Wednesday, August 1, 2012

That’s better!


Do you ever find yourself staring at something repeatedly thinking “that’s just not right”…I do!

For instance originally I stuck a few Tillandsia in these hanging planters thinking that would work, but I never liked how it looked, maybe if they had been bigger?...

So when I saw this Cryptanthus at Garden Fever for $7.99 I figured I could divide it into smaller plants and fill up the planters with something a little more inspired.

What I didn’t realize was that the “extra plants” in the pot weren’t pups like you would find on an Agave, which are easily separated and usually have their own roots. No, when you separate these little guys they come right out of the side of the mama plant and look like this…

Which would have had me feeling certain I’d killed them except for the same thing happened late last winter when I repotted other Cryptanthus. This one…

And this one…

Have been living like Tilandsia for months. They get dunked once a week, spritzed if I think about (which is practically never) and that’s it. They may not be thriving but they are very much still alive. So I proceeded with my project but this time put the base of the young plantlets in soil, hoping they'll root. Here’s the result…

Better no?

I was also feeling a little underwhelmed by this planting…

The common thread was they were all gifts, and so they deserved better! I bought a couple of cheap succulents and added them to the mix. Better don’t you think?

My take away…if it’s bugging you and a cheap easy fix will change things then get on it!

33 comments:

  1. I love your Cryptanthus!!! they do look better! you have me thinking about sprucing up mine. It is that fresh up kind of time of year. Thankfully Cedar Rim just brought in some fresh stock. We have out of towners and patio parties coming up, so I too will be doing the mid summer refresher.

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    1. The most important point that you make is "midsummer" I already hear people moaning about summer being "almost over"...nonsense! We've still got lots ahead of us and it is the perfect time to fluff things up a bit!

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    2. I can't even come out with any words about the end of summer. it's going to be the year of summer! NO WINTER!!!! ahahahaha!!! take that winter lovers! they can all buy christmas palms this year :)

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    3. Oh Christmas palms! I like it! Reminds me of the year we had a Christmas tree fern!

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  2. the orange is so dominate there...yes, too small.. group them closer together at different levels until you have a cohesive collective "one" so to speak! I love you planters they look expensive!

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    1. It's hard to tell in the photo but they are at different levels and I agree they should be closer together. Unfortunately the only thing that I have to hang them from are the cross wires under the metal roof so my options there are limited!

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  3. Better, yes! The coloring on the Chryptanthus is much nicer with the pots, too. And so easy-care!

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    1. Green containers are hard, thank goodness for brightly colored plants!

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  4. I wish you and Ricki would teach a class on container design. Both your before and after look great!

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    1. Aww...you are so sweet to put me in the same company with Loree. I'm afraid my containers start out kind of lame and I just trot them out once they have filled in on their own.

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    2. Thanks Heather...I tend to be a "one plant per pot" sort of gal, I'm still not terribly wild on mixed container plantings and certainly don't feel that I've got the hang of it.

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  5. Great job on sprucing up your planters! They look wonderful!
    I have the same hanging planters, in my kitchen, but mine are grey and cream coloured. I have succulents and cactus hanging in mine, and love them, too. Love how yours turned out after adding the Cryptanthus!
    Debbie :)

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    1. Did you drill yours for drainage? I haven't, mainly because I'm not sure I would like the looks of a hole in the bottom. That's part of why they are hanging under the shade pavilion, that way I can monitor the amount of water they get.

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  6. You're a magician! The after pictures do look much better. Will you come, with some heavy equipment, to my garden and fix it?

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    1. Right...like your garden needs fixing!

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  7. Those do look better with the new plants.

    Midsummer reworking is a good idea as long as the temps allow.

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    1. Our temps have been so mild this year...upper 70's, mid 80's with just a couple teaser days where it looked like we might hit 90. This weekend however we're doing it...95 forecast for Saturday!

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  8. Yes, better. Of course, you'll be repotting soon, so another shopping trip is called for, to be ready with more cool homes for plants...

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    1. Are you encouraging me to go shopping?

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    2. Does anyone need to be encouraged to go shopping? Just thinking about your fabulous pots and wondering what you'll find next.

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  9. These arrangements look great. How wonderful that you can have the tillandsias outside! I kill them all the time. I think the reason they weren't doing it for you is due to the leaf size being slimmer but if you look at the before and after shots. The plants are similiar in structure.....the secret was in the wider leaf. I sit and ponder the same things you do but with my cacti and succulent garden. It's a fun challenge. I have to go shopping again today and pick out pots for our courtyard to finish up my landscaping portion of a project....and again...I have to think about arrangements:) I really like how you have them all set up....especially the cacti and succulents.....looks great.

    Wow...the blogger thing. Google changed something for August which sent a bunch of blogger into a frenzy late into the night. It was a bit scary getting the deactivation notice. I think it was related to the Google+. I was getting ready to publish today's work and as I was doing so, blogger just shut it down. So I updated my files and exported the entire blog and saved it in a folder on my desktop as backup. I also used the mobile security text to get the blog running back up again....that was the secret so make sure you have that set up with blogger as a security measure. Will it happen again? I hope not but I'll be ready if it does. Hope you are enjoying your day. Chris

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    1. I just went and read all the comments on your blog. I had that same thing happen one morning a couple of months ago. All of a sudden my blog was gone and I was getting the prompt to give them a phone number...it was weird and felt spammy. Guess I better look into the back up/security things you mention. Glad you got your blog back!

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  10. The pinkish color is yummy in the green pots. I'm finding myself trending toward the pinks in succulents, too...could this be Grace's influence? I had always had a bit of an aversion to pink (too girly, or something).

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    1. Funny I cut the flowers off some sedum yesterday specifically because I wanted the pink to go away, it was crashing my orange party!

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  11. So true...I don't know how often I'm frustrated or dissatisfied with something...and when I finally change it, I can't believe I lived with it for so long...seriously!

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    1. Yes! That's exactly the point I was trying to make but I think you just said it much better!

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  12. Yes, much better. I really like that first photo of the whole scene.

    I have things like this bugging me all the time. What I've learned through the years is to trust my inner creativity. When a quandary presents itself and there isn't an immediate solution, I let it percolate for awhile. Eventually, usually out of the blue, the light bulb comes on. After having learned this, I don't rush it anymore. I think all creative people have this and you illustrated it so well.

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    1. Good point about letting it percolate, I'm trying to be better at that!

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  13. You wouldn't believe the shovel wielding I've done since returning from the PNW..filled both of my 55 gal yard waste toters.Life is too short for stuff that is only tolerable ..when in doubt, dig it out !

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    1. "Life is too short for stuff that is only tolerable"...in the garden as well as elsewhere!

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  14. Better and better indeed! I thought they were alright before but the changes you made were even better. All gardeners tend to over scrutinise their own place but isn't it great that we have the capability to change some of the things we're not satisfied with in the garden? Change is fab :)

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    1. You guys strike me as the type who don't let anything your not happy with stick around for long...

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  15. Ooh la la -- much more pizzazz now!

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