Monday, April 4, 2011

Succulent Gardens

Ten years ago we received a cactus and succulent garden as a housewarming gift from my Aunt Grace.  To me, it screamed old lady from the high desert, but to Art, it screamed cool and he became fascinated.  He started a collection of cactus and succulents that grew and moved with us to two homes.  When Taylor was born and then became mobile, I was able to talk him into to throwing away all of the cacti, many of which scared me just to look at.  Some towered 2 feet tall and had spikes at least an inch long.  He begrudgingly agreed, but he convinced me to let him keep his succulents.

I'm glad he did because I have now grown quite fond of them, with their pretty colors and textures and virtual hassle-free maintenance.  Bonus points that they are now considered tres-chic.  We are constantly collecting bits and pieces on our walks and when we visit nurseries.  Today we picked a tiny branch off of a pot in the Bloomingdale's courtyard.  You can stick the smallest nub, or sometimes even just a leaf into the tiniest amount of soil and months later you have a full blown succulent. 

We stick bits and pieces into pots we keep on the side of the house filled with cactus soil (a very important factor) and just let them go wild, and then when we have a nice collection we trim, prune and transplant into fresh new pots to make pretty arrangements.
Today we focused on filling up the large pots that sit on our front porch.  I've grown quite tired of replanting the pots every 2-3 months with fresh flowers.  Costly and time consuming.  I love the color that fresh flowers bring to the front of a house, but we have a lot going on in the next few months and I have a feeling that I am really going to crave and love nothing more than maintenance free.

By the way, the kids love the succulents way more than your average flower.  They find them absolutely fascinating, carefully comparing all their unique shapes, textures and colors.  They helped with most of the arranging and the design today.  The big pot on the top left in the picture below is the family pot.  The one to the right is the "boy" pot, or Sydney and Daddy's pot, and the pot on the bottom right is the "girl" pot, or Taylor and Mommy's pot.  Everything in this house lately has been very gender specific, even the potted plants.    

P.S. the little spiky tree-like succulent that I am pruning is from the original cactus garden we received from my Aunt ten years ago.  We have grown and transplanted bits and pieces of it into several pots and it just keeps living on.  I love that and think it is just amazing.

I'm linking up to Heather's Life Made Lovely Monday.  Did you see she has a new home?!?


  1. what a peaceful garden...looks fantastic!!!


  2. Favorite post ever. I LOVE plants, and succulents are my favorite--long before they were cool, which is fitting since I'm the crazy lazy from "close to" the high desert. :)

  3. your succulent garden is lovely andrea! i'm a big fan of them. i just love their rustic modern look. and i'm crazy for the subtle color differences between each one. lovely!!

  4. i am the same! i used to think they were so gross, but love them now! I haven't tried to break off bits and replant, but my friend tells me the same, that it is so easy to do. LOVE your pots. And I love how you let your kids customize them :) Great idea.

  5. Love your succulent garden. I think they feel so retro California. Such a great idea to get the kids in on it too!


  6. I have even managed to kill my succulents. Yours are beautiful. I didn't know about the soil. Thanks for the tip.

  7. Katie-the soil is a must! Cactus soil allows for better drainage so that your poor little succulents don't get too much water, which will kill them quicker than anything.

  8. I love succulents and am dying to make my own arrangement. Thanks for the helpful tip about the soil!


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