My Backyard Makeover with Succulents

When I’m not working on my book because my eyes have gone cross-eyed and I need a break, I work on beautifying my backyard with succulents. I use succulents because I have a better chance of plant survival with them. One of my co-workers has a beautiful backyard with a variety of succulents and she has generously shared cuttings with me.

I previously shared some photos of what I had started and I wanted to share some new photos of how some of those plants have grown. There were some casualties of course, which was expected, either from my black thumb or from my kiddo’s dog. Surprisingly though, not as many losses as I expected from either my black thumb or the dog. More surprisingly, some are actually thriving and not just merely surviving my hostile backyard.

These are pics of when I first planted some of the cuttings. I fully expected at least half of them to fly away to plant heaven.

But then this happened, even though the dog tromps through there on a daily basis chasing lizards.

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Look how tall some of them got!

And then these went from this

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to this!

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This shows new growth and how bushy they can get. I love that pink color on the border.

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And look at the growth on this one! That’s a neon pink!

As some have keeled over, I’ve replaced them with the ones that are making it. I’m taking note of what can take a beating and what can’t, but overall, more are living than dying and that’s fantastic. It’s been really hot in my neck of the woods and I knew that that would be a problem, and a few succumbed to the heat, but I’m just tickled that so many didn’t succumb. It probably helped that I bought a new water hose for the backyard and I actually water the plants now.

My friend has introduced me to the wonders of plant trading. She (and now me) is part of a plant trading group on Facebook that meets monthly. It’s fantastic! You go with your plants and trade them for what other people have. The beauty of the trades is that you can trade pretty much anything if you don’t have many plants to start with. Right now, I don’t have much to share but I do crochet and I can share that! I also make really good gluten free peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies made out of oat flour. I can trade those too!

Most people are very friendly and it’s a great way to experiment with your garden on a dime. I’ve gone three times and I’m slowly filling up my garden. Towards the end of the trading, most people don’t want to take back what they brought. I walk around and ask if anyone has plants they don’t want to take home. There are always people begging me to take their stuff. I walk away with so many plants, they hardly fit in my car!

Here are some of my favorites, mainly because they didn’t die and because they were kind enough to grow.

This one is mine from before I got busy collecting other specimens. You can see them in the pictures above but here’s a close up of one in my garden. They look better now that they’re being watered but the fact that they survived when I wasn’t watering them is a testament to their hardiness. Got to love them for that!

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I have a soft spot for succulents that look like flowers and I got quite a few at the trades that fit the bill.

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Isn’t this pretty?

I got a bunch that looked like flowers so I clustered them in an old barbecue pit I was going to throw away.


I want to find little fairies to put in there.

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This one seems very hardy and is thriving. I want more of these!

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This is one of my absolute favorites. It seems to be very hardy and the flowers were a nice surprise.

This post turned out longer than I expected so I’ll talk about my cinder block experiment in another post. I’m nearly throwing my back out and killing my little car trying to do something with them (because they’re soooo heavy) but in my mind I see something great coming out of all the hard work. I’m not sure if what I see in my mind and what it actually looks like will be close but I’m hopeful. ๐Ÿ™‚


21 thoughts on “My Backyard Makeover with Succulents

    • Thanks Tony! I’m loving the plant trading group. I’m terrible with plants and this is a fun way to see which ones will survive in my garden. And if they don’t make it, I don’t feel bad because most of them are clippings that would have been thrown away otherwise. There’s no pressure and I’m learning at my own pace.


  1. Itโ€™s lovely, Yolanda ๐Ÿ˜ I love succulents…and during the summer outside mine are doing good. But Iโ€™m beginning to think they are more of an outdoor plant, since I have no luck keeping them alive inside during the winter.
    The idea of a plant trading group is fabulous! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ How nice for beginners, that you can trade other things too ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒท

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hooray! I’ve definitely been bitten by the succulent bug too, they’re just fab! I managed to propagate about 10 baby plants from one of mine, so maybe I could take them to a swap near me and get some new varieties. Thanks for the idea ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Simple Succulent Garden Joys | yochet

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