... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

this week's tip | succulents for summertime

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I truly love the idea of growing plants.  My dream is to have mismatched pots scattered about the place with bright flowers and big, green leaves; filtering the air and cheering up the place.  Some of my earliest childhood memories from Kazakhstan are of my grandmother's flowers that were perched upon every windowsill in her downtown apartment.  Unfortunately the green-thumb that everyone else on my mother's side inherited skipped me entirely and left my own thumb looking a little blue.

This spring was a perfect example: I tried growing herbs with puzzling results!  My harder-to-grow peppermint, parsley and basil are all looking splendid; while my poor (apparently easy to grow) coriander, lemon balm and dill have seen better days.  Since I'm seriously lacking the aforementioned green thumb, I have no explanation as to why this could be - instead (logically) becoming upset every time a plant starts to die and taking it personally.

After some experimentation and a stubborn refusal to give up, I have found the perfect solution for the plant-challenged like me: succulents and cacti!  For one thing, they look amazing as summery accents with my Southwestern decorating scheme; especially in rustic clay or (my fav!) talavera style pots. And for another, they're virtually impossible to neglect - only requiring one watering per week (a very small one in the case of the cactus) and very occasional re-potting!

I purchased my very first succulent, a Jade plant, shortly after moving to Austin in October last year and am happy to report it's doing very well :)

Recently I purchased two more that look like flowers - one to sit on the coffee trunk and another for a side table:

Bright Kilim rug coming soon! 
My prized prickly pear cactus was, as many of you know, a souvenir from our Xmas in the desert.  

In case you need more convincing, or have a green thumb and can successfully grow many plant varieties, I have linked up some ways in which my fave bloggers use succulents for decorating: Cupcakes and Cashmere, Sincerely Jules, a Beautiful Mess.

Now that I've finally found the plants for me - my plan is to buy several more, plant them in gold, silver and talavera style pots, then scatter them about the house to see if I can make my plants-everywhere dream come true!  Wish me luck and try one out for yourself!  They're the perfect summertime plant and would even make a great hostess gift :)

PS: The myth is that succulents need a lot of light, but when I worked in the J.Crew bridal office we had a Jade plant that grew on our bookshelf without any windows at all!  Artificial light was enough.

PPS: A cactus is technically a succulent too!


  1. Hi Lena .. I was given some herb seeds and I'm afraid haven't planted them .. the trouble of living in a flat ..with no outside space .. I shall have to do something soon! Succulents and Cacti do grow easily and propagate easily too .. enjoy them and then let us see the Kelim when you get it ..

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary! Like me, I'm sure you thought you had all the time in the world and then happened to glance at a calender and see that May is virtually over! I seriously can't believe it!

      Yes, I've heard that succulents and cacti propagate easily but mine don't :( I'm afraid my field of expertise doesn't extend beyond keeping them alive!

      And yes, I certainly will post pictures of my beloved rug as soon as I get it :) Thanks for reading and for your feedback and support xo




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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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