Saturday, July 2, 2016

Are any of these Aeoniums up to the challenge?

Early last month, Loree of danger garden announced her Aeonium Challenge, asking other gardeners to create something using one or more Aeoniums.  I have gobs of Aeonium, although not Loree's design talent, but I decided to give it a go.  I've previously used these plants in various areas of my garden, as well as in pots and even in vases, but I didn't want to submit something I already had - what's the fun of that?  As some of my pots were in serious need of a refresh, I decided to start there.  I created 3 new containers, 2 of which included Aeonium.

My recently refurbished pots


For my first effort, I used a container given to me by a friend years ago.  She used it as part of a fountain on her balcony.  I asked my husband to drill a hole in it and planted it up.  After 3 or so years, some plants had overgrown the container and others had died but I held off on replanting because its central feature, a Dyckia 'Burgundy Ice', is a nasty character.  It's attractive but it bites.  Getting it out of the container was difficult and cleaning it up so it was presentable for reuse was even more so but I managed.

Dyckia 'Burgundy Ice' after its makeover


With 2 minor exceptions, all the plants I used in my refurbished container were taken from elsewhere in my garden.  I selected Aeonium that would complement the Dyckia.

I used Aeonium arboreum, A. haworthia 'Kiwi', and a noID burgundy Aeonium (possibly 'Garnet')

In addition to the Aeonium cuttings, I used cuttings of Senecio vitalis and Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi 'Variegata', divisions of a noID white Aloe, Crassula lycopodiodes (some from my garden, supplemented with a couple of plugs) and another noID Crassula (possibly Crassula pellucida).  I mulched with seashells and tucked in a small ceramic fish.

Here's a closer look at the completed container:



I decided to use a recently purchased Aeonium as the centerpiece of the second container.  It was unlabeled but a nurseryman identified my purchase as A. 'Jolly Green'.

This Aeonium produces florets all along it's central stem


I added cuttings of Aeonium 'Sunburst' from my garden.

A. 'Sunburst' glowing in the sun


I filled in with cuttings of Senecio vitalis, Euphorbia tirucalli and a noID Rhipsalis, more plugs of Crassula lycopodiodes, and a noID Aloe rescued from elsewhere in the garden.  I added more seashells as mulch.  Here's the finished product:



I'd planned to create a terrarium featuring Aeonium but could never get around to it.  However, I did put together a vase using succulents this evening.  The starting point was a natural stone vase I acquired years ago.



It doesn't hold water well so succulents that don't require water are a perfect choice.  I used 3 varieties of Aeonium that complemented the vase.


I don't have IDs for the first 2 but I believe they're hybrids of the common Aeonium arboreum on the far right


I added Crassula pubescens ssp. radicans (currently in flower) and a few stems of Leptospermum 'Copper Glow'.  The latter plant does need water so I stuffed the stems in a small floral tube filled with water.  The relatively narrow opening at the top of the vase prevented other additions.  Here's the finished vase.




So, which creation would you submit for Loree's Aeonium Challenge?  The deadline in Monday and I'm undecided.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. Those aeonium match that vase perfectly! I think any of the containers would be great entries, but that vase in particular is beautiful!

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    1. Those Aeonium and that vase were indeed made for each other, Renee!

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  2. Hi Kris, kudos to you for attending Lorree's Aeonium challenge!
    I have a clear favorite, which is your first container. First of all the container itself is interesting, I like the organic shape. I think the planting is the most fascinating one, because of the contrast between the spiky Dyckia 'Burgundy Ice' and the light fresh green aeonium. I also like that other plants pick up the burgundy color of the Dyckia. I think it is a pretty cool design!
    Succulents are not my favorite plants, but forced by the heat that we are having in summers, I am thinking to plant a container with them, too. You might have inspired me...
    Good luck in participating in the challenge!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Succulents are an acquired taste, Christina. I'd precious few at our old house but I've obviously gone crazy with them since moving to this house. You may be surprised at how they sneak into your heart and I know you'll appreciate their sculptural qualities.

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  3. The vase is my favorite! I love it.

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    1. The vase got me more excited than when I started out with it, Alison.

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  4. The jazzy first container would make a great entry. Of course, I'm very partial to the vase. The vase itself is amazing and I like how your plants echo the colors of the stone.

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    1. My concern with the vase is that the container itself is more dominant than its contents, Susie.

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  5. Love them all Kris! I look forward to submitting which ever photo you choose to the esteemed judging panel!

    p.s. if there were an award for the quantity of different Aeonuims used you'd have that one sown up!

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    1. Aeoniums are so very easy to grow here, Loree, although I can't say they liked our horrific heatwave much and they're going dormant, which changes their form and vibrancy a bit.

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  6. Can you submit all three?! I love them all. The first one has the danger factor, which lends a certain appeal. Maybe my favorite is the third one. The vase is fabulous, and the arrangement coordinates perfectly and demonstrates a bouquet need not contain flowers to be beautiful.

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    1. No, just one may be submitted. The vase seems to be the general favorite (I like it too!) but the first container involved much more effort and included a wider variety of Aeonium and other plants. Decisions, decisions!

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  7. I won't be surprised if you do really well for Loree's challenge!!

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    1. I's always impressed by how creative Loree's contributors are.

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  8. Can you submit all of them btw?

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  9. All your possible entries for the challenge look like winners to me. You've made it a difficult choice for yourself.

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  10. For me it's probably the dyckia container. I love the shapes arrayed across that wide surface, but they're all gorgeous.

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    1. The Dyckia container it was, Denise.

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