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Delight and Things

a little peek at what delights me

As I struggle along with trying to make my backyard look loved, I’m developing a fixation with succulents. It first started when I was wandering around behind one of the sheds the other day in a search for something I’ve forgotten (pretty rocks? good soil I could steal for use elsewhere? antique farming equipment that seems to make its home in random piles on the property?) and I found a lovely ‘secret garden’ around an old tank stand. I totally did feel like that little girl from the secret garden – it felt like a beautiful living surprise and I was just in awe that it was surviving, no, thriving without any attention at all!

Then, the giant green spiky plants that line our driveway and have always reminded me of something Dr. Seuss would have imagined burst into flower. Tall, red clusters of lipstick red blooms. They’re locally known as “red hot pokers”. I was simply delighted that the dry dusty driveway suddenly looked taken care of and welcoming.

They were succulents. Big, rubbery lime green leaves. Patterns and textures in abundance. Beautifully delicate bell shaped flowers in coral colours. Purples and greens and near-blues. Variegation. Polka dots. Bright red fading to yellow fading to green. They looked alien yet beautiful. And hassle free? Sign me up! They are perfect for drought-prone climates like the one I’m living in because of their ability to store water in their leaves.

Shortly after, I was lucky enough to receive a bunch of succulent cuttings from a friend, and she assured me that I could practically just throw them places and they would grow without me even thinking about them. They’ve been in about a month now, and sure enough, they are rooting into the dryest, most water-repellent soil I could possibly imagine. Score! They’re even forming tiny new leaves.

All of this got me thinking about the possibilities of gardening with succulents. I can’t wait for my succulents to grow enough to take more cuttings from them and plant them in new spots! I’m already planning the colour/pattern/shape combinations that could happen in the most sunbaked areas of the garden. I’ll share a few snaps of some of the things my yard already has growing in it.

what's in my garden

red hot pokers

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