Tag Archives: plants

Summer with Succulents

22 Jun

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Succulent update: Everyone survived the winter. We had some hard frosts which are unusual where we live. In order to save all my outdoor pals, I gathered them under a table and covered them with a tarp. It protected them from the frost and the rain, and kept the temperature high enough that they didn’t croak. The year before I didn’t use this technique and lost a few succulent friends.

Now that it’s summer, a lot of the succulents are going through their major growing time. Over the winter in the colder weather they go somewhat dormant and don’t need very much water or attention. Now that scorching summer is here, the soil dries much quicker and the succulents are bursting vertically, horizontally and some even diagonally. There are some that have grown several inches in just a few weeks! Pretty amazing!

I also try to have a vegetable garden, and it’s usually a failure. I am not attentive enough to watering or maintaining the soil or keeping the pests away. I recently put in a tomato plant a friend gave me and it got scorched in the sun. Oops. I think I may stick to succulents.

Succulents really are pretty miraculous! They can take hot and cold extremes. Some of them flower, others change color with the seasons. They do best with a little abandonment – they are independent little creatures, maybe that’s why I like them so much!

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Succulent Extravaganza!

7 May

A few years ago our landlord gave us a few succulents that they couldn’t take with them on a move. A few years later, our backyard is full of clippings from these original plants, as well as a growing collection purchased at various nurseries, farmers markets and this weekend – the local Succulent show and sale!

I never gave much thought to succulents or cacti. Once they were in my possession and didn’t shrivel and die from lack of attention, I was intrigued. When a branch from the jade plant fell off during a wet and cold winter, I stuck it in an old pot, and miraculously, it lived! It rooted, and is still happily growing away. Plants that can survive with little attention and can easily propagate are right up my alley. I’ve always wanted to be a good gardener, but I’m not. My vegetable and herb garden do OK, but the plants that do best are the mints and rosemary that don’t require constant care and don’t require me to invest in new seedlings every year. I have a small budget and those that cost the least are my friends.

I find succulents to be both cost-effective and rewarding. I’ve been able to get cuttings off my plants and start new ones. They don’t require much water and tolerate the hot California summers. This weekend I gathered up some friends and we browsed the awesome selection at the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society Show. The selection far outnumbered any local plant nursery I’ve been to. The sheer variety was mind boggling and awesome. I found several plants that I had eyed in my succulent books and was super excited to add them to my collection.

Alright, let’s look at some of the goodies!

This last one isn’t new. I got this tea cup from the as-is section at Ikea for a buck, filled the bottom with rocks for drainage, and put a few cuttings in it. I love it. Super simple and looks great.

Anyone else going succulent crazy?