Beautiful Succulent Projects

Now that I am having success with many of my succulents (thanks to their summer growth spurt!), I am in search of ways to make them really stand out in my garden.

I looked through some vacation photos of mine from about a year ago. When we were wandering some of the beach shops, we came across one shop that had a cute little ball of moss with a couple flowery looking succulents attached to the top. It was hung by a bow from the shop sign. I had never seen anything like it, and it is probably the time I first started to see succulents in a different, pretty way.

Though that photo reminded me of our family vacation, it didn’t answer an obvious question: How in the heck do you make that so the plants stay alive?!

So after a little research, I found a couple amazing tutorials to show us how to do just that!

Pine Cone Succulents
Photo Source:

This adorable pine cone project would make for a fun way to hang plants from patio rails, porch lights and even fence posts! I just love how the use off all natural items looks so beautiful and fresh! I wonder if a little battery operated tea light could be added to the center to make for stunning backyard party decorations?

Succulent Ball
Photo Source: Martha Stewart via

Visit this site for a VERY simple tutorial in creating this amazing ball of succulents. The concept could work for other items like wreaths, topiaries, etc.

I am very excited to try my hand at these projects – if I can get them made and growing now, they would make for some cheap, expensive-looking hand-made holiday gifts!

My New Love – Propagating Succulents

I have never been a huge cactus fan, mostly due to the crazy amounts of spikes and prickly fuzz.


However, I recently began to enjoy the beautiful blooms and flower-like shapes of the succulents at a home on my running path. The garden is full of poke-free, drought-tolerant, beautifully colored plants. They arranged in such a nice manner that the yard looks absolutely stunning. Expensive, even.

I had the opportunity to speak with the home owner, who was extremely kind and gave me a quick tutorial in succulent growth and propagation – even sent me home with a few leaves in my running shorts pockets to give it a try! I have since been hooked!

The greatest thing about succulents is the minimal amount of water they take. I currently water 2 times a week, depending on the heat. This is because most succulents grow more in the spring and summer months. In the winter, I have read that you should water just once a week, maybe even every other week as the plants go into a dormant phase during colder seasons.

I have had mostly great luck in propagating from leaves. I started with the few I was given, then got more from a couple plants I found outside a few restaurants and homes I run by. If I see the homeowner, I be sure to ask first… but if I don’t, I guess I figure they won’t mind me taking just one or two leaves, so long as I don’t damage the plant and it is large enough they won’t miss 1 leaf! Give me your opinions on this, as I don’t know the proper succulent-leaf-taking etiquette!

Propogating Succulents

Photo Source:

To refresh my memory, I found a very simple tutorial (see image link above) that has a method I have found to work very well with most plants. I find that some leaves like more water than others (or maybe I am giving them too much sun, so the soil just dries faster?), and some that prefer to have more sand in the mixture. Visit Needles + Leaves for the great tutorial.

One type of succulent that I have yet to be able to propagate is Aloe. I have actually read many tutorials, watched many videos and am embarrassed that many people say it is the easiest to work with! I can’t believe I have tried a dozen leaves and can’t seem to get one started – the EASIEST ONE?!

I have tried so many methods, from laying pieces on top of the soil as shown by Needles + Leaves, to burying the leaf upright in the soil, no water, moist soil, dipped in honey (that idea seemed weird, but I gave it a shot…), fresh off the mother plant, allowing the end to dry/scab over, and even buying a rooting powder. Not one method has worked for me!


Propogating Aloe

Photo Source:

My next attempt will be to try this tutorial from WikiHow, partly shown above. PLEASE, if anyone has a tried and true method for Aloe, be sure to let me know by email or in the comments to share with everyone!

Just a quick shout-out to my friend, who has been kind enough to let me slice a dozen or more aloe leaves off the plants in his backyard for practicing each failed method! Thank you!

DIY Strawberry Planters

Strawberries are my favorite fruit and my favorite dessert (with cake and whipped cream, of course).


Growing them, however, can be challenging for some. They require quite a bit of space if you want them nice and plump, and if you have birds and rabbits about your yard like we do, it can be tough to keep them away. They best solution I have for scaring off the birds is Christmas tree tinsel. I like to tie it or staple a few pieces to the planter box, or tie it to some wire and poke it right into the soil. This allows it to really move in the breeze, making it seem more alive and “scary” to the birds.

As far as the space issue and rabbit issue, I like to use vertical containers. The rabbits have a harder time getting to the berries, especially if you set them up higher on blocks. Vertical containers also allow for growing more fruit in a smaller square foot area of your yard or on your deck or patio! I am a huge fan of space saving, and if you are looking to do the same, then vertical is the way to go.

How do you get started in vertical strawberry growing? Below are a few tutorials to help you build your own containers and get growing!

Strawberry Planter

Image Source:

Tall Strawberry Planter

Image and Tutorial Source:

Pallet Strawberry Planter

Image and Tutorial Source:

Notice in this bottom photo that berries are growing out of each layer! It is made from pallets. Be sure to check out all of these great tutorials to see which idea best suits your garden space.

Flower Boxes

Did you know that flower boxes are one of the quickest, easiest ways to clean up the look of your house?

Replace cluttered potted plants on your doorstep or patio areas with flower boxes filled with fresh, beautiful plants or flowers. The look will make your house feel homier to family and friends, add the illusion of added value to your home and just clean up the area in general!

While window boxes are the first thing people think of when considering flower boxes, remember there are more options on the market. Flower boxes can can line the perimeter of your house or yard, they can rest on the beams of some covered patios, they can even hang from the fence that separates you from your neighbor.

Flower Box 1


Flower boxes don’t have to be built out of wood and have that country feel to them. The aluminum box above looks elegant and very stylish, making it a great option for most any style house. If you are looking to make this style even cleaner or simpler, use one long flower box liner pot in black or white. Growing things like succulents or herbs can also minimize the traditional flower box look and look classy in more architectural or modern style homes.

Flower Box 2


Don’t have a window to use for a flower box? Or maybe you are just looking to update your deck? Check out this box which holds on to your deck railing. This great idea adds instant color and style to your yard.

World’s Largest Flower

If you are headed to southeast Asia anytime soon, you may want to consider visiting the World’s Largest Flower! This flower, the Rafflesia, reminds me of the old movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

Apparently, there is no season to see this beautiful flower as it appears to bloom whenever it feels like it. Blooms usually only last for less than a week, so it is not a flower that is easily planned for by tourists. These extremely rare blooms, crazy enough, have no roots or leaves of any sort – the Rafflesia is actually a parasite. In order to grow, the parasite will have to infect a Tetrastigma vine, shown below, which is part of the grape family. This vine appears to be the sole host for the Rafflesia flower, making a blossom hard to come by!

World's Largest Flower

Image Source

The bloom is said to be the stinkiest of all flowers. It has a scent of bad meat, and its petals also appear to look like meat as well, to attract flies and other insects in order to transfer pollen to flowers and possible seed dispersal.

The average weight of these giant blooms is said to be about fifteen pounds, with the largest on record being twenty-two pounds! Now that is a flower!


If you would like to plan your next vacation around a possible sighting of this incredible flower, you will want to contact the Rafflesia Information Center.

Summer Bulbs

To me, planting bulbs is a confusing task. It requires you to know what flowers you want and what time of the year they bloom. And if you really, truly want them – well, you better have it on your calendar seasons in advance!


Dahlia image from

True gardeners keep calendars of their blossoms so you can prepare yourself for each season. I compare it to buying holiday gifts for people a year in advance – I like to get gifts on clearance to save some serious cash, but it requires having a list prepared for who you are buying for and what age they will be the following year!

My absolute favorite summer bulb flower is the Dahlia. The detail in these amazing flowers is truly one of the most beautiful you will ever have in your garden. I just love how the petals appear to be painted on by some talented artist.

Dahlias are a difficult flower to plant and grow, in my opinion, as they need a lot of maintenance. First you must keep the planted bulb indoors about six weeks prior to planting outdoors. During this time, they should be place in a room that gets plenty of sun through the window and be kept moist. If you live in an extremely cold area, be sure not to plant outside until after the last frost of the season. I usually plant my seedlings no more than three to four inches deep in the soil and keep a distance of about one and a half feet between each.

For more information on summer bulbs, visit our image source

Urban Farm Mag – Bad Companion Plants For The Garden

Some plants hinder other plants’ growth and shouldn’t be grown next one another. Here are some “bad friends”:

Bad Companion Plants
Beans: onions, garlic
Cabbage: strawberries, tomatoes
Caraway: dill
Carrots: dill
Corn: tomatoes
Cucumbers: potatoes, sage
Hyssop: radishes
Onions: beans, peas
Peas: onions, garlic, leeks
Peppers: kohlrabi
Potates: pumpkins, squash, tomatoes
Radishes: cabbage
Rue: sweet basil
Squash: potatoes
Tomatoes: cabbage, cauliflower, fennel, potatoes
Turnips: potatoes



Strawberry Hill English Rose

These gorgeous climbing roses have small clusters of mid pink, medium-large, cupped rosettes. They give off a heavenly, sweet smell of myrrh and heather honey. The branches are covered in glossy, dark leaves that is a perfect backdrop to the pink buds.

Strawberry Hill Roses

They can grow up to 10 feet high as a climber and work well in zones 5 to 9. Wouldn’t these be stunning for a backyard wedding? Simply beautiful.

English Roses

Images from

The Chocolate Cosmos

The cosmos produce small 3-5 inch, daisy-like blooms in a variety of hues, including pink, orange, red and yellow, white, and maroon. Cosmos flowerheads can be bowl- or open cup–shaped, and they may reach a height of up to 6 feet. Both amazing and rare, the Chocolate Cosmos actually smells like dark chocolate!

Chocolate Cosmos

Found Here:

Chocolate Cosmos are beautiful flowers with rich brown coloration surrounded by burgundy petals. Because of their smell, you might think they would be edible, but they are not! Chocolate cosmos are actually toxic.

Heavenly Blue Morning Glories

Plant these heavenly blue morning glories in a hanging post and they will grow downwards.

Blue Morning Glories

As the name implies, early morning is when morning glory flowers are in full bloom, although there are a few species that bloom at night! Full sunlight throughout the day and moist soils are ideal for growing them. Morning Glories also make good trellis plants. Beautiful!