Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stealing Succulents and Re-Purposed Pill Containers

Succulents. They're one of my obsessions. I love them. All different kinds, all shapes, all sizes (though, oddly enough, I know the names of very few). I like them because of their resilience, they don't need to be watered often, they can withstand high temps during the day and cold at night. At my house plants have to thrive on neglect to survive, and succulents are good at that.

Although I have been known to actually purchase succulents, my usual MO is to steal them. Wherever I go, if I encounter a succulent I will quietly and unobtrusively break off a small piece and slip it into my pocket. Or sometimes into Mike's pocket, if he is with me, or one of the boys. On one memorable occasion, I slipped a few bits into my mom's sweater pockets (and she later got poked by a bristle, sorry, Mom)!

People who love me put up with my thievery. I really can't help it. I enjoy my succulents all the more when I steal them because then they also remind me of places I have been, and the people who were there with me.

I've got cactus from all over the U.S., my neighbor's gardens, parks, islands, schools, tourist sites, and even one or two from foreign countries.

My latest acquisition is a piece of a jade plant in Hermosa Beach, just a block from the ocean. It's in the center of this photo:

That one's always going to remind me of the day I met up with a couple of old friends that I'd grown up with, and it will also remind me of all the lovely summer days spent at that very beach as kid, with my family and friends.

The rest of the plants in the above photo are from two places Mike and I visited recently; one is a very famous park in northern California, and the other is one of the historical sites right here in my own little home town.

Oh, that's my succulent "nursery." I recently got the cool idea to re-purpose empty pill containers (of which I'd amassed about 60-70!) and use them as individual containers for my cacti. Mike drilled several holes in the bottom of each one and filled them with potting soil mixed with sand. I then poked a hole in the dirt with a chopstick and popped in a cactus cutting. I'll keep the soil moist so that the cacti will root. Once they've got well-established roots I'll either plant them in the garden or put them in pots. I've placed all the containers on a large tray to catch any spilled water. It also makes it easy to move them from place to place.

Mike used to scold me when I'd bring home my stolen succulents. Now he's usually an accomplice. And sometimes he actually comes home with a "find" of his own.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Hi there! I am a succulent lover also, and I was so happy to see your use for pill boxes! I throw so many away and every time I do, I always wonder what the heck I could do with them! This looks really sweet, and would also be kinda cool to give to friends, whenever they wanted a clipping! Thanks for showing!