Tag Archive | Succulents

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.

Succulents.jpg

These tripled in size! {Aeonium}

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

succulets garden.jpg

Look how tall some of them got!

And then these went from this

succulets garden_18

to this!

succulets garden_1 Continue reading

Attempting to Grow Succulents

There’s this plant that I love. I love it because no matter how much I neglect it, no matter how much I don’t water it, no matter where I plant it, it survives! It is the weed of the succulent world but I love it all the same. I finally know it’s name: Jade plant (Crassula).

succulents_2

Look how lovely we are!

I’ve written about this plant in my home before. This plant makes me feel like I’m not a complete plant killer. This plant can be propagated from any of its parts and it’s soooo easy! I can take any stem piece or any fallen leaf, stick it in the ground or in some container with the worst soil, and it grows.

Recently, we’ve been in the process of beautifying our home. We had considered moving but had a change of heart and decided to put our money into our home instead. We started with the outside by painting the house, replacing our dilapidated fence, and the nicest of all, properly landscaping the front yard. I made sure there would be hardy, waterwise plants out front that could survive my black thumb. I was assured that there was little I would need to do to keep them alive.

Continue reading

My Weed Garden

Not to0 long ago, my sis-in-law and friend was gazing out to my patio through the sliding glass door. She cocked her head and exhaled, “Huh, I never noticed that all your plants were the same.” I giggled  sheepishly because they were indeed all the same. I blurted out, they’re the only plants I can’t kill!” She laughed with understanding. She said they looked nice. I wasn’t sure if I should believe her.

Many years ago, someone, I can’t remember who because it was so long ago, commented that she (I’m pretty sure it was a she) hated this plant we saw in someone’s garden. It’s a succulent that has these big, shiny, tear drop shaped leaves. She said she hated them because they were the weeds of the succulents world. I didn’t say anything because I had some of those in my own garden. I was embarrassed to admit that I actually liked them. I didn’t know they were equivalent to weeds!

I have a black thumb when it comes to plants. I can pretty much kill anything except weeds. That hasn’t stopped me from trying to have a pretty garden , albeit with various degrees of success. I finally had to come to the conclusion that gardening just isn’t my thang. I know I can learn if I really wanted to but I just had to admit that I obviously didn’t want to.

My mom had once attempted to beautify my back yard with these lovely little flowers she bought for me. I looked at all those trays  of flowers and thought, “Oh no! death!” I politely told her that maybe planting those at my house wouldn’t be a good idea since I couldn’t be trusted with their care. She completely disregarded me and said all I had to do was water them. I thought but didn’t say, “If you say so….” My mom happily started digging and planting and sending me off to do various tasks, one of which was to water all those trays of flowers. I quickly did her bidding and asked what else I could do. When she was ready to start planting, she lifted one of the potted plants and said, “Didn’t I ask you to water these? They are still dry inside.” I replied that yes, I watered them. She saw me do it. She shook her head and said in Spanish, “These poor little plants. They were so excited to come to your home to be planted and now they’re thinking, why did you bring us here to die.” I just crookedly smiled and shrugged and she laughed. She said, “No wonder your plants die if you water them like that.” She kept planting them and told me to water them properly from now on. I’m sure nobody is surprised that they didn’t make it. Since then, I’ve tried different things, all mostly failures, until…

I decided I wasn’t going to be embarrassed for liking the weeds of the succulent world! How silly of me to let one person’s opinion color how I felt about certain plants. I chose to embrace that plant and used it all around my house! I couldn’t kill it no matter how much I neglected it. In fact, I could just cut off a stem, a leaf, or any part of it, stick it in some dirt, and voila! It grew. I loved it. It didn’t care if it only got watered when it rained. I even started wondering if I could do topiary with it. If I messed up, no harm no foul. I felt loved back by this plant because it refused to give up and die no matter what I did to it. Today, I saw a bunch of broken stems and leaves on the ground outside because we had some strong winds. I grabbed them, found a cute pot that’s been rolling around outside and put some dirt in it, some pretty rocks and those broken bits plus I cut some more and shoved them right in. I put it on my kitchen counter by a large window.

Succulent

The plant that will not die!

Continue reading