Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Recent Acquisitions

They say "Nature abhors a vacuum." Well, I think it's also true that plants will continue to expand into the space allotted to them, which is what seems to be happening out in the greenhouse. I recently made more room for seed starting, but before I could actually get out there and start filling pots with soil and sowing seeds, one of the shelves that I had cleared off for seed trays started fill up with plants.

How did they get there?

But, surely they won't take up much space. They're just teeny-weeny, itty-bitty 4 oz. pots. Every year about this time, succulents in 4-oz. pots start appearing at the big box stores, and at only $2.98, they're hard to resist. They're really well-labeled too, and not just with the tags that say "treated with neonicotinoids." Not to mention I'm in the Home Depot Garden Club, which emails me every week with a $5 off coupon per $50 purchase.

I thought this year I'd try putting some tender succulents right in the ground in the gravel garden (which is getting a makeover -- more on that in a future post). Over the past summer, I saw Senecio mandraliscae planted in the ground, like an annual, at PowellsWood, so I thought I'd try that. I had to go to two Home Depots to buy up all the S. mandraliscae they had in those $2.98 pots. Ultimately I ended up with 12, and I'm looking forward to the cool blue statement they're going to make.

Of course, there were a few more cuties there that I had to get as well.

Echeveria 'Lola'

Aeonium 'Catlin Hybrid'

Echeveria agavoides

Sansevieria cylindrica

Three pots of Euphorbia tirucalli 'Firesticks' which also may end up in the ground

How could I resist a Mammillaria spinosissima cactus called 'Red-Headed Irishman'?

It's the same color as my ginger son's hair

And Mammillaria hahniana 'Old Lady Cactus'? I mean, come on.

She's getting ready to flower soon

This little guy is Mammillaria nejapensis 'Silver Arrows'

Euphorbia flanaganii cristata

I've been so pleased with the success of my first Aloe, Aloe glauca, which has been blooming all winter, that I decided to check out a few more.

Aloe bakeri, with one slim flower stalk poking up

Aloe zanzibarica

I think this one, which was labeled simply "Succulent," is Aloe fragilis

Here are the adorable, and very ethereal-looking, flowers, so very different from my A. glauca's thick, muscular, asparagus-like flower stalk

I better get out there and get some seeds going soon, or else I'm going to be in big trouble.


  1. Great start on the Gravel Garden plan. Those itty bitty plants usually take off once they escape their tiny pots.

  2. At those prices they aren't much more expensive than a lot of the plants we typically use as annuals. What an interesting idea! It will be interesting to see how it turns out!

  3. Nice collection you got yourself there Alison and all looking so healthy too. I'm really looking forward to your post about your makeover. I am presuming you'll be following for EOMV as you did say you were planning something.
    Love the wee red headed Cactus. Your son has ginger hair, that will be the Scottish genes coming out :) My son was born with red hair but as an adult he is fair rather than red. Has the skin to go with it though!

  4. Nice haul, Alison! Those inexpensive little pots are always such a treat, like penny candy adjusted for inflation of course. Must visit a box store one of these days!

  5. So you didn't buy any with the glued on straw flowers?

    You're going to be amazed how fast that S. mandraliscae grows. Come fall all you have to do is take cuttings and replant them in those pots and you'll have an ever expanding collection!

    1. Heh, so they're still doing this silly thing? I remember my outrage upon seeing this in the 1970's, as only a teenager can be outraged.

  6. I have killed many itty-bitty plants on my north facing kitchen window sill. I gave up and bought cute little artificial succulents to put in my vintage McCoy pots. They look great. I added a real tillandsia and have one other little unknown house plant that has survived, just to fool the onlooker into thinking they are all real.
    I love your little cuties. With your green house they will be happy.

  7. It's going to be fun to see Senecio mandraliscae through out your gravel garden...I'll be excited to see what new plans you have for this space! Truly though, what is the point in having that lovely greenhouse if you can't explore and enjoy gardening in the winter months?

  8. Nice collection Alison but I'm particularly taken with the Echeveria agavoides, it looks a bit different than usual ones.

  9. My Irish ancestry stirred at the sight of your 'Red Headed Irishman'. He looks like he has a very un-Irish of him.

  10. Cacti (along with stapeliads) were one of my passions, many years ago in another lifetime. What a sense of triumph when I actually got them to bloom!

  11. Great buys, Alison! Now, I'm thinking I need to get myself down to Home Depot tout de suite. I lost a crested Euphorbia - apparently due to too much rain!!! - so I'd like to find a replacement. I have that Sansevieria - it reproduces like crazy here.

  12. I have a red haired son too. The very best sort to have.
    What an amazing selection of succulents you have. I wonder how you will fit seeds into your greenhouse.

  13. I have a red haired son too. The very best sort to have.
    What an amazing selection of succulents you have. I wonder how you will fit seeds into your greenhouse.

  14. Now they didn't take up much space and they will look great in the gravel.....

  15. What a fine assortment! I'll look forward to watching you incorporate them into your outdoor vistas!


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