A Succulent Garden
June 7, 2007
Last weekend I put together a succulent garden.
While at the Friend’s of the Farm Rare and Unusual Plant Sale at the Experimental Farm, I saw a gorgeous pot of succulents. Sadly, I didn’t buy it and couldn’t find a way to buy one afterwards. There are no cactus/succulent stores in my area so I started to check out the local nurseries and garden centres for individual succulents. Here’s what I found:
Wal-mart Barrhaven – terrible selection and very poor quality. Their cactus had little fake vibrant-coloured flowers glued on the top. There was an entire tray that was withered away. I didn’t buy any here.
Home Depot Baseline – better selection and better quality but still left me wanting to look around more. Good prices on their mini pots. Almost bought some here.
Ritchie Feed and Seed East – not a lot of variety, however, they did have a sickly-looking lithop which I would have bought if it had been in better shape.
Canadian Tire Hunt Club – Succulents? What?
Richmond Nursery – Shockingly, a small step up from Wal-mart. Their mini cacti were in rough shape, some with the glued flowers on top. Their larger varieties were in better shape but I wasn’t wanting any of those. I didn’t buy any here.
Rona Hunt Club – Good selection, good prices and knowledgable staff. I had a hard time selecting my favourites. They did have a cute little Astrophytum myriostigma that I didn’t get. I bought three little pots here.
Pioneer Nursery – There’s an area of this nursery that I’ve never been in and that is where they keep all their succulents and cactus. Very good quality, very well cared for. I bought one plant from here as I already had three others. I also picked up an outdoor Sempervivum arachnoideum from which I took a cutting to root in my indoor succulent garden.
I took my five little plants home. Here they are (minus the Sempervivum arachnoideum) before they were potted:
I really wanted to mix my own cactus soil using the following recipe:
- 1 part organic matter (peat, loam, compost or soiless potting mix),
- 2 parts coarse sand, and,
- 1 part inorganic matter (grit, perlite or crushed lava rock)
I had a hard time finding coarse sand and ended up buying a pre-mixed soil from Wal-mart. It felt pretty light and airy compared to some of the other catus soils that I had seen. Here it is:
Next was the pot. I had really wanted to find a nice, thick concrete wide bowl-shaped pot, couldn’t find it and settled for a terracotta bulb pot from Rona:
I also picked up some stones/pebbles from IKEA and Micheal’s. Not knowing how the succulent garden was going to look like when I was done, I had a hard time selecting these. Looking at the finished product, I think I might go with a natural pebble stone from an aquarium store (unfortunately this is more expensive). Here’s the rocks I got:
Arranging the plants in the soil in the pot was pretty fun. Should the big one go in the middle or off to the side? Does the spikey one look better closer to the rounded one? So many decisions. Here is it with the fifth succulent in the middle foreground:
On go a mixture of the rocks and voila! My very first succulent garden! It’s now enjoying a temporary piece of hardwood floor in a southern window until I can find a nice little plant stand.