Playtime with succulents

There are small succulents I’ve been nurturing since our sojourn in L’Ametlla de Mar. They were then little bits that had fallen off from municipal planters and were lying on the pavement. I figured I might as well pick up some and have a go raising them. I’d never planted succulents from leaves before, but I’d read that their cut ends must dry first or they will succumb to rot. I left them just lying on the surface of regular potting soil, and over the past few months, given just the occasional bit of water, they’ve rooted themselves.

They’ve been slowly growing together in a wide-mouthed shallow pot that I’d put under an olive tree. One of our wildlife visitors –- I suspect the rabbit – has helped himself to the edge of a leaf, after having devoured all the fresh new leaves of a cyclamen I’d planted among the rocks nearby. To prevent further nibbling, I brought the whole pot out of harm’s way and into the shelter of the veranda.

I figured it would take many more months before the whole pot was filled, so I took a few that would look nice together. It was more in the spirit of play than any calculated design and planning really. A spot of horticulture therapy, much as I used to do when I organized sessions for seniors needing a bit of lighthearted creativity with plants and other found things from nature like shells, dried flowers and leaves, and driftwood. And now here I am —  the same age myself. I had lots of fun playing with the succulents — seeing which ones would go together, trying out different positions for them. And then it was choosing a pot with a glaze that would go well with their colours. Here’s the result of my morning’s horticulture therapy.

Succulents in pot g_4307.JPG

Fine gravel at their feet keeps away any backsplash of muddy soil when they’re occasionally watered. A few coloured stones and some sea-smoothed glass scattered around for some contrasting colour — and voilà! A little pot of succulents to grace a table.

Succulents in pot vg_4308

Succulents are ideal plants for those without access to a garden. A little pot by a window is sufficient, and they are so low-maintenance, they survive with practically no care at all. Would you like to have a go at a bit of play and self-applied horticulture therapy?


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