It seems that succulents are trendy. I am appalled. I hate to be trendy. My grandmother was very fond of succulents and cacti. For years I always thought that they were old-fashioned, nasty, pricky, fleshy or spiky things. I love them now, but only after years of gardening. How come all these young, trendy people have decided that they are stylish? I came to love succulents with maturity, the same way I acquired a taste for coffee, oysters, olives and dry white wine. And now they are in vogue and all over Pinterest. They are being used by interior designers and by people who have never tasted oysters, (horticulturally speaking). They are even creeping into wedding bouquets. It’s as if the presenters of ‘Strictly Come Baking’ (or whatever it’s called; sorry, I don’t have a telly,) started quoting Proust. It’s discombobulating. I’ll just keep my head down and wait for it to pass. Eventually they will move on to aspidistras or monkey puzzle trees and we succulent lovers will be able to enjoy our succulents without the awful taint of trendiness.
My collecting which started a few years ago with variegated agaves is now completely out of control. I first fell for succulents when I saw them growing at Tresco Abbey Gardens where they live outside in the mild climate. Here in East Anglia they have to live in pots.
I took the above photo at Beth Chatto’s nursery last year. It is a nice sheltered corner but I don’t think the breeze blocks are the best backdrop. I prefer the way I saw them arranged either side of the shed door at East Ruston Gardens in Norfolk last year.
They have even planted quite big ones out in the open at East Ruston and I particularly liked this Echeveria planted in the copper pot, it perfectly matches the jade green verdigris.
Now it is nearly November I daren’t risk leaving them out any longer. And so I have the annual headache of to trying to find room for them all. Every year, of course, the problem gets worse. This is the utility room table, the chef insists he needs it for food preparation. That might be a bit tricky.
And I still have all these in the greenhouse, they will need to come in soon. They are all babies that my niece gave me in the spring. They are growing up fast. Actually, when it comes to succulents my addiction is quite mild compared to hers. She is the Succulent Queen.
Where will it all end? Once the window sills are full I really don’t know what I shall do. Thank goodness, it will soon be snowdrop time and I will be able to forget about succulents and start indulging one of my other obsessions. Actually it has already started. Galanthus reginae-olgae has been in bloom for a couple of weeks now…