Good Morning Everyone,
In June of 2009, I was interviewed by Sarah Martinez for “Garden Center Magazine” about my Container Garden Parties at people’s homes, and one statement I made to her at that time was, “Holding these parties at people’s homes is a lot of work – but I enjoy it.”
Well, the same holds true today.
Last weekend, Cathy T’s Big Container Garden Party (Class) was held, and the plant feature was succulents, alpines and tropical plants – and again – it was a lot of work to setup, but so much fun. Being with a group of attendees interested in creating and learning – well, it can not be beat.
The opportunity to share what I have learned over the years about Container Gardens and plants presents itself again at the Ellington Farmers Market today in Arbor Park on Main Street in Ellington, CT.
Come see me at 10:00 am in the gazebo. (Note: There are 2 gazebo’s on the property, one will have musicians, the other along Main Street is where I will be on the farmers market grounds.)
The market opens at 9:00 am and closes by noon. It will be a fast paced day filled with goodies – including a talk on “Decorative Edibles in mixed Container Gardens” by me. I hope to see you there today.
And because I have beautiful succulents and alpines in stock, I will have those available for sale too. If you haven’t completed planting up your container gardens and patio pots – come see the goodies available.
Succulents, Alpines, and Cacti
Succulents are plants with thick and strong leaves and stems. Because they are designed to store water during periods of drought – they are tough little plants. Some are dainty and others offer bold and strong architectural forms.
Cacti are similar to succulents; they store water in their stems. Some have areoles with spines, so they can be very strong and even dangerous if not handled appropriately, but so worth it in my opinion, for many offer values in design compositions in container gardens.
In my class last weekend, I went over the 7 ‘Must Not Do’s’ with Succulents, so if you want to know what those are – see me today or sign up for a future class.
Oh and alpines – well, they are just adorable little plants popular to use in rock garden settings, as ground covers, and in crevices — and of course, in big or small container gardens. This small wired basket is a creation by an attendee last weekend, Linda. Isn’t it as sweet as ever – so small but so cute.
Sometimes you get inspired when you work with small plants too. Yesterday, I took snips and cuttings of various succulents and alpines to create this adorable, dainty tea cup embellishment for a table. Want to give it a try? All supplies, the vintage bone china tea cups, plants, and instructions will be available at the market at the gazebo.
The tea cup plate and cup on the left, by the way, will be available for purchase. These cups go for $20-25 dollars on eBay – I will have them for a deal at a limited supply so if you want one, arrive early before they are all sold out.
But succulents, as noted above, can be very edge looking, and another attendee at the class scored an amazing container – check this out! Topped with a very large Sempervirens (Hens and Chick), alone it makes a statement. Her tall silver GARDEN container will rock it outdoors, and is easily moved indoors over the winter if desired. I think it was my favorite container style brought by an attendee this year – so fun to see what they find and design in class.
Succulents and cacti offer extremely different ranges of forms and textures. Take the Faucaria tuberculosa on the left in the photo below. This plant is a South African native and has the most interesting triangular leaves and it is a soft silvery blue color. This looks great with darker toned succulents in a pot, but it is also a neat form to work with. It is a Zones 10-11 plant so perfect for the heat of summer and as a house plant in winter. It is very easy to grow and will bloom yellow flowers in late summer. The common name is Pebbled Tiger Jaws – perfect name, I would say.
And check out the plant on the right – Gasterworthia ‘American Beauty’ – it is NEW on the scene. This is a hybrid of Gasteria and Haworthia pumila (maxima) grown by local growers in CT – and the rosette is stunning – patterned with spotting on the leaves. It is shooting up yellow flowers right now. Both will be available for sale today at the market, along with many other types.
The plant with red edged leaves is a Jade plant by the name of Crassula arborescens – also NEW on the scene. How can you resist this plant? – it has fleshy, blue-gray foliage and stands upright but full and mounded too. It eventually grows to 3 to 4 feet wide, and I think they are stunning. Also, a common Jade (as seen in the background), Crassula ovata, is in this photo – a common houseplant which I think looks amazing in head planters. Go see my Container Garden Collages for photos of a red head pot to see.
These are just ‘sneak peeks’ of today’s plant features. Echeverias with a variety of colors and fleshy leaves tinged with colored edges will be available too. The Genus name is named after an 18th century Mexican botanical artist, Atanasio Echeveria y Godoy – now you know why they are called Echeverias (a.k.a., Hens and Chicks). And be on the look out for Agaves, Aloes, Kalanchoes, and other’s.
But now it’s time for me to sign-off and get ready for my day.
See you there,