Tag Archives: growing succulents

DIY Succulent Terrarium

A few months back my mom came to visit with this large glass apothecary-esque jar in tow.

“I figured you could use it for something,” she said. “Maybe a terrarium?” Brilliant. It was perfect for a terrarium to bring a little green to my new office at work, which happens to have a large, sunny (and empty) window ledge.

Last weekend when picking up a few extra vegetables and plants for my actual garden, I finally got around to getting the goods for my terrarium. Instead of the moisture-loving plants found in many terrariums, I went with charming succulents to create a quirky, low maintenance cactus terrarium.

This is a pretty foolproof project even if you’re not the gardening type. The hardest part of the whole project was editing my plant selection! I ended up with two neon colored cactus, an aloe plant, a mini jade, two sempervivum and a frilly ground cover succulent – which I’m happy to report are thriving so far.

What You’ll Need:
glass jar, apothecary jar or similar transparent container
variety of mini succulent plants, such as cactus, aloe, jade, sempervivum
cactus soil (quantity will depend on size of your container)
small river rocks
gardening charcoal (found at your local garden store)
a spoon

*NOTE: These are rough instructions. Depending on the size and shape of your terrarium container, you may not need all three “soil” items or you may need to adjust things to fit in a smaller container.

1. Line the bottom of the container with a thin layer of charcoal. This helps with drainage and with preventing potential odors in your terrarium.

2. Next, line with a thin layer of river rocks. In a smaller container you could reverse the layers of soil and rocks for a more “zen garden” look.

3. Depending on the size and shape of your container you may be able to put the cactus soil in first or the succulents, filling in the soil around them. I had to put the plants in and use a spoon to fill soil around the plants in order to fit them. Place plants as desired to mix up shapes and colors.
4. Finish off with soil or with additional rocks to achieve the look you want.

Care: Your succulent terrarium needs lots of sunlight but only needs to be lightly watered about once a week. If you choose to keep a lid on it, water less frequently as the plants will generate moisture.

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Obsessed with: Succulents

After my trip to LA, I’ve had succulents on the brain. I’m in love with their plump little leaves and the funky, exotic vibe they lend to both indoor and outdoor landscapes.

For those of you with black thumbs, these little beauties are a perfect houseplant because, unless you stash them in a closet, they’re nearly impossible to kill. All you need is a well-draining pot and light!

Succulents love bright light indoors or full sun outdoors that replicates their natural environment of African deserts or Alpine rock ledges. They naturally retain water (the term succulent literally means “full of juice”), so you don’t have to water them often. Regular rain outside or once every few weeks inside should do the trick.

In the succulent family, cacti are certainly the poster child, but these are some of my new favorite varieties:

Sempervivum
Also known as Hens and Chicks or Jovibarba (Jupiter’s Beard), sempervivum are easy to identify by their pretty rosette shape.  Highly adaptable and frost resistant, they make for a lovely coffee table plant and work equally well as a low-growing filler along the edges of raised garden beds.

Sempervivum succulent, Hens and Chicks

Succulent rock garden

Jade
Sometimes called the “money tree” or “friendship tree” (and who couldn’t use more of both), Jade plants work well on window ledges or patios and can be pruned like a bonzai to control their size.  They can produce small pinkish white flowers like the plant below and can easily be divided by clipping off just a small branch…perfect for sharing with friends! My friend Anne just picked one up at the farmer’s market last week so I may be stealing a cutting of hers once it gets going!

Jade plant, Money tree, Friendship tree

Sedum
Sedum come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and styles ranging from mid-size flowering shrubs to mat-like stonecrops.  Flowering shrubs like this one below are hearty in cold weather and produce masses of burgundy flowers that are pretty fresh or dried.  They also divide and transplant well so check with your gardener friends to see if you can snag a clump.

Sedum foliage

Aloe Vera
Not just something that comes in a bottle dyed green!  Aloe vera plants can be grown at home and their leaves snipped to treat wounds, burns or sunburn.  Just double check that it’s the aloe vera that you’re getting since some aloe species can be poisonous.

Aloe vera plant, Succulents

Non-HAP Photos: Jade plant and Aloe plant


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Mother’s Day Gifts

Last weekend I went to LA to visit my good friend Catherine from The Life Styled just for a little getaway.  We spent the weekend catching up over coffee and strolling in and out of eclectic boutiques and cafes.

The change in scenery provided me with tons of new inspiration, including ideas for this collection of sweet, LA-inspired gifts for Mother’s Day!  Tell mom how much you love her with one of these personal treats to suit her style:

Mother's Day LA Inspiration
1. Perfect for the eco-minded mom on the go: I Am Not A Paper Cup Thermal To-Go Mug.
2. I stalked the web to find this adorable Godinger Beehive Honey Pot that we saw at rustic-chic Tavern cafe.
3. I picked up one of these fun personalized Paperwink Return Address Stamps at Urbanic in Venice.  Mom will love it for all those birthday cards she’s always is so good about sending!
4.  Give mom new inspiration with Shabby Chic Interiors by Rachel Ashwell.
5. Comfy Birks with an upgraded gladiator style keep mom looking haute: Birkenstock Birki-Flor Sparta Sandals
6. Nothing says LA like a chic beach tote.  This Liberty of London for Target Tote keeps it affordable too.
7.  A pretty new serving piece like this Fleur de Lys Teapot inspired by a visit to Pom Pom will be perfect for the Mom’s chats with the ladies.
8. My new obsession: Plump, exotic and low-maintenance succulents.  Just right for a mom with a green thumb.
9. Pamper Mom with a luxe Kiehl’s Creme de la Corps Set.
10. Capture the effortless LA casual style with an open cardi like the JCrew Always Cardigan.
11. Mom can mix her own Pinkberry with a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker (see recipe below!).
12. Help Mom relax with some heavenly Teavana Earl Grey Creme Tea.  She deserves it!

After being initiated into the Pinkberry cult, I remembered seeing this fun copycat recipe in Food Network Magazine a few months ago. If Pinkberry hasn’t hit your streets yet, now you can make your own!

Almost-Famous Frozen Yogurt
from Food Network Magazine
2 C plain whole-milk yogurt
2 C plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 C sugar
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
toppings

Whisk together yogurts, sugar and corn syrup in a bowl until well combined. Pour into ice cream maker. Churn and freeze according to instructions. Serve immediately or freeze for up to 2 hours. Serve with assorted toppings like cheesecake chunks, fresh fruit, chocolate crispies, toasted almonds and honey!

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