Sunday, November 16, 2014

DIY: Succulent Garden

Every once in a while I like to get crafty, especially during times of my life when I don't have much going on (i.e: right now).

Normally, my craftiness emerges in the form of scrapbooking (yes, I am actually an 87 year old woman with 50 cats) or charcoal drawings, but ever since my boyfriend Joe moved into his new house my brain has been in interior design mode and I've been trying to think of cheap, clever ways to brighten up his currently very empty space.

First thing that came to mind - plants! INSTANT life and good energy in a home. However with plants comes caring for them, and let's just say I've never had much of a "green thumb." Every time I've owned a plant it's died miserably, even when I put my best efforts into caring for it.

Enter: succulents. Succulents are EXTREMELY low maintenance. They thrive in hot, sunny environments but are famous for being able to survive in horrible conditions/when deeply neglected. They only need to be watered once a week (in some cases, once every two weeks) and don't give off any allergens. Plus, they're visually interesting and can be placed in a ton of various containers that can make them appear to be as feminine or as bad ass as you want them to be.

To make your own succulent garden, you will need:

  • A planting container of your choice (I picked an old hollowed out book, but you can use a biscuit tin, deep-set photo frame, fish bowl, tea cups, or any traditional plant container!) 
  • 1-10 succulent plants of your choice depending on the size of your container ($1 -$5 each) 
  • Cactus potting mix ($5-$20 depending on the size) 
  • Gardening gloves ($.50-$20 depending on the quality - mine were $.50!)


  • Water storing crystals/rocks ($10. Only needed if your container does NOT have a hole in the bottom of it for water drainage. There is such a thing as too much water for succulents, and these crystals store the unneeded moisture and release it as needed. Very cool.) 
  • Clear saran wrap to protect your container from water damage ($3) 

Step 1: Start by preparing your container for planting: 

Step 2: Put on your gloves and arrange the succulents in the container to your liking.

Step 3: Mix the soil with the water storing crystals. Skip this step if crystals aren't needed.

Step 4: Place soil in container around your succulent arrangement, making sure to pack it in tightly.

Step 5 (optional): Make your garden your own by adding crystals (clear quartz and green stones like jaspar are said to help the health of plants!) shells, rocks, etc.

I had a lot of shells and rocks that I've collected over the years from beaches and forests that I've traveled to, so I added them into my garden to make it look a little more interesting. I've got seashells I picked up in Mexico, a snail shell from escargot I ate in Paris (I'm aware it's weird that I kept this but DON'T JUDGE), rocks from Ireland & of course bits from California.

I'm really pleased with my final result! I think it's a great conversation piece and it currently looks freaking cool as a centerpiece on Joe's kitchen table. I think I spent a total of $25, and it took me less than an hour to put together. Quick, cheap, easy, & cute.

Anyone got any bets on how long my little creation will last before it dies? Joe is betting on two months, but I'm determined to keep it going!

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