Week 15: Annie - Tiered Terracotta
|Annie has put together this terrific tiered terracotta planting!|
Being a family owned business, we like to run the nursery like a big family. We thought a fun blog project would be to invite all our employees to make their own succulent creations. We are asking one employee a week, starting alphabetically, to do so. At the end of each week we will “showcase” that employees design at the nursery, on the blog, and on our Instagram.
Why a tiered terracotta?
I love terracotta for its appearance and functionality. The material absorbs excess moisture, which is perfect for succulents as their roots don’t do well in standing water. The three tiers give the design levels and reflect the perfect symmetry of the Sempervivum rosette.
|A delightfully layered look.|
How long did it take to make it and how many plants did you use?
This project took about an hour and I used a total of 26 plants from our regular and mini Sempervivum plug trays.
How exactly did you make it?
I mixed up a well-draining succulent soil with equal parts amended coconut coir and medium grit sand. Holding the middle pot at the appropriate height, I filled the largest pot with the sand mixture until the middle pot was firmly in place. I then did the same process to fix the smallest pot into place. I planted plugs to fill all the available space, so that the plants will stay small and delicate. Transplanting can be hard on roots, so I left planter overnight to allow any broken roots to callous over before I watered deeply the following day.
|King Semp looks on from his terracotta throne!|
What are some of the plants you used and why?
I used three Sempervivum cultivars: ‘Lively Bug’, ‘Green Wheel’, and ‘Brock’. I chose all hardy varieties, so that they can be left outdoors through summer drought and winter snow.
|A closer look at the varieties on display.|
What are your favorite Succulents?
I am a huge fan of hardy Sempervivum and Sedum because they are useful and beautiful in xeriscaping and green roof projects. One of my favorites would have to be Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Hot Lips’ for its architectural form, dusty purple color, and silvery leaf margins.
What are the most difficult succulents to work with?
I have a lot of trouble with Sedum pachyphyllum. I love the way it looks, but I haven’t yet figured out how to plant it without breaking off a couple of its super tender leaves.
Why or what do you love about working at MCG?
I feel like I have the coolest job, because I get to work on a lot of diverse projects from horticultural experiments to landscape design, but every single day I’m learning from a fantastic group of people who are passionate about succulents.