PHYLLIS ODESSEY

thriving on neglect

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Photo courtesy of Avant Gardens. Succulent arrangement in a gourd.

What’s not to love? According to Katherine Tracey, certainly not a succulent. Tracey’s mantra, obsession and addiction to succulents was the subject of her Wave Hill talk on Wednesday night. I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t have a fondness for the exotic or strange in the garden.  I almost never do containers.

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Photo courtesy of Avant Gardens

What are the attributes that make succulents a popular seller? low maintenance, drought-tolerant, variety of uses: vertical gardens, the living wreath, bouquets, and the ever popular container.  I wondered if Tracey could change my mind about this group of plants.

Listening to Tracey, it was obvious she has greatly expanded the vocabulary of succulents.

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Photo courtesy of Avant Gardens

Her blog, Foreplay on the Avant Gardens website, includes a how to for vertical gardens, containers, arrangements in pumpkins and living wreaths.  In person, Tracey is straightforward, unambiguous and intelligible – and so are her blog instructions. You couldn’t ask for more comprehensive and coherent explanations of how to grow and use succulents.

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In spite my appreciation for Tracey’s expertise and passion, I find using only succulents in a container, no matter how different in texture, color and form rather boring. I stand alone on  this point. I was sitting with a bunch of gardener friends at Tracey’s talk, who thought her talk, one of the best ever. I might have to give Echeveria, Pachyveria, Gasteraloe, and Aeonium, to name a few – a chance to win me over.

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Photo courtesy of Avant Gardens. The ultimate in succulents: Lotus Land. On my list of places to visit.

 

 

 

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