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I have a pot of reddish hens and chicks I really love. They’re in a metal pot (with holes drilled) that was one of the centerpieces with potted flowers at my wedding. I have to separate it out every year because as hens and chicks do, they multiply.
I’ve wanted to make a succulent wreath for a while, so I got the supplies today and just made one in about 45 minutes! (And it wasn’t very messy – I did it still wearing my white shirt from work!)
What you need:
-a few kinds of succulents. I used hens and chicks and 2 types of sedum.
-a wire wreath frame (pictured below). Should be available at your local arts and crafts store.
-sphagnum moss or something similar
-twine or thin wire
-landscaping or floral U pins
Here are the steps. I found this in various versions on various other blogs, but here’s what I did (and I got carried away and forgot to take pics of all the steps. Oops!):
Step 1 – Lay out wreath form. You probably want to do this over a bucket of soil.
Step 2 – Roughly stuff in sphagnum moss.
Step 3 – Roughly jam in some potting soil over top of that.
Step 4 – Jam in some succulents. Push the roots into the potting soil and moss as much as you can, but don’t worry if they’re a bit floppy.
Step 5 – Tie twine/wire around areas to tighten things up. Be sure to get any big areas of moss, and you may need to go around roots or bottom leaves to tie down plants. You can also use floral pins or lanscaping pins for ones that need more support. You can leave it visible or cut the lengths off later.
Step 7 – Water and lay flat for a couple weeks so roots get settled in, then hang it wherever you like! Just make sure to water it occasionally (you could also leave it flat and use it as a table centerpiece or to surround an umbrella pole or something). Mine will probably go on the side of the deck. Depending on your climate, it may or may not make it through the winter. I will probably put mine in the cold frame we are planning on making out of one of the raised beds for the winter so hopefully I can have it next year as well!
I am going to be getting some bright green hens and chicks from my mom that I will probably add in as well. And Aunt Deb – I potted up some of the RED hens and chicks for you and they’ll be traveling down with Mary’s baby shower gift with Gene and Rhonda! 🙂
Here they are! We’ll have to compare this to how they look as they fill out. I tried something new this year: I always line the bottoms of my pots with some old landscaping fabric to help keep soil and moisture in. This year I also lined the terra cotta pots (since they dry out faster) with an old plastic bag with holes cut in the bottom. I tucked down the sides so it’s hidden. Hopefully it’ll help retain moisture. We’ll see! I am also trying to be more like my mom (I always like her pots) and just toss some stuff in there. Lots of different kinds. We shall see.
I have 2 of these hanging baskets in the front. I totally didn’t match the sweet potato vine to the euonymus underneath (that is finally starting to look like an actual shrub) – but let’s just say that I did, because it worked out pretty darned well.
I got this very large terra cotta pot on sale for SEVEN DOLLARS (!!) at the end of last year because it has a chip in it. It’s on my front stoop. I might get some sort of tall grass for more “thrill” since it is such a tall pot, but I think it will be nice as-is, too.
On the corners of my raised beds are nice little spots for small pots. While most are edibles herbs, strawberries, etc), 2 of them are flowers.
Here’s the lime tree I ordered from Springhill Nursery (they forgot to send the pot and soil at first, but they resent it and I got it last week) and the hibiscus I overwintered this year (which hopefully will start filling out again – it IS making new leaves, so I think it’s OK. I also gave it a bigger pot.). They don’t live here for good, but I’d just potted them up and snapped a pic. I had some random stones from the Dollar Tree, so I decide to toss those in the pots as mulch. (Also, in the background, please note my ingenious use of an old shoe storage thing to store gardening tools. Works GREAT. Plus the windows we saved to make a cold frame for 2 beds this winter.
And here are a bunch more random pots. In the yellow pot is a red strawflower. I love that plant because the blooms last forever and can be dried. The pansies are still doing OK on the bottom, some hens and chicks, catnip and lemon balm, and the bonsai azalea hubby got me for my bday a few years ago. And a strawberry pot ($9 from The Christmas Tree Store – an amazing deal! And thankfully, no xmas trees at the store) that I dumped a whole crapload of different kinds of basil seeds in.
This one is in the triangle garden.
And a simple pot of red geraniums…ok PELAGORIUMS (which later, I added some rocks to). My mom has ALWAYS had red geraniums on the deck as long as I can remember, so it’s a requirement. In fact, I once won the SMECO (local electric co-op where my dad worked) photo contest. My parents entered a pic of me as a naked baby looking at a geranium. Let’s not share that on the internets. 🙂
I seem to be missing a pic of a pot on a stand over by the rain barrel. Dusty miller (some of what overwintered), marigolds, diamond frost, and a geranium in that one, I think.
I’ll add a few more I’m sure, but that should be most of the pots for the summer. What do you think?
The raised beds are ready, but still waiting for the 50/50 topsoil compost mix (hopefully it is being delivered as you read this, as long as the rain has held off). When marking things out for the raised beds, hubby bought some packs of those cheap stakes. Now that he’s done with them, I decided to use the for a *PROJECT!* while the seedlings were out for some sun last weekend.
Last year I used one of those omnipresent “40% Off One Regular Price Item” coupons from Michael’s Arts & Crafts to get a woodburning/leather etching/etc tool (just like this one, I think) for about $10. I hadn’t really used it for anything, but I broke it out and made some (I think) super cute garden markers.
It’s kind of hard to write with the thing (I did a light trace, then went back and burnt in better), which I don’t think was helped by the fact that the cheap wood was very uneven (it’s harder to burn in without it being spotty) so the lettering looks a little special. But I’m happy with how they turned out. Of course because I’m crazy like that, I’ll still have to have smaller markers that note exactly what *kind* of tomato, cucumber, or whatever each plant is, but these will mark off the general area for a kind of plant, and I think they’re cute. What do you think?
This weekend I finally took out a stepping stone kit I bought last summer. I bought 2 of them using the weekly 40% off coupons from Michael’s, and also got anothet box of just the cement mix (I have a lot of random mosaic pieces, so I didn’t need all that stuff). One of the kits I did last year, and the other had these fun letter presses (and I also got letters in another font, but I haven’t used that yet. I love these!
Pics of all of them are below. The one from the actual full kit is the “Watters est 5-5-06” one. The others were from the supplemental box of mix (the mix is really just portland cement, which you can get at Lowe’s, but you have to buy it in GIANT bags which you have to both store and carry out of the store, so I’ll stick to the small ones). I combined the glass from the kit and other glass and jewels I had (Michael’s and dollar store) for all of them. For the smaller ones, I used various containers – the rectangles are the bottoms of the containers some of the mosaic pieces came in and the round ones are the plastic pot drainer things (do they have a name?). One of them actually has cool little feet because the drainer thing – might have to try and think of some cool way to utilize that if I make more of these.
So anyway – enjoy the pics! Some are repeats because I took pics before they were totally dry and then rearranged them. What do you think? And a question – do you think I can leave these out all winter, or should I bring them in because water might freeze in the letters and crack them? Also on the smaller ones, some are slightly brittle (too little water) and some the letters didn’t work well on (too much water). I don’t want any of them to break, but I’d like to have them out over the winter if I can…