A succulent picnic

Well you know me and succulents, so imagine my delight when I spotted this display in the middle of the Floral Marquee at Gardeners' World Live.  I know.  Who'd have thought to have used these containers in such a way, and with great effect.  When I saw these, my own succulents were happily set to remain in their mini-trough and the small army of new plants I have in the green house would be joining them.  However now that we've given up the allotment, I'm having a rethink on where my succulents go as their position is now needed for veg growing.  It's not all bad, and they will be staying, in fact they're more likely to be moving to the patio, so I'll get to see them even more - which feels like a great result.

A fully stocked picnic hamper

I'm not sure their new home will be a picnic basket though, or even a 'castle bucket' although that would be fun.  The one below in the colander (number 621) reminds me of sprout-like vegetables - I think the number is because it had already been sold, and the new owner would collect it at the end of the show.

succulents and a spade on the beach at Gardeners' World Live

That was one of the main differences that I noticed at the show, that there were many more plants to buy than at Chelsea.  Not a bad thing at all, because Gardeners' World Live is aimed at real life gardeners and so it makes sense to make real life plants available to feed the inspiration available.  And I'm sure it makes it a lot easier for exhibitors to close down at the end of a show.

succulents on a silver platter

I'm not sure if MOH had sussed out the raffle ticket approach but I think he clocked that I had and quickly moved me along at that point, or tried to anyway.  We never got as far as the prices for any items in the Floral Marquee, and I suspect he knows me well enough to know that asking the price means we're well on the way to emotional commitment, and therefore more likely to purchase.  I'm guessing he didn't fancy carrying any of these home on the train, and I can't say I blame him!

a wicker basket of succulents

It would be relatively easy to replicate this look though wouldn't it?  And I think charity shops would quickly become your friend and hopefully a good source of vessels.  The thing to remember is that succulents need good drainage, which should make the colander ideal.

the ultimate picnic basket with succulents galore

They also don't like wet roots so mixing sand into the compost works well.  I discovered my aloe vera turning brown again after I'd successfully revived it, and then realised it was sitting in a pot of water unintentionally.  It's still drying out but is recovering again, thankfully. It's back in the house too and seems more comfortable there than in the direct sunlight of the garden table.

succulents and sand

Their roots are pretty shallow which helps when it comes to alternative planters, and why you'll often spot them in saucer-like pots.  I like the densely packed approach and looking back at these photos now feel quite inspired to redo my planting arrangements, though of course I think I'll need another one or two types to add to my growing collection...