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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Psssstt...hey you!

Yesterday I was walking from my potting area to the compost heap when I heard a sound. "Pssstt... hey you." I looked around but couldn't find anybody. Suddenly I saw it, there near my feet was a magnificent clump of Sempervivum 'Oddity' (the dark green variety on the left here).

Just last week I checked out my succulents and although they looked OK, they still looked thin and cold. While the temperatures haven't warmed up dramatically, they have totally changed.

I find that the succulents plump up when they are happy. Suddenly you can see the cilia that forms the "webbing" on many varieties. Last week there was nothing to see.

The colors are changing almost daily. Sedum 'Angelina' on the left here will be a bright chartreuse in just another week or so. Up until now it was sort of a toasted orange.

Pots from last year already appear full although in many cases the soil has sunk, it's time to start dividing these babies. This is one of my most favorite tasks in the garden. I can't wear gloves for this as I just have to feel that yummy potting soil and the succulent little babies in my hands.

Look at this lovely trough. It's already nice and full, only a bit of weeding with a needle nose plier and it will really pop. In another week or two you won't be able to see the sides.

All these pots of succulents were removed from my rock garden steps for cleaning. I'll divide the ones that need it and set them back in a new arrangement. It's a wonderfully soothing job.

Surprise! This last photo was taken last night. I needed a photo for the biography I have to submit to run for our school board of education. My daughter took this for me. The photo I have on my blog is at least a year old. I've let my bleached blond grow out and have gone back to my natural color (with a few lowlights to cover some emerging grays).

Chances are you won't find me looking like this in the garden but it's much closer to what I look like than that older photo (more lines too but such is life).

Off to get ready for tonight's adult ed. gardening program. I'm going to dig up some weeds to bring in as an example and we'll view a fun program on garden accessories (junque).

Thursday's are my crazy day with selling munchies up at the school, shopping for those munchies and then class.

I'll be back tomorrow,



Kim said...

Awesome picture of you!

Mary Beth said...

I "discovered" succulents a few years ago and are just loving their exotic looks! But I have to admit that I've taken a "plant and leave them be" attitude towards them. Some are getting a bit overgrown. Your post has inspired me to give them a little TLC. I never thought of weeding with needle-nose pliers - definitely will be doing that with on particularly stickery trailing cactus.

Gail said...


This is a very clever post and timely, I was looking at my Angelina and noticing how bad she is looking, good to know she will plump up! I thought I could safely leave out the more tender succulents if I hid them under the leaves but alas they are gone so the pots need to be replanted. A trip to the nursery for hardier varieties I don't have. Such an onerous chore shopping at the nursery;)

That's a great photo. How exciting to know you are running for office. Keep us posted.


Robin's Nesting Place said...

That is a great picture! I think I only have one small chick that survived the winter. I've never been a big fan of succulents, but I love seeing your collection.

Anonymous said...

Wow Melanie, I don't suppose you have any *extra* succulents lying around by any chance?! (Just checking.) Mine are also making their presence known. we tend to think of early spring as bulb time, but the succulents are also making an early splash, bless their dear, fleshy little hearts!

The Gardeness said...

I love seeing all the variety of succulents. The trough display is great, too! This inspires me to add more than the two kinds I have.

Nancy J. Bond said...

All your succulents look healthy and thriving. And that's a very nice photo of you. :)

Val at Illustrated Garden said...

Congratulations on your No. 1 ranking on Blotanical (Most Popular Blog). And I agree with everyone else: your picture looke great!

Lin said...

Fun to see your succulents and great photo of you! Good luck with the school board position!

I have a section in my garden of cacti/succulents -- some are mature & huge - and love them. It's an area off the parking area and visitors always comment on how beautiful they are, especially when in bloom. With the water shortage, it has become quite 'trendy' to grow xeriscape, so more people are getting into these type of plants.

Cinj said...

Your succulents look very happy!

Funny, I'm envisioning myself after working in the garden hair all dis-shevelled and in my face even though I pulled it back before I started, dirt smudges on my face from attempting to wipe off the sweat, and large brown circles on my pants from kneeling in the dirt all day.

You sure clean up nicely!

N. & J. said...

I love the succulents. We only have a few but they are already spreading and multiplying which is cool to see.

Frances, said...

I just bought that 'Oddity' at a local nursery. It is so unusual. I love all your succulents, you have quite a collection. I like your containers too, the perfect place to showcase them. Your photo is great, and good luck in the election!

Jane Marie said...

It sounds like you're a very busy Mom. Beautiful photo.

garden girl said...

very nice photo Melanie!

I've never gotten 'into' suculents, but I must say your collection is fantastic, and makes me want some of my own!

Jean Ann said...

wonderful succulents! I have recently decided I like them...I don't know why it took me so long...but I have a spot that is going to be as hot as the dickens...and that is where they will live!

Cabs said...

What a great collection of succulents. Good to see a pic of you as well. I posted one of myself with Emily Dickinson today :-)

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Great sedum photos. I love the trough. I bet mine are going to be cold the next few days.

Lovely photo. You look kind.~~Dee

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

So does this mean that my Hens & Chicks thingy in a planter might not be dead? That would be so great. I'd better go water it right now.

Connie said...

Wow... what a nice collection of succulents you have!
Very nice picture of you.

Anna--Flowergardengirl said...

Ok, since you have nothing but time on your hands, I need you to post a pic by pic of the transfer of babies for the succulents. I'm serious! I want to see What it looks like when you pull up a baby-are there roots? How far in the ground do you plop it? My hens and chicks is running out of two pots they are in and I'm sure need transplanting. Help?

Your pic is perfect for the running and you got that look too. You know--the one that says I'm intelligent but approachable and very attractive. And I think you look younger than the other picture. What makes you want to run for the school board? Those that stay in for the long haul make a big difference. I think you got the patience to make a good board member and the grace to get things done. Good luck with it.

If you were my neighbor, I'd be out there roaming around all the time. OH Melanie--this week we've had Oriental Lilies in at work--well all the ladies have had their nose stuck in them and pollen all over their faces. It's funny as all get out. They don't know they are wearing yellow make up all day.

Melanie said...

Wow, I'm just catching up here and to be truthful, the garden is screaming at me to come out there!

First of all, thank you all for the nice comments about my photo. I had a great shot of me in a slicker swinging a sledge hammer but the look in my eye was a bit crazed and I didn't think that would do for the school board :-) This photo is pretty realistic too, at least when I'm cleaned up and out in public.

I brought those succulents in to my class and I think they were a huge hit. How can you not fall in love with those little jewels? They are very hardy here in my zone 6 garden and rarely have snow cover, just ice, freeze & thaw over and over again. The colors will continue to change over the next month and then they'll start to bloom too.

Anna, last year when I was blogging sporadically I did a post on potting up these babies. I'll look for it and let you know.

Today's weather is strange, warmish, sticky, threat of storms but I need to get out to that garden now. I'll be back later to check out more comments.

Hugs to all of you!

Anna said...

Hey, I just wanted to say that you never have to worry about commenting back to me. I understand how this blogging world goes. We are all especially busy at this time of year. I know ya love me;) You go play in your garden and run a good race for the school board. Sounds like your class is going extremely well too. You rock!!