe those marketed in the houseplant department.
When I first saw one of Ms. Tracey’s pumpkin-succulent arrangements, I thought the Cucurbit had been hollowed out to act as a vessel or to hold a glass of water. Not so: The arrangement was perched on top of the pumpkin after its stem was removed, and then pinned and glued in a bed of sphagnum moss.
That idea isn’t limited to pumpkins. In the low glass bowls Ms. Tracey used for recent wedding centerpieces, she peeled off moss growing on pavers and other rocks in her yard, let it air-dry and used that instead of sphagnum. But in a vessel, unlike on a pumpkin, “you need something within the container below the moss, to serve as a pincushion,” she said.
Floral foam was once the industry standard, but it contributes to microplastic pollution. In the United Kingdom, the Royal Horticultural Society recently banned its use at all flower shows beginning in 2021. Possible substitutes include a tight tangle of grapevine or fine twigs, balled-up chicken wire or a cellulose sponge.
For the pumpkin project, you’ll need dry, long-fiber sphagnum moss, floral pins, spray adhesive and tacky glue (a crafting product), plus an assortment of succulents — and a pumpkin that has been cured, not one that’s fresh off the vine. Take cuttings a couple of days ahead, so the cut ends have time to air-dry. Before starting to assemble things, create a rough design by arranging the cuttings on a flat surface.
After removing the pumpkin stem, apply spray glue to the top of the pumpkin and nestle moss on top. Using tacky glue and, if necessary, floral pins, secure succulents onto the moss, starting with the larger elements. Tacky glue needs time to dry, so let the arrangement rest overnight before moving it.