Attempting to be a Successful Succulenteur and Other Garden Hits and Misses


Many posts ago I started on the path of succulent propagation.  My biggest experiment was using the “let it sit” method with a few leaves I’d gathered that had fallen from a succulent plant at the garden center – NOT stealing as they would have been considered cast offs and no doubt swept up and tossed.

So, to refresh, the method is to let them lie on a bed of Perlite in filtered light until they push out roots and then begin to form their own little plant. A while ago they put out a few tiny roots, but check it out now! The little plant is starting to form at the base ( you’ll probably need to click on the photo to enlarge it so you can really look closely):

 

Also, the heads of my Hens and Chicks have robust roots and are more than ready to be planted…if only I had a place to put them…

 

And, as I may have mentioned before, the art of becoming a succulenteur is really about experimentation. I just made a new observation about one of my succulents. It could almost seem to be a deliberate experiment with two test groups, but in reality it is all just coincidence that I had the same succulent type planted in two very different locations. One is outside in full sun, the other in filtered light. Check out the difference between the two!

 

The first one is in full light, the second in filtered. Note how in full light and heat they have balled up and tightened. In the filtered light they have opened up and stretched that neat webbing to its max. Both are doing well, but they adjust to their conditions in order to do so. Also, the one in full light popped out a lot of babies ( off shoots) in early spring due to lots of consistent rain…unlike the ones in filtered light which rely on my non-consistent watering patterns!

 

On the garden front…well, the Bok Choi bolted. This is the third attempt and the third failure. We’ve had really odd changes of temperature. I’m pretty sure the week of scorching heat is what caused them to bolt. But if it weren’t for the heat, I’m sure the pests would have done them in:

Note all the munched leaves.

 

Our little planter with chard turned into a potty for some nocturnal animal. All the sprouts were dug out and I believe if you look close enough you can even see a turd in the bowl. Boo!

Okay, since we’re on the track of failures at the moment, I may as well tell yo that some of my succulents started looking rather weird in the way they were forming their leaves. Also, I noted aphid-like critters on some of them. It seemed to be spreading, so I uprooted the ones that looked diseased.

 

Also, because of the funky weather, my living rock succulent’s flowers shriveled up and died without actually blossoming. I thought the whole plant would die, but it seems to be doing okay if you disregard the desiccated flowers at its center.

 

Onwards to brighter things! The Romain is doing fantastic. We had our first garden salad of the year a few days ago. The roses are in bloom, my Lambs Ear are taking over the entire patch and the bees are loving the flowers that just started blossoming from them. My Lavendula Dilly Dilly ( yes, the actual name of the lavender I planted, of course I chose it for its name!) is getting ready to bloom as well.

 

 

 

 

Our Purple Iris has run its course

 

 

But replacing it is a new kind:

 

And my established Hens and Chicks are also blooming:

 

And finally, after three years here, a lovely California Poppy has decided to join our accidental garden!

 

Annnnd we have a blue bird family in our little bird house. Every time we step into the garden you can hear the little babies chirping from inside, saying “feed me, feed me, feed me!” Our presence in the garden worries the parents who stand around with worms and insects in their beaks flitting to the roof of the house then away again unwilling to reveal to us where their precious babies are. And in accordance the babies fall silent too; until my hubby and I freeze in our actions to the point of shaking with the extended exertion of it until finally the mommy or daddy decide we’re no longer a threat and finally deliver the food to the anxious and voracious babies.

Mommy and…

Daddy!

 

Also, now that it’s getting hot, we are visited by our friendly neighborhood lizards who love our concrete step leading into the garden.

 

All in all, we are rather happy with our little backyard. We haven’t invested as much time in it as the previous year, but it is still a delight. Everything seems so alive and so active.

 

 

So, despite some failures in the gardening department, on the whole I think it is much more of a success. I’ll leave it at that!

 

 

S

Spring Garden


I just wanted to share with you what I found in the garden this morning. Usually it’s under my husband’s purview to water the garden before work, but he was running late so I stepped in as pinch hitter. I wasn’t entirely sure why watering was necessary as  a little bit of rain had fallen, but he insisted that I do it anyway. I was a bit grudging, but as soon as I got out there, I was loving it. One of my most favorite things is water droplets on leaves, and there was plenty of that, so I headed back in to grab my camera. Photos first, then watering. I didn’t want to disturb the perfect droplets :

This is my lambs ear patch growing in abundance and practically choking everything else in the bed out. But my hens and chicks are putting up a good fight. Check out the flowers it’s pushing out!

Just a side note..more like a note to self: next time I plan on taking close-up shots, refrain from coffee. These shots aren’t as sharp as I’d like, but you get the idea anyway.

I’d mentioned accidental gardening in one of my previous posts. Well, last year we had one mysterious petunia show up in our veggie bed. Check it out now!

They’re a little bit pale, but such fighters! In our three years here, we never actually bought a petunia, so this one sprang up from a random seed and keeps getting bigger. We don’t have the heart to take it out. We’ll enjoy it for a little bit longer and then see about transplanting it when we need the bed for more veggie plantings.

I’m happy to report that the bok choy is happily growing. Last year I put them in way too late and they bolted like crazy in the summer heat. These one’s are liking our spring weather. I am crossing my fingers that we’ll get a good harvest of bok choy. Last week the weather suddenly heated up for two days, so as long as there’s no more of that, the bok choy stand a chance.  Looks like some thinning is in order!

Last but not least, my lovely little flowers…like mini carnations. Not sure what they’re called:

It turned out to be quite satisfying watering the garden, feeling needed by all of this lovely nature. The mother bird in our bird house was only slightly alarmed, calling out and flying by me several times to check out the threat. Pretty soon she’ll be used to us, just like last year, we’ll become permanent fixtures of the garden.

My heart skipped a beat as I went to open my front door. Locked? Phew. Not this time; and besides, I know where the spare key is kept now.

Happy Day everyone!

S