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In recent decades succulents have gained much popularity. How many of your neighbors have implemented desert landscaping? To combat SoCal’s perpetual severe drought, my brother, without related experience and skills, single-handedly gave my parents’ front yard a major facelift.  The hard work has paid off, both maintenance-wise and environmentally. It is disheartening to see sprinklers operating full throttle in any neighborhood, especially during scorching afternoon hours!

Rock Purslane in Bloom

Rock Purslane

I am a succulent enthusiast. My friend Adriana gave me my very first rock purslane, a cutting from her own collection, from which I propagated wherever I could. Rock purslane is an all-time favorite, beautiful even without blossoming. The nurseries and my neighbors don’t seem to be as fond of it as me though.

World of Succulents’ Succulentopedia is usually my go-to knowledge base. The app PlantSnap helps identify and answer botanical questions I have in real time.

This past January I planted some succulents in teacups, teapots, and common planters; all subjected to the same care and external conditions. The purple floral cup received Aeonium Kiwi, and the smaller pink cup got Sedum Versadense and Tiscalatengo Gorge Sedum. It is not possible to add conspicuous Flapjack to the teapot with a big opening; instead Sedum Adolphii Firestorm and some Echeveria were used. I should have included Black Rose or Purple Rose to enhance contrast and color. This is not an experiment but a simple gardening project. After five months, the succulents in traditional planters outperformed those in the teacups and teapots, of course, but all of them are flourishing in their own ways.

Succulents in a Teapot
Succulents in Tea Mugs - January

Succulents in Tea Mugs – January

Succulents in Tea Mugs - May

Succulents in Tea Mugs – May

Succulents Outside

My collection of phalaenopsis orchids also grew during the pandemic.  Once upon a time, many not only faded but died under my care.  This round I feed ice cubes once a week, trying my best not to shower them with excessive love.  So far I have not considered soaking their roots in tea.

Phalaenopsis Orchids

Phalaenopsis Orchids

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