Third annual red, white and blue pot! Check out the last two year’s projects here and here.
Memories of life a year ago around the Fourth was planning and having my baby shower, the on-set of swollen feet around 28 weeks, traveling almost every weekend and a lot of pilates. After being pregnant for a whole nine (actually ten) months it’s crazy/a little sad to actually see her at nine months old. When you think of time passing its usually illustrated in your mind as something clear, like air or wind but when you see your baby in front of you on earth the same amount of time it took to grow her it’s a unique moment in time right before your eyes. As we journey along this first year with the baby it’s been fun for me to think back to life exactly one year ago.
If you love your garden like we do, there’s always a way to find it mimicking your life. Another example of time passing and memories of last year. ↓
On the right is last year’s red, white and blue project. We get a lot of direct sun over the summer so any trace of blue or white has turned green by the relentless sun. With the exception of the sempervivums which has retained some of their red/maroon color. Just in case you need a reminder, this is what the pot on the right looked like just twelve months ago ↓If the pot itself on the left looks familiar, it’s from last year’s baby announcement. ↓ Same pot, different year. Those pink plants have since been removed and planted into the ground in our garden. All sorts of nostalgia over here!
Baby Leighton update: she is crawling, standing, scaling furniture. She yells ma ma mostly when I leave the room and she whispers da da when she’s crawling all over him. She loves to high five and eat all her veggies. Our plans for the Fourth are starting tonight when we do some nighttime gardening, after the baby goes down, to refresh all of our plants in the ground with more pumice. Then on the Fourth we’re going to a pick-your-own farm with family and relaxing the rest of the day! Happy Independence Day!
I’m sitting here, sipping on some kombucha, listening to the rain. My life has changed in a lot of ways but I’ll be the first to say I haven’t forgotten what it was like before I had a baby. Quiet moments definitely have more importance than they ever have. Have you ever tried putting pen to paper with Twinkle Twinkle playing on loop in the background? No? Well, you’re probably not a mom then. 🙂 As I sit here enjoying my quiet moment, which was short lived as she’s currently sitting in my lap, I’ve been trying to sum up the update about motherhood that I’ve been asked about… Something that has definitely fascinated me about being a mom is that my already full and eventful life has been able to stretch and expand to accommodate another person, who is completely dependent on me, without being able to clone myself or find the missing 25th hour of the day. It’s quite amazing and I like to think I do it with a smile. What has most fondly been added to my newly expanded life are the little loves I give and receive on a daily basis. My new activities include: cheek kissing, chunky book reading, soft arm scratching, paci locating, jammie changing, silly song singing, tear drying, tiny hand holding and lovey giving. But for all that I give I get way more in return. She falls asleep in my arms every night no matter who or what wants my attention. After she falls asleep, sometimes I hold her for an hour. Because I know that when the days are long, the years are inevitably oh so short and that’s something I never want to forget.
Succulent Easter Basket
I love finding new ways to temporarily bring succulents indoors as part of my holiday decor. Before the baby, I didn’t really decorate the house for Easter. This year we’re decked out with carrot garland, baby chicks and bunnies on the mantle and this Easter basket filled with succulents! The baby loves doing tummy time these days so we hung out together in her room while I put the basket together and this is how I did it. Every good project starts with an even better trip to the greenhouse. What I used:
Basket- I had one in my craft closet but I also like these here and here.
Succulents- The dimensions of the opening of my basket were approximately 12 in x 8 in. For that size basket I used about 30 small (2 in. pot) succulents in a variety of pastel colors. See photos below for size in relation to my hand.
Wet foam- I used this one here. I bought two of the “half balls” which are each 8 inches in diameter. This foam adds great structure while easy to cut and manipulate and if you desire to keep your project in tact longer than a week or so you can add water right to the foam.
Floral wire- I used 22 gauge and 24 gauge wire depending strength and size of the succulent stem. I used the thicker wire to keep larger succulents in place and the thinner wire to bend and manipulate the positioning of the plant.
Butter knife to cut the foam
First, I stripped the succulents of all of their soil. I set the soil aside to use in the garden at another time. I like to pull some of the long roots off and expose the stem as much as possible. I started by cutting one of the half balls in half and wedging the two pieces to fit the majority of the empty space in the basket. There may be a more concise way of cutting and fitting the wet foam into projects but I have yet to discover it. All of the wet foam will be covered when the project is finished so I don’t worry about making the base look presentable, as seen below. And there it is. Not gorgeous but completely functional. I cut the second half ball and wedged pieces where there were gaps. I used the butter knife to shave down areas to create height in the middle and lower, sloping sides. This will give the effect that the basket is brimming with Easter eggs.I started with a larger succulents to be the focal point in the middle of the basket. I pre-cut about a two inch pieces of floral wire to be ready when I need them. Then inserted one piece of wire per succulent into the stem leaving about one inch of the wire exposed. If you are using large succulents, 4 inch or larger, you may need more than one piece of wire for stability. Then place the wire into the wet foam. The wet foam is easily manipulated as it has a sort of crumbly texture. If the succulent isn’t sitting exactly how I want it to I just apply a little pressure into the foam and wiggle it into place. From the first succulent, I worked out alternating colors and textures with attention to placing smaller succulents around the edges. For filler in this basket I used Sedum dasyphyllum. This variety comes in beautiful rainbow varieties from green to purple to pink all in one 4 inch pot. I broke off tiny pieces and used the 22 gauge wire to place them into vacant areas. There’s the finished product! It took me about 30 minutes to complete with Leighton playing next to me. The basket will stay in the house until Easter. Then I think I’m going to plant some of the succulents into the current flower bed redo (post to come once completed) and use some to fill in vacant spots in a few pots. Happy Spring! Lots of fun stuff coming up for rootedinmoss! Stay in touch by subscribing to the blog or following along on Instagram @rootedinmoss. All images from the blog are now enabled for pinning, follow rootedinmoss on Pinterest for inspiration for your DIYs and to see what inspires me! xo, rootedinmoss
Back to break the internet with this beauty! Ha! But seriously, last year’s cornucopia has been the most visited post on my site and I was getting offers to buy it all the way in February! I put together this year’s cornucopia centerpiece between the baby napping…things are a little different these days but we’re still all about holiday crafting! To see the full tutorial for the succulent cornucopia, visit last year’s post here. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday in part because it’s the gateway to the Christmas season and because it’s totally centered around cooking. Even though a lot has changed after having Leighton, I’m so happy to be hosting the holidays and this cornucopia will be the centerpiece on my Thanksgiving table.
Sometimes, I kill plants too. The cause of death typically has to do with the intense Southern California heat. Despite all of the precipitation from the recent El Nino pattern there were a few slight heat waves in February and March of this year. I typically check the weather before I go out of town so that I can move vulnerable plants into the shade but I guess I missed the forecast once. My red, white and blue pot from last year’s Fourth of July project suffered terribly. You can read about the succulent pot that’s the subject of this redo here. I’m ashamed to share this photo but what’s a confession without truly coming clean. So there you have it. Sun-stressed, burnt, sparse, a mere shadow of itself and the obvious reason for this redo. The day I chose to plant and repot the temperature reached around 117 degrees. Since there was no way I was planting outside, I decided to move the entire project indoors (hence the partially overexposed photos from the light of a large window). These days, no planting project begins without adding pumice to my soil from General Pumice Products. You can’t see it from this photo but I hit a little issue that was basically an indoor project nightmare. I didn’t realize that my bag of soil, which had probably gotten wet, was absolutely overrun with fruit flies/gnats. When I looked closely at the pot it looked like the soil was moving from all of the tiny bugs walking around in it (insert big eye emoji). At this point it was so hot outside and I had made a million trips upstairs to set everything up, I was just finishing the project bugs and all. On a side note, after finishing the project and living with A LOT of gnats in the house for a few days and seriously considering calling an exterminator, I found an organic solution to my problem. In a small bowl, I mixed apple cider vinegar with a small amount of dish soap (I used grapefruit scented Dawn) then left it out on the kitchen counter where they began to congregate. I checked back a few hours later to a bowl filled with dead gnats! Life changing. My goal for this project was to salvage as many of the plants from the original pot to mix in with the new ones. Sempervivum ‘Red Beauty’ served as the red in my red, white and blue this time around. The sun-stressed plants from the original pot, when mixed against the other plants, were perfect for giving the appearance of white that I needed for this theme. The red, white and blue redo- a refresh success! Patriotic plants at their finest. Happy Independence Day!
There’s something new blooming in our garden! I’m 24 weeks pregnant today with Baby Girl Moss! I had intended to write this post, um, maybe 8 or 9 weeks ago. I was thinking and brainstorming of all the ways I could tie this announcement into plants and nature, but I just couldn’t get myself to sit down and write the real story that I had inside.
If you’ve followed the blog for any period of time you know that a life changing moment for me was the sudden passing of my father, coincidentally, on the night of my first wedding anniversary. At that time, the thought of having a child and not having my father’s influence on it’s life was too difficult to imagine. I knew I may want children in the future but his passing was the perfect excuse to put it off for another day, another year. But as the old adage professes, time heals all wounds, I too began to heal. Fewer of my life’s decisions began with what I didn’t have but with what I could make for myself. Soon I began to think seriously about becoming a mom. Around our sixth wedding anniversary last year, also marking a decade of being together (10 years!?!) we decided to make 2016 the year of Baby Moss. In January, I had a series of dreams about my dad over three nights. I typically never remember what I dream about and I hadn’t had a dream about my dad in years. The dream reoccurring during these three January nights was the same dream I had shortly after his passing. Wherein I would pass him as he was seated out in public somewhere and exclaim to him, “Where have you been!? I have so much to tell you!!”, and as soon as I would hug him he would be gone. After the third night of that dream I knew something was different, but I kept it to myself for a few more days out of the fear of sounding like I was losing it! Now I know that I was only a few weeks pregnant when I was having those dreams. In looking back, I see them as a transition that my mind was going through and needed to go through. He came back into my mind, after being gone for some time, to allow me to dream clearly for my future and I haven’t looked back since. It was the perfect proof for me that enjoying each of life’s chapters as they slowly unveil themselves can be a beautiful process for the progression of life.
In true rootedinmoss fashion, my husband and I hit the greenhouses in search of the perfect pink succulents. Below is the potting of the pink succulent pot and a fun little shoot we took to announce Baby Girl Moss.
Due October 2nd! Stay tuned for my upcoming garden-themed baby shower in July.
It should come as no surprise to those who have been following me for some time that I love love and my absolute favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day. I have heard there are people out there that think Valentine’s Day is a retail holiday (I actually think you can make that argument for any major holiday) or that it’s a day in which taking an inventory of love is forced upon us. Luckily, for me, I don’t know any of those people! 🙂 We love the excuse to celebrate love. As soon as February 1st arrives all I see is pink and red and we often eat heart-shaped food- it doesn’t hurt that my husband totally plays along for me.
All this talk about love definitely reminds me of the love I give and receive from my garden. My garden is a source of love in many ways. It gives love to me by always providing me with something new to appreciate. It produces a physical gift in the abundance of itself as way for me to give love to others. And it gives those recipients a way to share love back with me when they tell me how the plants I’ve given them have grown, multiplied, and have been given to others they love.
I feel so grateful that nature always gives me something new to see and love always gives me a new reason to write. In the spirit of my favorite holiday I’m partnering up with General Pumice Products for a giveaway to my readers and Instagram followers! We will be giving away a 15 lb. bag of pumice and succulent cuttings from my garden (see entry details at the end of this post or on Instagram.) Pumice is a volcanic rock made of hundreds of microscopic pores. When added to your favorite potting soil, there are many useful benefits for your garden. The tiny pores on the surface of the pumice act as microscopic reservoirs storing nutrient-rich water, vitamins and minerals. Pumice not only releases stored water quickly which brings oxygen to the root zone (very important for succulents!) but it also allows carbon dioxide to escape and enables air circulation. This process saves on water costs and improves water conservation by absorbing water quickly and slowly releasing it back into the soil when needed. Talk about giving love back to your plants! I have been adding General Pumice Products pumice to my garden (stay tuned for a post about my garden overhaul with pumice) and it has been so beneficial as Southern California experiences an increase in precipitation due to El Nino. I’m very excited to help you give love back to your garden too with one of my favorite products!
Valentine’s Day Projects with General Pumice ProductsGiveaway details:
Palm Springs, California is a city where beautiful xeriscapes existed long before it was trendy or environmentally necessary. Driving down any street in Palm Springs is a succulent lover’s dream, as most shopping centers and street corners are landscaped with drought tolerant plants. If window-gazing front yards isn’t enough for you, there’s the Palm Springs Historical Landmark, Moorten Botanical Garden.
Established in 1938 by desert plant specialists Chester and Patricia Moorten. The grounds are still family owned and operated by their son Clark Moorten. Each time I’m at Moorten’s I love to take the opportunity to chat with Clark and listen to his stories about Palm Springs in the 1960’s or the interesting array of critters he’s come across on the property. Moorten’s houses over 3000 varieties of plants and a most impressive Cactarium, a greenhouse which is home to many rare plant species. For a very small admission fee you can walk the grounds and enjoy the scenery. I don’t typically go here to buy succulents but they do have a small selection for sale.(below: I purchased from Moorten’s in May 2015). They also have an eclectic selection of pottery and garden decor. Every time I visit I always pick up one of their two-toned pots for future projects. You may have seen some of their pottery selection on my Instagram. I’ve been to Moorten’s during winter and summer and I’ll say a trip during summer isn’t for those shy about sweating! I would definitely recommend visiting in either winter or spring. Hours of operation are limited in the summer so be sure to call ahead or check their website before planning your trip.