Simple Succulent Garden Joys

One of the things that brings me joy when I’m feeling cooped up is going on a stroll through my backyard garden. I enjoy taking note of which plants survived and which ones just couldn’t hack it. My plants are the survivors of my black thumb, and I look at them with pride (and that I didn’t manage to kill them). At this point, the ones still standing aren’t going anywhere. They’ve made it! Aside from bringing me joy, they also serve as fabulous backdrops to pictures of my crochet dolls.

I wrote a post about how my friend noticed I had just one type of plant in my backyard and how she thought it was funny. My response was that that was the only plant I could keep alive! It thrived on my neglect and so that’s all I had. Embarrassed by my lack of variety,  I embraced a journey of discovery and experimentation. I endeavoured to find other plants with the same resilience. After all, if there was one that could survive me, there must be others. And indeed there was! And now I have an abundance of lovely succulents that I truly believe love me because they had the fortitude to survive. 🙂

So while I’m in isolation, I have the fruits of my labor to enjoy. It rained back in April (my plants wouldn’t make it without the occasional rain), and I went on a photo safari to capture the plants in all their plump, rainy-day glory. I was inspired by a fellow blogger who went through a stroll in her garden to lift her spirits.

So here are some of my plants that not only survived, but continue to thrive:



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Succulents after the rain

I live in Southern California and it hardly ever rains, but when it does, oh boy!

Reasons I love the rain:

  1. I don’t have to wash my car. Hear me out. Most people complain that it rains right after they washed their car. I’m the complete opposite. I love a good downpour. It can’t be just a little rain. It has to rain long and hard enough to knock the dust off of my car. It’s great when it happens at work because I drive home and dry it off and my car looks clean!
  2. The sound of rain is very soothing and helps me fall asleep. For some reason, fake rain sound doesn’t work. I might fall asleep to it but then I’m dreaming about having to go the bathroom all night, and consequently, waking up all night. Not sure why real rain outside my window doesn’t do this.
  3. I don’t have to water my plants for awhile. The summer is brutal on anything I’m trying to keep alive. I’ve not hidden the fact that I’m a terrible gardner and I never seem to give the plants enough water. But as we go into fall and winter, things get a little better for me and especially for the plants.

My garden on rain

We had about three full days of real rain in about a week, and besides my car getting clean, I had some real surprises in the garden. This is the first time my plants got a real soaking since I planted them.

The very first thing I noticed was that this one particular plant absolutely exploded! I didn’t know a plant could grow so quickly! These plants were doing well, but after the rain, wow. You’ll notice my creative use of cinder blocks. Ugly? Yes. Useful? Absolutely. The blocks keep the dogs from digging themselves to freedom (they were doing this) and and they also masquerade as planters.


These tripled in size! {Aeonium}

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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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