Saturday, February 17, 2007

string of pearls

for this weekend's greenthumb post, i'm going to talk about something i'm totally, utterly unqualified to talk about. i mean, christmas cactus - totally under control. paperwhites - pshh, in the bag.

succulents - i suck.

seriously, it seems there couldn't be anything easier to take care of than a plant in the cacti family, right? well, i can't handle it. i've been keeping one poor aloe plant on life support for a full 2 years now - i won't even post a picture, it's so embarrassing. my jade plant - no clue why it's lasted this long, but now half of the leaves are yellow and shrivelly, due to some unknown disaster i've forced upon it. but despite it all, i love them. i love their plump, juicy leaves, their cool green textures, their supposed nonchalant attitude.

so, i wanted to share this neat plant i came across a few days ago - the string of pearls, also called string of hearts, rosary beads, or even, my favorite, string of bananas! native to south west africa (which i guess means it's technically an invasive species...the environmentalist in me says that's a big no-no), senecio rowleyanus requires nothing more than lots of sunlight and a bit of water - after that, step back and it's on it's way (that's what they all say!).

the unique shape of their "leaves" allows them to store a vast amount of water and to survive in even the harshest of environments and under severe drought conditions. while they can be easily used as a bit of ground cover, i think they look absolutely gorgeous in a hanging pot, with their long strands draping down to the ground. elegant and a bit otherworldly, how beautiful would they look in a big sunny window - and think of the shadow they'd cast! word to the wise, however, they are potentially poisonous to cats and little ones, so keep 'em out of reach!

and, as usual, here are my favorites from flickr (not a lot over there, surprisingly!):

macro shot of string of pearls by pixibility;
gorgeous sun and shadow by sydneyamw;
• my absolute favorite is this one from wisecraft; oh how i covet the plant AND the planter (by perch ceramics).

1 comment:

WEIRD & PASSIONATE said...

Although targeted for the South African market it seems that also North Americans are reading our blogs; especially the second one with basic succulent cultivation knowledge and links to relevant Internet sites.
Herewith an extract of a (locally distributed) media release.



Robertson, South Africa; May 17 2007 - Soekershof Walkabout, Mazes & Botanical Gardens, has launched two new blogsites in addition to the own website.
The first is http://soekershof.blogspot.com and keeps (potential) visitors updated with the latest developments in and around Soekershof and with links to other interesting things-to-do/see in the area.
The second, http://soekershof.wordpress.com is primary a service tool for customers of the own Soekershof nursery and other succulent lovers. This blogsite provides visitors with information about all (basic) aspects of cultivating succulents including cacti in South Africa.

Soekershof Walkabout
Mazes & Botanical Gardens

Primary Unusual Destination
Certified by Fair Trade in Tourism in South Africa

Klaas Voogds West, P.O. Box 291, Robertson 6705, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)23 626 4134
Skype: soekershof
E-mail: soekershof at lando.co dot za
Website: http://www.soekershof.com
Blogsite: http://soekershofwalkabout.blogspot.com/
Soekershof Science: http://soekershof.wordpress.com

Mission statement:
Soekershof Walkabout is a sacred enterprise, based on an appreciation of nature, humor, play, creation, expression and respect for the land, and the growth and development of the people and plants who participate -employees and visitors alike.