Sunday, June 28, 2009

Succulent Inspiration--Hens and Chicks

Lately I have been very inspired by succulents, especially Hens and Chicks:

I think it is their strong graphical quality and shape that attracts me to them (as many of you know I am somewhat obsessed with spirals...see my portfolio...). So I wanted to try my hand at them. I remember being at my great aunt's house when I was young and seeing her flagstone wall with Hens and Chicks growing out of all the cracks, and thinking it was so beautiful! So I thought I'd try my hand at those.

When you go to a nursery, however, succulents are usually sold all lumped together and not differentiated by species or hybrid like most other plants. I wanted Hens and Chicks specifically because they are kind of like spider plants in that they are self-propogating: the mama plant is called the "Hen" and the babies that grow from her are called "Chicks." I looked up the latin name, and it is "Sempervivum," or "ever living." So cool! I'm such a word nerd.

When I went to Lowe's I managed to find a few of the little succulents that said "sempervivum" on the side and picked up a few pots--three bigger ones and two smaller ones. Then I got some sand to mix in with my potting soil, since succulents like to be well drained, and some ornamental river rocks to arrange around the Hens. This is how they come from lowes, in little tiny pots:

Some people like to keep them in little individual pots, like this pretty little thing:

But I wanted more of a rock garden feel. So I mixed up about 1/3 sand to 2/3 potting soil in my beautiful big blue pot, placed the Hens around in an arrangement, and then pressed in the river rocks until I liked the way it looked. Its been about a week--no baby Chicks yet!
Lolly, of course, felt the need to oversee the project...

What does everyone think? Do you have any succulents? I think I see a Hens and Chicks painting in my future!

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