8 August 2011

hens, chicks, and bamboo

I was at a friend's place this weekend and somehow talked him into letting me pillage some of his rock garden bounty.  I had a ton of these great little succulents in my garden when we first moved in but decided it wasn't "the look" I was going for and promptly removed them.  Thankfully I have matured in my gardening ways and now think twice before composting a perfectly good plant!

I have this neat looking concrete planter that I used to have lilies in it.  I've decided lilies aren't really my thing, and thought that the charcoal color would look great with the greens and mauves of these hens and chicks.  I realize it probably wasn't the best idea to split and transplant on the hottest day of the year but these guys are pretty hardy.

On the bottom right of the last photo you can see some dried up sticks coming through the deck.  This was a huge clematis before I took it our last week in order to paint behind it.  It always seems to come back in full force every spring though.  I was so used to having some greenery to ground that corner space, so I suppose this planter is my way of improvising.

I've been seeing a lot of these succulents used in wall planters in design and landscape magazines lately.  In fact, one of the local nurseries was recently offering a class to create your own...

The use of hens and chicks in these artful planters make a great statement hung on a fence or the side of a house.  Not too sure how well it would work because the root structure of these babies is almost non existent.  They basically just sit on the surface of rocks, barely hanging on for their lives.  Maybe you have to attach or hook them to the frame somehow.  

I also dug up some black bamboo shoots from this friend's backyard.  The mature plants are so beautiful they almost look fake.

Photo: Greenwalks

It takes about 18-24 months for the green stalks to change to black, but once they do the contrast is truly magnificent.  I don't know a lot about bamboo so am not sure if this is a clumping or spreading variety.  I have planted it in a space far from any drainage pipes or foundation however, just in case it does spread significantly.  This stuff is expensive to buy from a nursery so I'm pretty happy about to have a friend with such an abundance of it.  

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