Wednesday, May 22, 2013

a Living Picture

Guess what?  My mom and I had a date for mother's day.... a succulent date.   Look what I made!

Succulent Frame!

I've long been drawn to succulent wreaths and vertical gardening.  Not that I have/do any, but I admire them.   From afar.   I like succulents, plain and simple, but bringing them inside, away from weeds and bugs and the hot, hot sun - genius!  Discovering these beautiful redwood frames, made by Succulent Gardens, absolutely pushed the idea over the edge.  For some reason, I'm just not a circle person.  The "square" version... I LOVE!

So this Sunday my mom (who is a total green thumb, btw) came over and together we gardened... inside.   In case you'd like to try your hand at it, here are some tips.

First, read this tutorial on Prudent Baby.  We mostly followed those directions, except that we got our succulents from Succulent Gardens.  A brown paper bag full of beautiful rosette succulents came with my frame shipment.  They were in excellent condition and already ready to root!  I kept them spread out on paper towels and misted them occasionally, until our date.

You could also try buying succulents at your local nursery.  If so, buy a few big gallon-sized plants and make cuttings from them, rather than buying many small plants, to keep costs down.

sweet succulent rosettes

We used: one 12" redwood frame, one wire wreath (same as tutorial), sphagnum moss by Miracle Grow (which was more like dirt than moss...), wire and fishnet stockings to hold the "moss" in place on my mom's wreath, rooting hormone and bobby pins to hold each succulent clipping in place.

supplies for Succulent Frame

These frames are made as one solid piece, so you must drop the moss in through the wire mesh.  It took some time to really work it in, which my mom said was important.  Didn't like this part.  My sink and I got pretty dirty.

and bobby pins!

Since the Miracle Grow sphagnum moss was soooo loose, my mom figured she'd need to net it to prevent it from falling away from the wreath. A trip to the store was avoided when I found an old pair of fish net knee highs.  Whaaaaat?  Yeah, don't think I need those.

mama's wreath

Then the fun part... the plants!  We dipped the stems into the root hormone or used a spoon to sprinkle the hormone directly on the dirt.  Once the plants were in place, we'd attach them by sliding a black bobby pin around some bottom petals and into the wire mesh frame or wreath.  At first I was going really slow because I hated to hurt the plants.  But, my mom says succulents are really resilient.  I hope so!

me and my Mama

Here's mom's wreath!  Because we used bobby pins, she could hang it right away rather than waiting for the plants to root.  Even so, I noticed she had it still sitting flat when I came by her house today for our walk.

her Succulent Wreath

Me too, mom.  I just love, love, love how it came out and want to give the plants every opportunity to relax and survive after being brutally bobby pinned.  I'm keeping this baby flat for a bit.  It's kind of like a center piece like this.  So pretty!

my frame!

This is how it really goes... vertical.  When it's upright the plants show off their texture.

it goes vertical

When I feel ready, we'll hang it on the wall among the picture frames and little shelves we've arranged on that (previously) Big Empty Wall.  See that spot kind of center and to the right? 

two Spots waiting

I'll have to take down my succulent frame to water it by misting with a spray bottle.  Succulents don't like much water, so it won't be about soaking the soil.  Fingers crossed it survives!

Well, that's another home decor project tackled and thoroughly appreciated.  Our dining room exudes so much more personality now.   But just wait 'til I get those curtains up!  Mmmmmm, it's going to be good!


  1. So pretty! I'm going to keep my mini succulents inside this year too, I'm thinking about glass bowls or globes but I like your frame idea too.

  2. Wow. I've never heard of Succulents or anything like that, but those are gorgeous. Yours will be the perfect addition to your home.

  3. I love succulents. Have made a wreath before to hang on the door of a local metro park house. They are fun to put in Faerie Gardens also. Hens and chicks are my fav. Thanks for the fun post!

  4. That is the coolest idea to hang succulents! I will have to revisit this idea soon. I like the suggestion to buy a big plant at the nursery to save cost.

  5. You ladies did a great job! I have been admiring those same items on Etsy for a while.

  6. i do love your mom's circle wreath, but your square frame is awesome, too! it's great how you took an idea you liked something about and figured out how to really make it you.

  7. I love these. Thanks for sharing. And please keep us informed about how these do.

    1. Will do! I'll definitely confess if I kill them. A confession in the truest sense...

  8. yea so, i need this in my life. asap

  9. Love the succulents in the frame. Nice.

  10. I love succulents! They look fabulous! And they are hardy. We moved to a desert (well, as desert as you can get in OK) and had to dig out thousands of cactus and succulents so our kids could play in the yard. Not knowing how to dispose of them, we left them in a wheelbarrow through the winter...they are alive and well today, in the wheelbarrow. Still not sure what to do with them.

  11. Your wreaths look really cool. I hate to be a killjoy but succulents really don't do well inside. Without enough light, they start to look leggy and sad. If I were you, I would find a spot outside in morning sun or dappled light and enjoy them there. Maybe near a porch or patio...and rotate them once a week so they don't stretch. You can water them thoroughly when you do, because their set-up will allow them to drain fast. I have worked with plants, inside and outside for 15 years and love succulents myself, but inside...well they just mostly suck. They are too cute and you worked too hard to let them wind up wimpy and sad. Sticking my neck out (again!) for my honest well-intentioned opinion. (:

  12. Fantastic! Pinterest got me interested in succulents, too. I might dig up my hens and chicks from outside and bring them in.

  13. I want now so bad I saw it on some home design show and was absolutely sold but now I really want one.

  14. Those are beautiful and it made me miss my mom a bit. We live so far away from each other but she would never do anything like this with me anyway.

    I am inspired though. I wonder how traumatized one of those frames would be after a cross country move. I bet I would have to gift it and make a new one.

  15. Never thought of making a wreath with them! They both look lovely!


Related Posts with Thumbnails