So, I steeped some Earl Grey Tea and gathered my supplies.
The ingredients for today's project: A large conch shell, charcoal, pebbles, potting soil and succulents.
I picked up this little succulent plant at the Farmer's Market in Fernandina Beach that I blogged about before. I'm still trying to determine exactly what plant it is. It has characteristics of Aloe, Lithops and Haworthia. (If you know what it is.. let me know! ) I love it for it's small size, and the texture that I knew it would offer to a container garden. It obviously also spreads well, making new plants which is always a plus for me.. I love a plant that I can divide and use again.
Update: A twitter friend @RBancroftGarden just retweeted my photo of the shell garden and said that it is a Gasteria. Here is the wikipedia definition of Gasteria:
Gasteria is a genus of succulent plants native to South Africa. Closely related genera include Aloe and Haworthia. The genus is named for its stomach-shaped flowers and is part of the family Xanthorrhoeaceae, subfamily Asphodeloideae. Common names include cow-tongue cactus, lawyer's tongue,mother-in-law's tongue, ox-tongue.
I was on the right track.. I'm always excited to 'meet' a new plant! :-)
A couple of days ago a friend of mine from work gave me a beautiful conch shell. I knew these two would be a perfect combination.
Charcoal is something I use often in terrariums and non conventional containers that don't have the best drainage. Put a layer in the bottom of the planter and mix a small amount in with the potting soil. I use E.B. Stone's Charcoal. It's finely ground charcoal absorbs moisture which cuts down on any odor you might get from standing water and helps to reduce damage from over watering.
A lot of people ask me what soil I use when I plant succulents. I use a really good quality potting soil - which is not soil at all but finely ground bark usually mixed with some vermiculite and perlite. You can also use cactus and succulent specific soil. And sometimes I mix the two. I had Pike's Potting soil on hand today and as you can see from the photo it's a nice light soil that is perfect for any container planting even succulents.
It took me a minute to decide which angle I wanted the shell to sit. I finally decided this would be the angle that would be easiest to water without spilloff.
The first thing I did was to put in a fine layer of the charcoal.