A couple of weeks ago I went to the nursery to pick up some spring flowers for our yard and house. For me the nursery is often more exciting than the flower market, mostly because there is the possibility to create a beautiful arrangement of flowers that will hopefully last longer than a week! As I was strolling through, imagining all of the beautiful containers I wanted to plant, a section of miniature succulents caught my eye and I was in love! My creative mind was set in motion and I completely abandoned my search for more flowers and started thinking about the possibility of planting succulents in some of my favorite containers.
Now this might have been a much less expensive trip, had I carefully thought about what I wanted to plant in each container, but that's generally not how I shop...especially when I'm feeling "creative"! Instead, I picked out a variety of the smallest types and a few larger ones and decided to figure out what would go where once I got them home. I was really drawn to the incredibly symmetrical varieties and the types that drape over the sides of the container. I also liked the contrast of the "leafy" looking ones to add a bit of texture. (Right now, I'm really wishing I had saved those darn tags they stick in the containers, so I could tell you their proper names!) In any event, here's a picture of the ones I chose.
I also bought some succulent potting soil (cactus mix), because the woman at the nursery said it was better than using the standard soil I usually use. After doing a bit of research, I discovered that adding sand to that soil helps with the drainage, but unfortunately, I did not know that before I started planting...note for next time!
Once I started to play with my new treasures, I quickly found out that these guys were quite different than larger succulents or other plant types I had used in the past. Because of how incredibly delicate some of the varieties were, I was not able to just plop them in a container and shuffle them around like I do with other plants. One wrong move an the most beautiful tendril would break. I even resorted to using a pair of long tweezers to adjust some of the smallest plants, because my fingers were just too big. I was surprised at how much concentration and special handling was required but was incredibly happy with the results.
This was a great reminder for me that creativity mixed with focus and precision is the perfect combination!
I used several types of containers, just to get a feel for how the succulents would look. I assumed that they would be the prettiest in a natural wood vessel, but it turns out the contrast of their modern shapes in an antique finished chalice were my favorite. I also loved how they looked in the simple brushed gold cylinder container. (I gave this one to my sweet friend, because it suited her home perfectly!) I also played around with adding different types of moss and ended up loving the look of fresh reindeer moss, which gave a beautiful bright pop of green or the Spanish moss which added a little texture.
The other tidbit of information I read was that succulents should not be watered for about a week after planting. (So counter intuitive, right!?) I ended up putting two pots inside my house and one outside and will have to see how they fare in the long term. Truth be told, I am not the one in my family with a green thumb; that would be my husband and youngest daughter. I think the problem, is I am so focused on making my arrangements look pretty that the finer details, like watering and drainage completely escape me! Nevertheless, I forge ahead, so it's back to the nursery for me this weekend!