A succulent is any plant that stores water in its leaves, stems or roots allowing it to go for long periods of time without water. These are water wise gardening plants, low maintenance and tolerant of less than perfect growing conditions.
My fascination with succulents began in 2008 when I did a program for the Garden Club Federation of PA in State College on Living Succulent Wreaths.
It was amazing the number of people who listened to this talk about these wonderful little plants. Little did I know that succulents were becoming very popular. Almost every magazine on the newsstands had an article on succulents. I have a small home-based greenhouse business. My husband calls it an expensive hobby!
There were succulents growing in the greenhouse, but they were the plants that were in a corner or under a table and did not get much attention. After the program in State College, propagating, collecting and reading about these neglected little plants began taking much of my time. They have become one of my favorite plants, and I will talk about them to anyone who will listen. I may have to build another greenhouse if I don’t stop collecting. Next came planting them in unique containers, such as a pineapple form, a small wire-form car, alligator and a rabbit, plus wreaths in different sizes.
Our daughter became engaged last spring and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do a succulent wedding?” She was not to sure about that at first. “What if I don’t like them?” she asked. Now really what’s not to like? What succulents lack in fragrance they make up for in form and texture. She did agree. After all every bride wants her wedding to be special, unique and something different that everyone will remember.
The planning began and so did the propagating so we would have enough plants for bridal shower favors, wedding favors, centerpieces, boutonnieres, mothers arrangements (which were fastened to a purse) bridesmaids and bridal bouquets and a picture frame for on a fireplace mantel. Everything turned out very well-even the transporting of everything from PA to VA.
Now we are back home in PA. It has been almost four weeks since the wedding, and the bridal bouquet is still sitting in a vase. Today I took it apart and some of the echeverias are pushing roots. They are now planted in a terra cotta dish and our daughter and her husband will have a living planter to remember their special day. I am not sure there are many bridal bouquets that can be saved the same way as succulents.