Tag Archives: sedum

Succulents…See Some Things We’ve Created!

succulents in the greenhouse...

succulents in the greenhouse…

air plants...

air plants…

With the spring planting season approaching, the nursery will be a plant lovers dream, filled with the best of everything we can find. These include fragrant, ornamental, and edible herbs, including the popular oregano ‘Kent’s Beauty’, sun and shade loving perennials for your garden,  bright, flowering annuals for pots and planting beds, and shrubs expressly selected for their ornamental qualities and durability in southern gardens.

Another grouping of plants we have all year around are succulents, and they are so beautiful arranged in containers for the summer or as a combination planting in the home all year around. Some shown here also incorporate tillandsias, or air plants because their care and culture is so similar.

living wreath...

living wreath…

The living wreath shown here that Molly planted was a huge hit on our Facebook page, and for good reason.  Just look at all the interesting textures and colors used, including echeverias, cryptanthus, air plants and even a tiny phalaenopsis orchid! This post on creating a living wreath give you some tips on how to make your own masterpiece. To see yet another that Jamie made, take a look HERE.

imageBecause succulents, air plants and even bromeliads (another great companion) come in so many different shapes, colors and sizes, it’s fun to come up with endless combinations. Here are more that we’ve created in the past few months.

In this long, narrow planter Lauren used a number of different plants including succulent echevarias, sedums, haworthias, and a pretty pink aloe. Meandering through this combination are pilea ‘Aquamarine.’

this will get large!

this will get large!


This two tier planting is going to get quite large! Flapjack kalanchoes share the space with a trailing succulent-like plant called dorotheanthus which will have charming little red flowers as the weather gets hotter. It’s also quite cold tolerant, though not completely hardy for us here. This container would be best moved in for the winter.






We’ve used cork bark planters to great effect in the past, and here Molly planted one with some really beautiful hen and chicks, sempervivum sp., and a couple of hardy sedums. This planting could be kept outdoors through the winter with the exception of the tiny aloes on each end, which can be repotted and moved inside during the colder months. The entire planting could also be moved into a sunny room for the winter.

one of two...

one of two…

air plants add height until the flapjack kalanchoe gets larger...

air plants add height until the flapjack kalanchoe gets larger…

The two pretty white pots shown here work together (There’s actually a third as well.) I used a tall tillandsia to add some height to this planting until the flapjack kalanchoe attained some size. The cryptanthus adds some color at the front and the pilea will contribute delicate trailing leaves to this composition.   In the second pot I added an echevaria to the planting, keeping the pinky color scheme going.

Be careful not to overwater if a container doesn't drain...

Be careful not to overwater if a container doesn’t drain…

Succulents can be planted in anything! This copper planter does not have drainage though, so the plantings need very careful attention to be sure they’re not overwatered – always be mindful of what kind of containers you’re using. Those that drain are always best. I have to confess I just really liked how this looked anyway! And, it’s been growing quite happily in the greenhouse since February.image

Succulents can be used as accents. too. Here a container is home to a tall sanseveria and  pussy willow stems with  sweet allysum tucked between for it’s dainty white blooms.

Finally, if you’re designing a container with succulents (Or anything!) remember the container you’re placing them in is part of the design as well.  This little log shaped planter is brown in color but  tinged with a touch of pink. I liked how the cryptanthus on the left picked up on that but contrasted with the other plants chosen to offset it in color and weight.image

So, with warmer weather right around the corner,  grab a pot, stop in , and find some succulents and air plants of your own to plant up – you can’t go wrong – promise!







Found Objects – Planting Possibilities

An old window gets a new life...

An old window gets a new life…

Found objects…Have you ever come across something unexpected or in an unlikely place? Or turned a common object from one thing into another, transforming its former use into something completely different?

Found pipes...planted

Found pipes…planted





The  first happened to Jamie. On a walk she found two small concrete pipes…from what we’re not sure, but they were broken at just the right spot to make a planting pocket with a dip in the front. Serendipitous, indeed! She brought them to the shop so we could all drool over them (Yes, we all did!) and wish they were our own. Here is the planting she chose, using poppies, sedum,  variegated thyme and a touch of chartreuse reindeer moss.



The second is our group window project. This window had been floating around the shop for some time. Last year we did the first planting, transforming it from it’s former use, It became obvious, though, as the year went on, that it needed a planter box behind the frame so the plants could have more room to grow.

Echevarias, air plants, haworthias....

Echevarias, air plants, haworthias….



Thanks to the carpentry work of Bert, the window was transformed into a wall planter. Stuffed with moss, filled with potting soil, and covered with chicken wire, it was ready to plant!










Molly, Jamie, Lauren, Pinkie, and myself all took a pane and planted it up, pushing  various sedums, echevarias, haworthias, air plants and others that like a dry, sunny location through the chicken wire. It sat in the back of the greenhouse for a number of weeks, settling in. Our shop cat, Gracie,  discovered it at one point and smushed my pane and a couple of others. That’s when we decided to push sticks into it to deter him. It worked!

Found objects…sometimes the ordinary can become extraordinary.









A Real (And Really Big!) Clam Shell Planted With Succulents..

imageimageWOW! A customer brought this in the other day and I was the lucky one that got to plant it up! This clam shell is the real deal…a beautiful, large piece of natural art that had found its way to us.

Before it was even planted, I was bringing customers back to the work area to take a look at how amazing this natural container was.

Here it is, planted with various succulents, all sharing quarters quite comfortably in its large confines…flapjack kalanchoes, sedums, hen and chicks, sedeveria, and rhypsalis all create a tapestry of color and texture that compliment the white, smooth inside and rough outer portion of this very large clam shell.image


We’ve seen many replicas of clam shells lately; in fact, we’d been discussing this for quite a few weeks now – the proliferation of the clam!

This real one, unexpected and  quite wonderful, really was the icing on the cake. It’s also the type of thing that makes this job so much fun!

If you like succulents, take a look at this post for more inspiration – they are incredibly diverse plants to work with!


Succulents = Color!



A beautiful tapestry of succulent color...

A beautiful tapestry of succulent color…

A customer's urn filled with sedums, aeonium and other succulents

A customer’s urn filled with sedums, aeonium and other succulents


This latest offerings of sedums, echevarias, aeoniums and more from the west coast are, in a word, simply stunning. To be honest, had we known the quality, size and unbelievable color on these exceptional succulents, our order would have been much larger!



For you lucky folks who nab these now, you won’t be disappointed…hopefully these pictures will inspire you to try these or other succulents in your containers this year – we warn you though, these beauties can be addictive! While this shipment probably won’t be around long, we’re always on the hunt for these tough and durable plants.

Sunset colors...

Sunset colors…

Crassula 'Campfire'

Crassula ‘Campfire’









Any of you who frequent us can attest to the fact that because of our small size, inventory changes rapidly – what may be here today, may not be here next week…in other words, you snooze, you lose! On the other hand, what we have down the road could be even more beautiful – that’s the fun of haunting your favorite garden shop!

A silvery echevaria

A silvery echevaria

Who needs flowers with color like this?

Who needs flowers with color like this?









At any rate, the pictures here give you an idea of the beautiful range of color and texture in just this sampling. We hope the container plantings shown will give you inspiration to create your own this summer.image


Basic care for your succulents:
1. Plant in loose, well draining potting soil. Please, no soil from your garden – it’s much too heavy for succulents. When you water, it needs to drain.
2. Water when the soil is dry, then water freely and leave it alone. If you’re not sure whether to water – wait a day. The fat leaves of succulents hold moisture. Having said that, you can’t ignore watering them either.

Echevarias and Sedum 'Angelina' with Stipa grass in Kris' garden

Echevarias and Sedum ‘Angelina’ with Stipa grass in Kris’ garden


3. Many succulents prefer a bit if shade in the afternoon – we’ve discovered the hens’n’chicks definitely do. They all tolerate a degree of shade if they are not overwatered.image
4. If you want to plant some in a pot, mix it up to vary the colors and textures. Also, pay attention to their growth habits – some are more upright while others trail and would do better along the edge of your planter.
5. Top dressing your planting with pebbles or pea gravel helps keep the soil surface dry.
6. Less fertilizer is best. Once every month with a low nitrogen formula mixed at half strength is enough.
7. If leaves or stems break off as you’re planting, let them sit out and dry for a day or two, then push into a small pot with well draining mix. Keep an eye on it for new growth and do not overwater.

A customer's urns filled with various colorful succulents

A customer’s urns filled with various colorful succulents

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Succulents Coming Soon

This planter shows what we did with some of the succulents we’re beginning to get in – this definitely means spring is coming! Echevarias, rhipsalis, sedums, cryptanthus, these are all plants that take our summer heat in stride. Some are annuals and only grow through the summer, while others will survive winters for us as well.

Mix them with a few herbs – think thyme, oregano, chives, sage, trailing rosemary (we’ll give you examples down the road!) or other sun lovers – a pretty variagated yucca would be interesting, or you could go with a different contrast in leaf form and soften the look with some asparagus fern…the possibilities are endless and so much fun!


You could even include some houseplants – pepperomias in particular work well as do some pileas. An interesting plant you may not have seen much of is one called rhipsalis, with light, thread-like foliage. Remember, these will add a lot of color all by themselves. If you would like some flowers in the mix, purslane,  narrow leaf zinnias (cut them back if they try to take over), and mecardonia (tiny yellow flowers on a low growing, trailing plant) are a few you could start with.





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