4.17.2012

I Suck...

...at gardening.

I really suck at gardening.

Well, I shouldn't say gardening, that's not broad enough.

What I actually suck at is anything plant-related.

I am a killer of plants.

Send me your beta fish, your dachshund, your four-year-old daughter.  No problem.  I can totally take care of those guys.  Ask me to watch your philodendron?  Yeah, you're going to regret that.

Except there seems to be one type of plant that is immune to my plant-killing super-powers: 

The mighty succulent.

I discovered this quite by accident.  You see, whenever my in-laws come to visit, we play this little game:  They buy pretty plants to put in the planter by my front door.  They take care of the plants during their stay.  They leave.  The plants die from my gross neglect.  They quietly replace them during their next visit.  

But on their last visit?  Well, something miraculous happened.  

They bought a succulent.  

And it lived.  

This was a revelation.  Positively inspiring.  So much so that when I recently saw this footed bowl in the Wisteria Catalog, I immediately envisioned it filled with succulents.  (Hmm...  now that I've pulled the link, I see that they have it pictured with succulents inside.  So much for "my" vision...)

Anyway, the bowl arrived last week and I was able to get to the garden store yesterday.  

First I picked out these: 

At the recommendation of the saleswoman I also picked up a bag of this:

Then I took my bowl (isn't she pretty?)...

...poured in a little soil...

...and started arranging the plants.

(Beyonce watched with interest through the pool fence.)

And here's the end result.  




(Much like my first daughter, my first plant is overly-photographed.  Plant #2 can attend therapy with daughter #2 after they look through the family photo albums in twenty years.) 

So, there you have it.  I'm hoping this will be my first successful attempt at plant ownership.

Second if you count my in-law's purchase.  

Well, third if you count this guy...


That's right.  While everyone else on earth has gotten rid of their Poinsettias (this being April and all), I can't seem to kill this one for the life of me.

Go figure.

(3/20/13 Update:  Come see my most recent succulent creation here.)

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60 comments:

  1. I love that arrangement! I hope that they continue to flourish for you! :)

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  2. I love succulents! Nice arrangement in the bowl :-)

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  3. I used to be a black thumb as well! That has changed a bit and you are well on your way. Love your site and your sense of humor.

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  4. Hey E,

    2 things:

    1. I have fond memories of perusing catologs at your house and;

    2. We received a small set of potted cacti as a white elephany Christmas of 2010. Amazingly enough it has survived! We plan on re-gifting the next time we have a white elephant to attend.

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    Replies
    1. Jules, People seem to love reading catalogs at my house. My MIL will make a whole day out of it. I don't know if I get more than everyone else or if I just hoard them ;) xoxo

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  5. This looks gorgeous! I love succulents so much! They look great in their new home!

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  6. Love the succulents, you did a great job. I wish I had that exact one you made!

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  7. Now look at you. You did an awesome job! That arrangement is simply beautiful. Would you mind sharing this inspirational post at our WIW linky party? Hope to see you there!

    Paula
    ivyandelephants.blogspot.com

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  8. Your arrangement is gorgeous! I love succulents, too, and have a bunch on my front porch, some planted in a birdcage and a variety of other containers. Even some that were very bedraggled when purchased (at Big Lots, of all places) are flourishing now. They are perfect for those in the tribe of the black thumb.

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    1. Big Lots?! I am so going there. (What do you want to bet I'm going to end up on Hoarders: Succulent Edition?)

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  9. Oh how pretty! Love the assortment together like that. I can not get a poinsettia to live in our house for nothing! lol Stopping by from Thrifty Thursday! :)

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  10. Very nice bowl and plant choice, placement in it. Hubs and I love succulents, too. Trying to figure out a safe place for them here indoors with 3 big rambunctious standard poodles and an adult son who is less-than-careful. I had sooo many plants where we used to live. All died here--not enough sun. :-(.
    craftythriftydecoratingwifemom.wordpress.co

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  11. That turned out beautiful. I may need to make a garden myself! I would love for you to link this up to my "I Made This" party at Grits and Giggles. http://gritsandgiggles.blogspot.com/2012/04/i-made-this_18.html

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  12. Nobody can suck more than me at killing plants! I have managed to keep most of succulents alive but only just :) I love the look of the wide bowls and mass of succulents and I did try this once but they all committed suicide so I have only 2 in the bowl now, not quite as spectacular as yours they at least they are alive ;)

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  13. Just so sweet - you have me inspired now - I have tons of succulents going wild in the garden - now I know what to do with the off cuts once I get around to it. Thank you for your sweet comment on my painted jars and for the pin.
    I'm following your lovely blog now xx Nat
    http://northshoredays.blogspot.co.nz

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  14. Your succulents are beautiful! You must have a green thumb! I'm a new follower!

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  15. As usual, love your humor and beautiful pictures. I think i might send my kid#2 along with yours to the therapist :-D Incidentally, my Christmas poinsetta is still very much alive on my kitchen table too.

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing this on One Artsy Mama's linky party!! I just LOVE succulents and have been *not so patiently* waiting to find just the right ones for this perfect shallow pot I have (which had an arrangement in it that didn't make it. I have an inherited green thumb, but this plant didn't like me!!) and seeing your photos has inspired me to FIND the perfect ones!! I'm a new follower...feel free to wander over to my "sapling" blog...-heather of fruitfuldelightsonetsy.blogspot.com

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    1. My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by :) And I am definitely going to follow your blog. We have a peach tree in the yard and when they ripen (which happens all at once in July) I plan on making some peach jam!

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  17. Elena, I love your succulents idea. The dish you used is beautiful! Good for you and your poinsettia, it looks great!

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  18. Thank heavens for the invention of the camera phone or child 3 in our family might not have any photos.

    Love the blog and I look forward to coming back!

    http://www.practicallyperfectprincess.com/p/contact.html

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  19. hahahahaha :)

    Your in-laws must be so happy when they read this post! That their latest plant contribution is going strong!

    Love this post. Thanks for the laugh!

    blessings,
    karianne

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  20. I think you can't go wrong with succulents. Very pretty. Glad you shared with my newbie party. Did not see my link added...may be an over site on my part. Thanks for joining in.

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    1. Nope! An oversight on my part. You have always been the first button on my linky party list but I've been trying to add text links to my posts as well. Somehow I missed you on this one. Sorry about that and thanks for pointing it out!

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  21. Your succulents are beautiful! I think that's hilarious you can't kill the poinsettia...lol

    Murphey's law.

    Thanks for sharing!
    --Katie

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  22. Oh my gosh, I'm soooo inspired! My family tells me instead of a green thumb, I have a black one...I even managed to kill african violets. I need to get me some succulents! They look so pretty in your bowl! If you can do it, I can do it, right?! This is great news! Thanks so much for sharing at Shine on Fridays!!

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  23. Succulents are a pretty good bet to not be able to kill. You don't need to hardly water them or anything. Nice post. Thanks. Linda You can check out my post on Johnny Jump-ups if you like.

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  24. I love succulents - I've had one for years - moved from another state, leave it out all year long, never water it, and it thrives! That's my kinds of plant!

    Glad to know that I can drop my girls off at your house and they will be returned unharmed!

    And that poinsettia - how has that survived?! You must have a secret green thumb!
    Kelly

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  25. Oh, this made me laugh! It started with "I Suck" and ended with the unkillable Pointsettia. I had one of those last year that kept going through the summer, much to my dismay! Your succulent arrangement looks awesome. I bought a premade succulent planter last year and had great success with it, despite my novice gardening skills, so I'm crossing my fingers for you :)

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  26. What a fantastic idea!! They succulent arrangement is just beautiful. Megan

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  27. Ok, that last part really cracked me up!! Seriously, the succulents look great. Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina

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  28. The succulents look terrific where you planted them, I'd love to do the same..I am a c opy-cat, you know?! You made me laugh at the end, lol..Have a blessed week.
    FABBY

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  29. Gorgeous! I'm a plant killer too, so this is right up my alley!

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  30. I LOVE succulents! I am wanting to try one of the wreaths I have been seeing around! And, the great thing is - they reproduce! You will be able to fill container after container with them!

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  31. Ha! Your succulents look fabulous…AND you made me laugh not once, but two times!

    : )

    Julie M.

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  32. Thanks for sharing this great idea with us at The Sunday Round Up.
    Rose
    @ http://www.arosiesweethome.com/

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  33. Hi Elena,
    Thanks so much for sharing your gorgeous succulent dish garden with us at Ivy and Elephants. You are a feature this week! Please feel free to stop by and grab a featured button.
    Hugs,
    Patti

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  34. When do you take stage at second city? You are SO funny. I had to nod in agreement, several times, while reading your post. I too suck at gardening. But, being a fellow resident of the land of Lincoln...I just might take you up on your offer for watching my 4 year old, beta fish and puggle (sorry I don't have a dachshund). Newest follower (thanks to Linda over at it all started with paint).

    amy @ whilewearingheels.blogspot.com

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  35. Beautiful job! I'm with you - succulents are about the only thing I can't kill!!

    Thanks for sharing at Simply Klassic!

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  36. You crack me up!!! Such a fun read and I've always wanted to try a succulent planter like that. I've got it bookmarked for when I get there...and I've got to check out your post from today about the tutorial app, looks really interesting and makes me think my tutorials could be a lot better.

    Lynn

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  37. Hahaha! Love that planter. I may need to try me some succulents. I too am an enemy to the plant ...

    Great post. I mean, who doesn't love a post that includes a Beyonce shout out!

    :)

    Linda

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    1. You know I love this post! Thanks for linking it up ...

      :)

      Linda

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  38. I, too, am a hopeless killer of plants. I read The Nester's rave about succulents several weeks ago, but I just can't commit. Yours look great, especially in that gorgeous planter, so I'm going to feature this on my Show & Tell superstars pinterest board. Maybe I'll try it...I'm scared! Thanks for linking up.

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  39. I love your plant and your comparison of your plant to your children with your photography. It's crazy how true though. Thanks so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays.

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  40. I too am really bad at keeping plants alive. Anything with flowers I basically kill. I have a spider plant from college still, those things never die. And a bush type plant that you often see as fake greenery in restaurants. Mine is actually real and every couple years I forget to water it for so long all the leaves turn brown and fall off, but it always comes back... more scraggly than before!
    Otherwise... my husband buys me an orchid every year for Mother's Day. It lasts about 3 months and then it dies because I forget to water it. But he says for the money that's better than cut flowers! I can't argue with that... ;)
    Oh, and all the bulbs we planted at our new house... a few came up the first year, like 2 last year, and this year... 1. Good thing there are some holdovers from the former owners that seem to do just fine with no maintenance!

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  41. Beautiful!! Love the new pot too. Are you keeping them in full sun?

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  42. Hey friend! I am so happy that you linked this up! I loved it when I saw it before.....and I love it now!

    You are a rock star!

    Happy Great Outdoors to you!
    blessings,
    karianne

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  43. hahahah 'plant #2 can attend therapy with daughter #2'. lol You're succulent garden is so so cute!! Thank you so much for linking up to our party!
    Karah

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  44. What a pretty bowl. What a nice addition to your patio

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  45. Elena Hold on to your hat! I have actually killed succulents!... It took a lot to admit and share that but.... sigh.. I think I gave them too much water but I'm learning not to do that I;m getting better... I like your little succulents so cute and so alive.

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  46. Lovely bowl of succulents! I've been playing with them as well. They're pretty hardy! I live in the wine country of Northern California. They do well here...as well as at our coastline, 20 minutes from me. My boyfriend and I loaded up on them at Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, when we visited last spring. I love them!

    You named your pool toy Beyonce? That's some major awesomeness, right there...lol! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kate! And did you click on the link to read *why* I named the swan Beyonce? That's the best part. (Here's the link: http://thebloggess.com/2011/06/and-thats-why-you-should-learn-to-pick-your-battles/)

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  47. I have to admit, I have killed a cactus!

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  48. They look amazing Elena. The cactus mix was a GOOD idea. I've done my share of killing all kinds of house plants, yes even succulents. and I run a nursery! outdoor plants, no problem. Indoor plants, not so much. Im loving your blog.

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    1. Oh Trisha! There's hope for me yet! :) I have to say, eight months later and that succulent is thriving so I must have done something right! :)

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    2. Really pretty arrangement and great idea...I used to have a pretty green thumb but have found it difficult to remember to water outside plants in pots...most of the outside is watered by our automatic sprinkler system...I have decided not to even try to have plants in pots but this idea about succulents makes me re-think the possibilities!

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  49. omg Im seriously crying over that swan! hahahahahaha great post though! I'm about to put my succulent garden together! :D Thanks!
    Lauren M
    MakeItaDoublePlease.com

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    1. That's Beyonce, who, I'm afraid, recently met her maker. Tragic, tragic loss in our household.

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