Throwing Massive Shade: Silhouettes and Succulents

Throwing Massive Shade: Silhouettes and Succulents

A well-thought shadow garden is inviting and interesting during summer months.

A well-thought shadow garden is inviting and interesting during summer months.

I love container plants, but that doesn't stop me from killing most of them through my patented method of total neglect followed by a rush of over-attention. Turns out, you can't let plants dry out for two weeks and then let them float from overwatering twice daily. That's not a thing.  

Enter potted succulents - they're great as indoor plants across the country but in California they're a year-round outdoor plant and even in this current "super-mega-ultra" drought, they thrive!

It's also fun to collect succulents - since most are propagated from cuttings/ buds, you can find interesting ones among neighbors, and nurseries. If you want the beautiful heirloom shapes that throw the really interesting patterns, avoid the box stores when possible - they have a very narrow selection whose seeming purpose is to give to coworkers you don't like who are leaving, or for "Bosses Day" or "Secretaries Day."

Speaking of which, if you really like your boss, don't buy them a cactus. Just do your job. And if you like your secretary, she doesn't want chocolates. She wants you to learn to use the copier's collate function and leave her alone.

If you're new to Offutt AFB or live in Omaha, I really want you to check out Benson Plant Rescue. It's a non-profit that rescues unwanted plants from sources like nurseries, landscapers, or homeowners tearing up a garden - they reinvest the money back into community projects, mostly dealing with youth in the Benson neighborhood. You can often buy gallons of hostas or Irises for $5 and they are the sweetest people. Check them out on Facebook by clicking here.

Once you get some interesting shapes, you'll have fun arranging them to throw the most dramatic shadows possible at exactly the time you'll be coming in and out to enjoy them. 

And depending on what time of day, the shadows will move from being pale and hazy to black and sharp as an ink drawing.

Spend effort, not money! Acquired over time, a collection of thrift store, gifted, swap-meet, and hand-thrown pottery will add texture and character to even the smallest spaces.

Doing an Air Show...Like a Pro (Part 1)

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