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What Is A Succulent?


Truly Unruhly Studio Jewelry

 This is a question I am commonly asked.  I am the first to admit that I am ‘no’ expert on these wonderful plants, but I did learn something remarkable about them last year in a college Biology class at my local extension college.  Mainly, the enzymes, proteins, and processes of the cells that are key to photosynthesis in succulents are actually radically different from the ones in ‘regular’ plants.  Thus, this makes them even more magical and special to me.  To read more about this, please read more here, copied directly from the Cactus and Succulent Society of America webpage.  Enjoy. 

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Prickly Pleasures …Floral Friday


bluejayblog

The recent heat and droughtlike conditions in much of the U.S. remind me of a desert.  I guess that living in Nebraska also means I live in the so-called “Great American Desert” as this place was once dubbed by the settlers and pioneers of the 1800s.

Many deserts, especially in the Americas, are home to various types of cacti and succulent plants.  Cactus plants are also simple and attractive to keep in the home.  They’re especially good for people who don’t enjoy the benefits of a green thumb.  All you really need is a small space at a sunny window and to remember, once in awhile, to add a little water.  If you want to get a bit creative, make certain to wear protective, padded gloves and use small gardening tools when repotting.

I’m fond of creating a theme corner in a room to add the spirit of fun.  Last…

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Re-use, Re-purpose, Re-interpret


The Inner Gardener

All good gardeners know the benefits of re-using and recycling in the garden, from the humble compost heap to second hand bits of building materials to make garden beds and other structures.  Apart from being good for the environment and reducing the landfill, it’s also great for the hip pocket and that feeling of self- sufficiency. You can obtain or create some very original items by re-interpreting materials and a bit of imagination.  I often look around at nurseries, gift and furniture  shops for inspiration and also at other gardens during my travels.

Here are some of the things I have found or re-used in my garden over the years. Many have been ‘freebies’ sourced during evening constitutionals around my neighbourhood at hard rubbish collection time, some have been second-hand and purchased at a minimal cost, and some have been fashioned out of materials from my own garden.

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DIY: Charcoal Terrarium


violetmavenstudio

This little bugger was born from calcium carbonate (aka charcoal) + river stones + a cactus + a vintage glass vase. I am still in the process of experimenting with different terrarium sands and soils, and given that cacti adore a dry environment, I thought it fitting to house it in calcium carbonate because of it’s strong ability to absorb organic compounds.

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To celebrate the end of the drought…


Bibelots by Kate

I bought a bunch of cacti.

Why? Because cacti are great. Mostly, I like the names. The spikey yellow guy is a Moon Cactus, aka a Hibotan. The yellow occurs because that part lacks chlorophyll. Like why leaves turn red and yellow in the fall. Clockwise from that is a Cocoon Plant, which  has fat leaves covered in like a weird, dense white hair. Then there’s Split Rock, a native to Africa, that looks like a broken alien egg creature. Weirdest name goes to Baby Toes. Each “toe” has a little translucent window on top where sunlight is filtered in. Science facts!

It was, I think, super easy to make, but I guess it remains to be seen whether these little guys survive. If they do, super easy project. If they don’t, the internet lied to me and it’s actually very hard to grow cacti.

Anyway, step 1: Buy pot…

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