Succulent Cans

Happy Earth Day! On this day and EVERY day it is important to remember the importance of this tiny lil' earth in this one lil' galaxy in this one lil' universe that we are all so blessed to live on and to be able enjoy all of its vast beauty and natural wonders. Without out it, we humans would be non-existent. Simple as that. No resources, no humans. Sure, there's talk of Mars, but c'mon.. how 'bout we work to keep the amazing planet that we have in working order instead. 

With that being said, it can get very overwhelming trying to be "green" in a society based on consumerism. Buy! Buy! Buy! Plastic! Plastic! Plastic! Chemicals! Chemicals! Chemicals! ARghhhhh!! It's like, get out of my face with all that crap, gawd! 

In order for me to stay sane through all of the intense push marketers put out on a daily basis, I've incorporated the 3 R's (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle) into my daily mantra for quite some years now. And ya know, it's helped to keep me in check when I get that consumer itch. It's just a little reminder; "Do I really need that? Can I Re-use something I already have? "Did I Recycle that properly?"

Today I wanted to show you a fun way to incorporate all of the 3 R's into one fun project. I've teamed up with Second Chance Beer in San Diego, CA to make some fun succulent planters out of some of their cans that might have otherwise been tossed in the recycle bin. An extra cool thing about these planters is that they are made out of cans that are a limited release beer. So the planters can serve as a souvenir! Things like this make great, unique, gifts for people. And when it's something you've made yourself, it makes it that much cooler to give!

DRAINAGE! DRAINAGE! DRAINAGE!

DRAINAGE! DRAINAGE! DRAINAGE!

I started by drilling 3 small holes in the bottom of can. I used the smallest drill bit in the bunch. It drilled in easily as the tin is pretty thin. 

I can't express the importance of drainage holes enough when it comes to planting. Especially when it comes to succulents. Succulents and cactus are very prone to root rot if their roots sit in soggy soil for too long. They like their soil to completely dry out in between waterings. Like, dry, dry. It is very easy to overwater a plant in its container when their is no way in which the water can drain out before the plants are able to absorb it all. That's how root rot happens. Once root rot happens it is almost impossible to bring plant back to life. It's like a literal drowning of the roots. Sad times dude. The extra tricky thing about root rot is that the symptoms of it are similar to the symptoms of a thirsty plant. Yikes, right?!  (More on root rot and plant pests/diseases to come in near future blogs)

More DRAINAGE!

More DRAINAGE!

I then added small river rocks to fill up the can about halfway. 

*Note that these cans came to me with tops already removed, but you should be able to easily remove the tops of a beer can with a can opener.

Adding the rocks serves a couple of purposes here. One being that it adds some weight to the can so it won't blow or tip over easily. The second purpose is that it adds another level of drainage for the succulents. Succulents have fairly shallow root systems and when using younger, smaller succulents, such as the ones I did, they don't need a ton of soil to root in. By the time the roots get down to the rock layer it will be time to replant them anyways. So it is unnecessary to fill up the whole can with soil.

SUCCULENT SOIL  

SUCCULENT SOIL  

Next up, I added a succulent soil mix to fill up the about 3/4 of the can. I left some room towards the top of can so that I could add my succulents in. Did I mention that old spoons make excellent little shovels?! 

IMG_8688.jpg

Make sure to use a succulent soil mix when working with cactus and succulents. You can buy it pre-mixed at your local nursery. It will say cactus mix or succulent mix on bag. 

What's the difference between a succulent mix and a regular potting mix, you ask? DRAINAGE!

Cactus/succulent mixes are made with ingredients that allow for water to drain through it easily. As I mentioned before, succulents don't like to have their roots sitting in water for a long period of time. Ingredients such as sand, perilite, and pumice may be used in mixes to allow for good water drainage.

(Don't worry I have a whole blog coming up just on soils alone! Stay tuned for that coming next month.)

IMG_8689.jpg

Next, I  pulled off some of the excess soil from the succulents that came in a 2" nursery pots. This allowed for me to fit the succulents in the top of the can. I made a little dip in the soil in can and tucked the roots into bed. Nite, Nite lil' friends.

IMG_8691.jpg

I used a variety of succulents to make the can planters all unique individuals. The two Sedum varieties on top came in their own bigger pots and I just pulled off what I needed of the plant to incorporate into the cans. Succulents and their roots are pretty hardy and resilient, so don't feel bad about pulling ground cover types like these apart. I mean, don't be all Incredible Hulk about it...just gently tug them apart. If parts of the plant fall off just toss them onto the top of the soil and more often than not, they will re-root into the soil.

IMG_8693.jpg

I find that using a tiny trowel works awesome when making tiny planters. It fits perfectly in the small spaces and helps to be able to move the plants and soil around in the containers as needed. This trowel was given to me years ago by my Gramma. It was from a set she had from the 70's used for making terrariums. It is one of my prized possessions and I have used it to make many a terrarium myself with it! It came with a tiny rake also and it's so dang cute, I can hardly stand it. 

Once I got all the plants in that I wanted; keeping in mind that they will need a little space to grow, so I didn't  jam pack them in, I topped off with soil. Last but not least I gave the plants a thorough watering. (Until water drained out of the drainage holes) Approximately a 1/4-3/4 of a cup. This amount should sustain the succulents for a couple of weeks! 

All Done! 

All Done! 

All in all I made about 17 of these lil' buddies and it was so much fun getting to design mini gardens in these groovy cans! I love collaborating with local businesses that are are eco-concious and doing their part to give things a Second Chance! 

Happy Earth Day, today and Everyday! Hope you enjoyed this post. Comment below with ways on how you incorporate the 3 R's into your daily routine. :)

Re-Cappin' on what the heck just happened in the last mo's of 2017!

 

Hello!

I just wanted to sit down, take some breaths and take a look back on all that has happened and been accomplished in the last months of 2017. It's so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life, that I sometimes forget to take a moment to process all the big and small things I've accomplished and beautiful moments that have happened in my life. 

In September 2017, I made the very hard decision to close up my cutey mccute cute Plant Shed in San Francisco, CA and re-locate back to my home town of San Diego, CA. I couldn't deny my cravings for consistent warm and sunny days and "affordable" housing any longer.

After being in San Francisco and the Bay Area for 14 years, I've met some of the raddest, quirkiest, artistic, and most awesomest peeps ever in the universe! These people will forever be my family and I cherish every single one deeply. I will continue to consider SF my second home away from home.

Wanna take a quick scroll with me to see what went down in the last few mo's? C'mon, let's go!

 
Plantshed.JPG
 

So much love went into making this tiny shop a reality for me! I am forever grateful to my home slices that all had a hand in approving it and building it! You know who you are ;) 

Watching that space come to life on account of my own vision and punching my fears in the face, is an indescribable feeling of joy, proudness, and "holy crap, I did that?!"

I miss the lil' hummingbird buddies that started showing up after I planted some of their favorite flower food, Salvias! I wonder if they miss me too?

 
 
thepottedpoppyshed-1.jpg
 
 

Walking into the Plant Shed was a breath of fresh air! It was such a fun challenge to get to merchandise in a 8'x10' space. Goes to show that with a little creativity and ingenuity anything is possible!

A HUGE thank you to all my "regulars" and customers that came in to support my tiny Plant Shed! You are missed!

 
Said "Bye Bye" in mid-October. 

Said "Bye Bye" in mid-October. 

I got engaged October, 24th 2017 in Hawaii!! To the kindest, hottest, most loving, supportive, and generous person ever! #grateful

I got engaged October, 24th 2017 in Hawaii!! To the kindest, hottest, most loving, supportive, and generous person ever! #grateful

Our Jack-pups all buckled in and ready for a new adventure in San Diego      November 2017

Our Jack-pups all buckled in and ready for a new adventure in San Diego      November 2017

We made it to the encompassing warmness of San Diego on November 4th, 2017!

We made it to the encompassing warmness of San Diego on November 4th, 2017!

 

Throw in the unpacking into a new home, the holidays and getting The Potted Poppy up and running, I gotta stop and say "WHOA DUDE, you're kicking ass, don't trip!" 

2018, for me, is all about recognizing and utilizing my strengths, being kinder to myself, and giving back to my communities and doing my part to care for our Mother Earth. 

I wish you all a prosperous and happy New Year full of love and laughter! 

What's 2018 all about for you?

 

Following dreams...

My love of plants stems (pun certainly intended) from my early childhood when I would get to tagalong with my Grandma to various nursery wholesalers to purchase plants for the local nursery she worked at in the foothills of the Sierras. The smells and vibrant foliage and flowers left a lasting impression on me and to this day I get the same awe inspiring feeling every time I step into a plant nursery. 

Those experiences led me to study Horticulture at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz and from there went on to study Floristry and Landscape design at CCSF. 

After working several years in the floral industry I came to the realization that I enjoy working more with living elements and getting my hands dirty in the soil. One day I had my aha! moment: Why not bring my passion for plants, making people’s day, and connecting people with nature one pot at a time, together to create my dream job? Boom! The Potted Poppy is brought to fruition. 

It's been a long, rocky but fun journey to get to this point where I am at today. I always knew I would work for myself one day, but it's easier said than done. It was with the amazing support of my friends, family, and my off the charts amazing dude, that I was able to take the leap of faith. And let me tell you, FAITH was all I had! Faith that I can do whatever I put my mind to, faith that I can only fail if I don't try, and faith in myself that I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me! 

So here I am today in May of 2016. Getting ready to launch my very own business pertaining to everything that gives me hope, life, and happiness.