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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Potting Troughs - Part Two

I'm going crazy!

Ok, I admit it, I have a problem... I can't help it, I just can't stop playing with these amazing little succulents! Now that I've found a great source for hypertufa troughs, I just know it's going to get worse.

Not all the plant material I bought for the troughs are succulents, there's one or two other things I couldn't resist such as this dwarf Cotoneaster 'Strieb's Findling'.

There's also the Fiber optic grass (Isolepsis) that I can never resist even though it's not hardy here in my zone 6b garden.

Sedum nevii is another plant that I think I've bought before but I just had to try again.

One of my favorite (ok, that's silly, they're all my favorites) is this little Sempervivum 'Baronesse', just look at the webs!!!

Here's the first planted trough, isn't it sweet?

Here's another planted trough. This one looks a bit skimpy next to the first one but I've learned from past experience to leave some space for the semps to fill in.

This trough was planted up on Friday. I'm not sure yet about the Salvia lyrata 'Purple Knock-out' in the center of the trough. I hope they beef up quickly.

Under construction as I write this is a large shade trough. It's got a Hosta 'Pixie Power' slated for the center, and a teeny weeny Hosta 'Baby Tears' for the upper corner. I'm not sure about the rest of it though, I did get my hands on some amazing colored Ajuga's that might be perfect.

Sometimes it's the container that inspires me, other times it's the plant material. This combination of Cotula squalida 'Platt's Black' and Sempervivum 'Icicle' had me in rapture.

I didn't want to add a color that would take away from the two of them so I decided to go with some added textures. The Sedum nevii and the Fiber optic grass fill that slot nicely.

It's not planted yet, I'm not 100% sure on the fifth sempervivum. I have a bronze colored semp that I need to look for and try in this spot too. By the end of the day today though it will be decided and planted up.

The crazy thing? I spent all this money on these containers and plants and justified my purchase on the idea that I would sell them and make a profit. Now though I can't possibly imagine how I could let these go.

What do you think? Sell them? Make more of them? Cover my whole property with wonderfully delicious succulents?

I'll have to think this over, maybe if I walk around a few nurseries today I'll find some more...I mean I'll clear my mind and make a decision :-)

Going crazy,


Tatyana said...

Hi Melanie! Love your
troughs! I know this feeling when you can't part with something you like. It's like the Russian dolls I got as gifts for someone, but never could give them away, I just keep for myself. I am curious what you'll decide to do with your troughs. Good luck!

Joanne said...

Oh what a lovely dilemma!

Anonymous said...

Hi Melanie
I was so happy to have gotten to your plant sale two weeks in a row! And I'm looking forward to dropping by next weekend too! I loved your "succulent garden" near your pool, it totally inspired me, so I planted the 4 I bought yesterday in an old terracotta flower pot. I can't wait to see how they grow.
As far as sellind the planted troughs,since I wanted to know if you were selling any, I vote you sell a few!

our friend Ben said...

Now I have succulent envy, Melanie! I love all your semps and that sedum is fabulous! Here's the voice of experience speaking: Don't sell any of them now. As you put together more, suddenly something you liked earlier won't seem quite as fabulous as the newer combos, and THEN you can sell the older one to help pay/make room for your new creations. While you still love them all, selling would be a mistake.

Anonymous said...


Just checking in anonymously to see if your new set up works???
My semps (about 2 years old ) need moving soon even though they look good.
My first trial was in a shallow plastic (ugh) pot and now that I know they overwinter outdoors (in Huntington Village) I want hypertufas!!
Will you be selling them? I had planned to make some. It does not sound too difficult.

Melanie said...

Guess I'm not the only person who's crazy for succulents :-)

Thanks for the great advice, I will be back at the wholesaler early this week to pick up a few more containers.

Yes, they will be for sale, they can be bought empty or planted. If you want to order something in particular you can reach me at for more particulars.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

I would keep the troughs! They are so beautiful I wouldn't be able to give them away. Your succulant collection is inspiring me to plant some... hmmmm... maybe I will! -Jackie

Doris the Great said...

How wonderful all these troughs and succulents are!! I love succulents but I don't get a lot of direct light. Still, your blog has inspired me to create a trough of my own, even if they'll probably only last the summer. Glad to find you!

Gayle said...

By all means, SELL them and create MORE, MORE, MORE.....share the wealth. These are too wonderful not to share. Enjoy your planting.

Jessica said...

Melanie, what soil mixture do you use for your succulents?

Melanie said...

Good morning! It's going to be a glorious day here so I don't know if I'll get a post up right away. Jessica, I use a homemade potting mix. The base is potting soil, right now I'm using a Metromix potting soil. For every 2 buckets of potting soil, I usually add a bucket of compost and a bucket of shredded leaves. For the semps I leave out the leaves.

In past years I added a slow release, granular fertilizer to the mix. This year I did not and now I wish I did on the sempervivums. I'll be adding a little to each pot or mixing up some good compost tea to feed them a bit.

lynn'sgarden said...

Hi Melanie, I love that sedum pretty! You ARE going crazy with all those planters...but what fun!

Northern Shade said...

Those trough plantings are looking good. Your shade trough has some nice foliage plants. Though the Ajuga might want more than its share of space.The combinations in your last picture are appealing, and the simple container sets them off beautifully. Did you end up going with those choices?