I love that word. Succulent conjures up something sweet and juicy, but it also refers to a type of plant. Saucy, juicy, care-free succulents.
I met a succulent gardener last summer over a bunch of dirt. Top soil to be exact. Long story, but I ordered planting mix and received top soil instead. The vendor offered a refund but would not come pick up the soil. I offered the top soil on Freecycle, and that’s how I met Amy.
Amy grows succulents in her beautiful garden. I helped her unload the soil at her home and she gave me the nickel tour. I hope to go back and take pictures to share with all of you. Her garden is unique and perfectly suited to our semi-arid climate.
Amy sent home a few cuttings from her garden that day.
Cutting from Amy’s garden
Earlier this year, I planted Sedum in my tower of pots. I simply pressed the cuttings directly into the soil and off they grew. Amazing! They’re doing great in a couple of pots on my deck.
Tower of pots
Amy’s cutting joins the tower of pots
Coincidentally, I bought a few succulents mid-July. They came beautifully pre-planted and ready to hang. I hung them on the side of the house near the deck. They only need water about once a month.
Assorted succulents hang on the side of the house
In early October, I moved the hanging planters to make room for Halloween decorations. Turns out they look nice back-to-back on the center of the outdoor table.
Closeup, with a joyful accent from Boomdee
These saucy succulents are a welcome addition to my garden ensemble. I’m looking forward to adding more next year.
Tower of Sedum
Earlier this season I created a ‘Flower Tower’ by stacking three clay pots in graduated widths, then securing them with a stake. The flowers were beautiful, but the narrow space for planting, meant they dried out quickly. Annuals are shallow rooters to begin. Couple that with the porous clay pots and you have a watering challenge on your hands.
I loved the tower, and had fun aging the pots with gold leaf. I wasn’t ready to give up. I shifted the annuals to larger pots, then replanted with drought-tolerant Sedum.
I’m really pleased with the results. The plants don’t mind drying out between watering (and in fact probably prefer it). The soft greens contrast nicely with the clay. As they grow, they’ll cascade down the sides of the pots, and once established will send out tiny flowers.
Power to the tower!
Sedum layered in tower of pots
The Secret Garden, published in 1910 by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is noted as ‘one of the best children’s books of the twentieth century.’ I don’t know if I actually read it as a child, but the idea of a secret garden has stayed with me always. Who doesn’t like a good mystery? Throw in a secret key and a beautiful garden and you’ve got the makings of a rich childhood fantasy.
Earlier this year I discovered a beautiful line of crafting paper by graphic 45 based on Burnett’s book. While I was purchasing my own sheaf of paper in California, Boomdee was doing the same in Edmonton, Canada. I just know they were thinking of us when they designed this nostalgic product line.
Paper intended for scrapbooks doesn’t usually end up in the garden. For a variety of reasons (well one really) paper and water don’t mix. I decided to buck the trend, however, and figure out a way to combine my love of tiny gardens, secret gardens, crafting paper and children’s lit.
Using a plastic tray and a generous amount of cello-tape, I waterproofed the paper for the background as well as the sign. I purchased a small wooden frame for a dollar at our local craft store and painted it a soothing garden green. Touches of moss and dirt gave it a woodsy touch, as well as the Sedum and petrified wood nearby. A small gravel path leads to the heart-shaped entrance. Stairs (made from leftover tile pieces) sit on small wooden blocks. Just follow the colorful path.
Secret Garden Entrance
Please follow the path
Please come this way…
Paper design by graphic 45
You’ll be seeing more of this lovely paper in a craft-it-forward project later this year.
For additional inspiration, check out the links below: