Monday, June 22, 2009

i want a bleeding heart

no, really, i do.

passing by a flower and plant shop near my office, my attention was dominated by two gorgeous succulents, one of which, with its paddle-like, red-tipped leaves is apparently called a "bleeding heart." when i searched online, i could find no succulent called a bleeding heart, and found much evidence of the fact that like many things in the horticulture world, there are many names for each specimen, and the best thing to do is just get something you like when you see it, because you likely won't see that exact plant again, unless its something very common.

i have often considered succulents, and how i might use them. one option is to either make or buy a terrarium, and this is sort of nice because it is display-worthy, almost looking like an exhibit. my friend kelly has cultivated a couple of these recently and enjoys them because they're pretty looking and also low maintenance, and she has many, many other plants she takes care of with a lot of effort, so it's nice respite from that. that ease seems like a big selling point on succulents, in any form.

another option would be to use the "stack and grow" i have been admiring from smith and hawken, and make one entirely of succulents, as pictured here. this would be nice on a deck or balcony, because its condensed form provides a strong hit of texture and color while also having visual interest and variety.

the large potted ones like the bleeding heart and its amazingly petal-leafed friend, whose name i can't find despite extensive internet searching really are beautiful, but they were also almost $200 each. this makes me upset, and not pleased with this as a solution to my succulent desire. i'm also upset that that last sentence sounded like a book with fabio on the cover. or a lifetime movie. okay, moving on....

i think the best and most exciting idea is the succulents' answer to flower shops, called by one such company "a flora design firm," who create gorgeous potted succulent arrangements to send as gifts the way you would send flowers, which inevitably die after only a few days. they also do pieces for events, homes and gardens like those below by succulent luv, a california company.

i absolutely LOVE the idea of sending something sustainable and lush looking that can stay with a person for many years. i haven't done it yet, but i think what i might do is order one for myself at some point, and give it a test run. this is one i love that's a nice mix of textures and shades of green - making it so much more interesting and polished looking than just a single type.

finally, it's easy being green!


Sarah H. said...

I'm not an expert on succulents, but I've tried a few times just growing them from a broken off leaf. It's pretty crazy- the leaf takes root and makes a new succulent. So, if you don't want to spend $200 and have a lot of time on your hands before it grows big and lush, you should give it a try. Just break off a leaf (when no-one's looking, if you're me) at the stem and plant it- meaning put the broken off end in some soil. You can even buy some root generating powder to dip it in before you plant it, which is jut wild and cool, I think.

Catherine said...

Nice post, thank you. Also, thanks for the tip Sarah... I vaguely remember my mother and grandmother doing things like this throughout the years, haha! They have many of these succulents, I will break a piece off from my moms next time I'm over there. My friend George and I just finished making the terrariums featured on Design*Sponge, I will be posting pictures on my blog soon, check it out some time:

Take Care =)

Melina said...

That plant is commonly called a paddle plant (Kalanchoe thrysiflora). It is a common succulent- you should be able to find one easily for ~$10 ($200 is too much). (I love succulents, too!)

Jennie said...

besides the paddle plant (kalanchoe) in the first photo, the other one is an Aeonium, perhaps my favorite of all plants. There are many different kinds in many different colors. It's also easy to grow from a small cutting taken from a parent plant. If you want to know more about propagating your own succulents, read my tutorial here:

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