Category: Projects

Winter Garden Meet & Greet

We’ve been meaning to share our garden with you for a while now, so these pictures from early December are a little outdated. Austin has seen a fairly mild winter thus far, so other than bringing in some plants for a few below-freezing nights, the upkeep has been easy and the garden looks the same for the most part.I found the shelf above at Goodwill for $4.99 and grabbed it with these plants in mind. Any type of vertical shelving is really useful if you are working in a small space like ours.

Musa Basjoo Banana Tree

We aren’t sure what type of cactus this is, so we call it Daddy Cactus.

Our Acid Orange Tree

“Curly Baby” aka we don’t know the name of this one

Succulent cuttings [we cut and re-rooted one succulent to turn it into several little ones]

Lilyturf perennial, part sun, tall height, summer bloomer, drought tolerant, deer resistent, water weekly during dry spells

A succulent we grabbed at IKEA for $1.99- it’s not doing so well

Sedum: Little Gray Stonecrop low spreading evergreen ground cover: tiny white starry bloom; full/ part sun; well-drained soil, little water, spread; excellent for containers, rock gardens, and between paving stones

Campfire Plant tender succulent, part sun to part shade, cut back occasionally

An aloe tree brought all the way from San Francisco

Different view of the aloe tree

Coppertone Stonecrop tender perennials, full sun, drought tolerant, suitable for xeriscaping, winter hardiness: 25-30, keep the soil very dry to maintain the health, great plant for succulent garden or container.

Meyer Improved Dwarf Lemon Tree full sun (6+ hours of direct sunlight); Water usage: semi-moist; Bloom time: spring; Spacing: 5-8″; Growth rate: medium; Average size: 5-8″ x 5-8″; Cold hardiness: 32; Pruning: remove the shoots below the graft; Fertilization: spring, summer and fall

Indian Rubber Plant prefers indirect light, moderately moist soil, and warm home temperatures of 70-75 degrees

Part II coming soon…


How to Create a Succulent Arrangement

While I was shopping in Fredericksburg I saw some beautiful succulent arrangements for sale at an art gallery. I promised myself that I’d go back to buy them at the end of the day but never did. Well, almost three weeks later I still couldn’t stop thinking about my succulents that got away so I decided create my own. I’m thrilled with the results and I even ended up saving some money- the gallery in Fredericksburg was selling their arrangements for $50 and I made my own for just $21 ($3.50 for bowl-shaped terra cotta pot and $2.50 for each succulents, total of 7). Here’s how you can make your own:

Find a nursery. Succulents are sold everywhere: Lowes, Walmart, Home Depot, I’ve even bought some from IKEA  (they aren’t doing great) but nurseries will likely have a wider selection. In return, the prices will be slightly higher. The succulents in our arrangement were bought at Home Depot, which happened to have a very good selection this weekend.

Pick your plants. It’s important not to mix succulents with non-succulents for a couple of reasons.  Succulents are watered much less often than a regular plant, such as kale, and need well-draining soil with a mixture of sand and compost. Also, succulents are able to grow very closely together in a small area because their roots are shallow and won’t suffocate each other. Here are the plants we chose:

Sedum Brown Bean: Sedum rubrotinctum

Sedum Brown Bean: Sedum rubrotinctum

Aloinopsis luckhoffii

Delosperma SphalmanthoidesSedeveria 'Fan Fare'

Echeveria 'Sleepy'Anacampseros 'Sunrise'

Graptosedum 'California Sunset'

Fill your pot. Ours was relatively shallow to begin with, but we wanted the succulents to sit at the very top so they’d be visible from all angles so we filled about 3/4 of it with dirt. We then “carved” (with our fingers) small holes in the dirt for each of the plants to sit in and made the holes shallow enough to leave the top half of the plant’s base exposed. We arranged six of our succulents in a circle along the edge of the pot and placed our last one in the middle of them all.

Finish it off. Add extra dirt to cover the any exposed plant base and add pebbles. We already had the ones we used, but we got them at Michaels for $3.99.

Taking care of your arrangement: Succulents love neglect, so it should be fairly easy to keep them alive. Water light to moderately and protect them from freezing temperatures.

Happy gardening!