Debra Prinzing

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Episode 634: Marigolds and Succulent Pumpkins, autumn botanical design with Caitlin Mathes of The Marigold Gardens and Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

We’re releasing today’s episode on Wednesday, November 1st, and this means you’ve probably just wrapped up your Halloween festivities. But as we turn our attention to harvest, home, and the November holidays, the seasonal decorations continue — and of course with that, orange-gold-and-rusty color palettes are ever present. With that our minds, today’s episode shares plant passions and design ideas that are perfect for this time of year.

Succulent pumpkin design by Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers (left) and Marigold Garland by Caitlin Mathes of The Marigold Garden (right)
Succulent pumpkin design by Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers (left) and Marigold Garland by Caitlin Mathes of The Marigold Garden (right)

You’ll enjoy the creative session with two seasonal autumn botanicals: pumpkins + marigolds, featuring Caitlin Mathes of The Marigold Gardens in Ithaca, New York, and Eileen Tongson of FarmGal Flowers based in Orlando.

Eileen and her students
A recent FarmGal Flowers succulent pumpkin workshop with Eileen Tongson (far right) and her students.
succulent pumpkin design
A favorite succulent pumpkin design

We learn from Eileen, who shares her succulent pumpkins design, and discusses how she has developed her very successful autumn workshops and private classes during the entire month of October. Watch Eileen’s step-by-step designs for decorating pumpkins and gourds with a rainbow of local, Florida-grown succulents.

Caitlin Mathes of The Marigold Gardens
Caitlin Mathes of The Marigold Gardens
marigold inspiration
Marigold inspiration in color and form – from The Marigold Gardens

And we gain inspiration from Caitlin, as she shares about growing, harvesting, and preserving marigolds for autumn celebrations and beyond. You’ll learn how to make a marigold and fall foliage flower crown (which Caitlin calls a “wearigold”) and also watch hows she strings fresh marigold garlands (and discusses how to dry them).

Download The Marigold Gardens’ list of all 66 varieties of marigolds that Caitlin grows

Download Eileen’s succulent pumpkin worksheet, including a supply list.

News of this Week

Slow Flowers Summit 2024

In news of the week, It’s TIME! We’ve opened up tickets sales today, November 1st, for the 2024 Slow Flowers Summit Early Bird Registration.
Save $100 off your Slow Flowers Summit registration, now through December 31st.
General registration is $799 USD ($899 on January 1st)
Slow Flowers Members registration is $699 USD ($799 on January 1st). 
Head over to to find all the details for our dates – June 23-25, 2024, the venue, beautiful Banff Centre for Art & Creativity in Banff, Alberta, Canada, surrounded by the Canadian Rockies, and read all about our speakers and program. We have eleven inspiring speakers, an extensive hands-on design immersion, and presentations on flower farming, floral design, floral entrepreneurship and sustainability. I can’t wait to see you there!

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 750 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at

Thank you to Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists.  Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner.  Don’t have time to build your own?  They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at   

Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at

Thank you to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

I love all this floral goodness and I am so happy you joined me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at

Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.  Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!

Music credits:

Drone Pine; Greyleaf Willow; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field