It’s taken me awhile to wrap my head around this one. Past challenges have been about taking a less than trendy plant (here and here) and using it in a new way, causing one to "reevaluate" its qualities. Easy peasy – once you successfully adjust your way of looking/thinking.
But what if we take an already hip plant and see what you all can do with it? Sounds like fun doesn't it? Credit for this Challenge focus goes to Sean Hogan (Cistus Nursery). He suggested it when we were all brainstorming "what next" after a crazy night of voting on your Poinsettia Challenge entries. It wasn't until a visit to Cistus, when I saw this Aeonium 'Blackbeard' that my brain started working...
And here's my first stab at using the Aeonium in a new and different way (for me at least)...you may notice there's no A. 'Blackbeard' but don't worry, you'll see that one in the upcoming weeks...
Tucked in the small vase are four dark Aeonium cuttings (overwintered from last summer), sadly I've lost the ID on them – if I ever even had it.
The green Aeonium "look alike" is Sedum palmeri - hardy to USDA Zone 7!
Did those fabulous big leaves catch your eye? They're Aesculus x neglecta 'erythroblastos'.
The yellow flowers are from the Sedum.
The large vase features a few of the same elements. Another NOID Aeonium...
And a few more Aesculus x neglecta 'erythroblastos' leaves. They're the only vase element not from my garden. At a recent Hardy Plant Society of Oregon Board meeting we were all encouraged to bring a cutting of something from our garden, these were brought by a wonderful lady named Merle, who works at Tsugawa Nursery in Woodland, WA (the tree is in her home garden). I was so enamored with her show-and-tell leaves that I begged a trade for my Magnolia macrophylla leaf. Thankfully she agreed.
The next morning I woke inspired to put together these arrangements.
A few sprigs of Grevillea australis.
Some blooming stems from Callistemon sieberi as well as a several Eucomis 'Oakhust' leaves.
And of course, the Aeoniums...
This is actually just one ginormous plant that I pulled from it's container and bound the rootball in a plastic bag, then sunk it in a vase of water. Probably not ideal long term but for as long as the other bits are looking good I'm sure it will be fine.
So what will you come up with to answer The Aeonium Challenge? It can be any darn thing you can think up. An in-garden planting, a container, a vase, a tiara...as long as it includes a lovely Aeonium, or two, or six. I can't wait to see what you come up with!
Our same panel of opinionated judges will be serving: Sean Hogan, Nathan Limprecht, Wes Yonnie, Heather Tucker and Kate Blairstone (for more inspiration check out Kate's fabulous Aeonium artwork here).
How do you enter? Just email an image of your creation to spiky plants at gmail dot com by Monday July 4th. I hope to be able to announce the winner mid-July, schedules of our esteemed judges permitting.
And what do you win? Well to our lucky winner Sean Hogan has generously offered up a collection of Aeoniums from Cistus Nursery*! How fabulous is that? Good luck to you all!
In a Vase on Monday. Click on over there to see what other gardeners have cut and arranged from their gardens (I wonder if there will be any Aeoniums?).
*Aeonium collection only available to a winner in the continental U.S. - however all are welcome to enter. An alternative prize will be awarded if the winner lives elsewhere. All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.