Friday, June 2, 2017

FMM - Green Thumb Edition?

I have had some nice success with growing the little succulent cuttings that I brought back from California last September, so I got brave and bought a clay pot bowl to try and make a succulent garden.  Now, I used what I had - you're supposed to have a "thriller, spiller, and filler" which means something really spectacular-looking, something that will flow over the edges of the pot, and some smaller plants to fill in the pot.  I really didn't have any spiller-type plants, nor did I have much of a thriller, but I figured I could make it work well enough.  I put everything together last Friday evening, and didn't get a picture of it then because the light was bad, but I was pretty pleased with how it came out.

My intention was to put this succulent garden on my patio, near where most of my pot plants are doing well.  I set it out that night, and on Sunday afternoon, when we were having a BBQ with some friends, decided to move it to a little table out there because Paco kept visiting it.  I picked it up and had just set it on the table when I realized that there was a live frog buried in the soil!  EEK and ACK!  A split second later I probably would have dropped the pot, as the frog startled me that much.  I got Jeff to remove the frog, which ended up being huge - I guess the nice soft soil was very tempting for it, and he burrowed down deep, disturbing my newly-transplanted succulents.  Well, by Thursday, most of the plants were not looking very good, thanks to what I accidentally knocked off as I was planting them, as well as the damage the frog did (along with Paco's nose, which would explain why he kept going over to the pot):
Limp plants, yellowing plant, one that lost most of its leaves...not great.

I was already frustrated at my lack of proper "spiller" when I was making this garden, so last weekend I went online to look for some, specifically the String of Pearls succulent, which I'd had hanging from a shelf in my bedroom when I was a teenager (and if neglectful me couldn't kill it back then, chances are it's a pretty good plant for more nurturing me now).  The problem here is that there are very few varieties of succulents in our local garden centers, so buying local isn't a great option.  Plus, and this is probably just a coincidence, but of the two succulents that I bought in Texas, one died and the other (at the 11:00 position in the pot pictured above) isn't doing well at all.  So maybe I just need California succulents - hey, that theory works as well as any, right?  I ended up finding a grower on Etsy, located in San Diego, where I could get 12 little pots of succulents plus an additional pot - and he had String of Pearls in his inventory, so I was able to request that one for my extra.  The box arrived on my doorstep yesterday - I wasn't sure how well succulents would do in the mail considering I managed to knock quite a few leaves off of mine when I was planting them, but he had excellent reviews, so I gave it a go.  This is what I saw after I removed the first layers of crumpled newspaper:
Each little pot was wrapped in more newspaper...
And they all had dampened strips of newspaper nestled under the plant, holding the soil in place.
My haul.  I'm so pleased!!!

I ordered these intending to make another succulent garden - a mini one.  I was thinking I'd jam them all together (gently, of course) and make a really full-looking display.  But now I'm torn - I wonder if I should remove some of the plants that aren't doing so well in my new succulent pot and fill in with these little guys...OR, maybe I should just plant them into the little clay pots and line my windowsills, which might be a safer bet as I seem to keep those plants alive.  Plus I like the look of a little plant-per-pot, like this:
Why yes, that would be Paco's nose getting in the picture, LOL  This plant is one of my smaller ones but that's because it's what remained after I made the succulent garden.  Still, I'm a fan of this look.

So I don't know what I'll end up doing with the new batch of succulents - I have a few days to figure it out before they'll need to be repotted.

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Speaking of a green thumb - or not - my bougainvillea has become a boo-gainvillea:
 
Where are the pink flowers?  And yes, I know that the pink parts of a bougainvillea are actually leaves; the flower is a tiny white thing, but I wanted to have color with this plant and I ended up with just another green plant!  I may move this to the front yard and see if that makes a difference.

Now, I will take full credit for this beauty (and by full credit, I mean that I picked it out at the garden center and had Jeff plant it in a pot we already had):
 
Portulaca - it is LOVING this spot.  And I am loving the explosion of color!

My last green plant to show you is something I bought at our local farmer's market on Wednesday:
 
It's tiny basil and smells so good!  The variety is called Spicy Globe, and it's supposed to grow in mounds, so I bought it intending to have my gardener (Jeff) plant it in the pot that is housing this pinkish plant:
I think the lime green of the basil will really pop with the pink color of whatever this plant is...I really should have kept the tag!

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Tomorrow I'll be running 5.4 miles - yes, it's my birthday run...remind me again why I decided to run my age each year?  It only gets harder, and it's freaking JUNE, for crying out loud - not quality running weather, that's for sure.  Weirdly, I'm kind of looking forward to it.  I'm also looking forward to being finished with it, haha.  Anyway, today is my actual birthday, and I plan on starting the celebration with my free drink from Starbucks - will I get my yearly frappuccino, or will I go for something else?  Decisions, decisions...but turning 54 feels pretty good overall.

Have a great weekend!

22 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day and get a fabulous drink at Starbucks!

    Bougainvillea like hot full sun locations in order to thrive, and I don't know the name of your pink plant in the last picture but we grow them here in Florida and they seem to like semi-shady spots places that get late day sun and not for too many hours at a time. Good luck with all your plants!

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    1. Thanks, Susan! I think I will move the bougainvillea then - it doesn't get full sun on the patio. Your description of what the pink plant likes made me happy, because that's exactly what it is getting, yay!

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  2. Happy Birthday!! You're the same age as me! Altho I'm ready for this year to just go away...

    I love all your plants! I've got my spring annuals in and it's so nice to see some color on my deck. I'm enjoying them before the heat returns and does them in.

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    1. I totally understand why you're ready to move on from this year.

      One thing I love about blogging is having a record of when plants are doing well - it will be interesting to revisit these bloomers in August and see if anything is still alive.

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  3. You are the plant queen!

    Happy birthday. Did you know the director of the Boston Marathon runs his age in miles each year?

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    1. I read that - no decimal point for him, he runs the whole thing! Crazy, but I can appreciate the crazy.

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  4. You definitely have a green thumb.

    Happy Birthday. I finally finished on May 31 with all my birthday freebies.

    Unfortunately getting older means more birthday miles. I had to switch to kn. LOL

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    1. Funny thing - I was thinking about switching to kilometers! For the record, 5.4 km is 3.56 miles - totally doable in June!

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  5. Happy birthday!!!
    Do you mind sharing who you got your succulents from? They are so cute!!

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    1. RGSucculents: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RGSucculents

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  6. Your little succulent package is so impressive! I'm excited to see what you do with them, and how they hold up for you. You'd think succulents are one thing they would stock in Texas nurseries, since they like heat and dry conditions.

    I should send you a picture of my bougainvillea. Its in full sun, but no pink flowers either. :(

    I bought myself a basil the other day, but its just the ordinary variety. I like yours much better!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND FULL OF FUN, FRIENDS, AND BIRTHDAY TREATS :)

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    1. I agree with you on why we should have a better variety of succulents here, but apparently the people who provide plants to the nurseries don't. :(

      Interesting about your bougainvillea - maybe it needs to be hotter? That can't be it, we had them in southern California in full sun but it wasn't nearly as hot there as it is here. Hmmm...

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  7. I don't even try to plant flowers anymore...my. Lack is thumb straight to my bone!!!! Yup...I've killed a cactus!!!

    I love your haul of succulents. Good luck with them!!!

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    1. Thanks! There are some plants that I look at and think, nope, you are too pretty to come to my house and die, LOL. Stay at the nursery and hopefully someone with better luck will adopt you. ;)

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  8. Oh and I almost forgot! Happy birthday!!!

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  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope your birthday run feels like it's .54 miles, and the weather feels like MARCH.

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    1. Thanks Kim - boy I wish your hope for my run worked...but hey, I got it done. :)

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  10. Happy Birthday! I hope you had a fabulous day and weekend!!!

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  11. It all looks amazing! Great job!!

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