There aren’t many places where you can stop in for a cup of coffee and leave with a succulent plant. In fact, the charming little Succulent Café in Oceanside, Calif., may be one of a kind. Its courtyard is a succulent fantasy land, featuring a delightful array of plants everywhere you look, all growing in unique containers, from old tennis shoes to hanging lanterns.
Add some variety to your garden with Sempervivum, also known as Hens and Chicks and Houseleeks.
Sempervivum are considered “Old World Treasures” and are associated with mythology. During early centuries in Scandinavian countries, they were called “Thor’s Helper” and were believed to drive off demons and guard homes if planted on roofs. The Romans called them “Beard of Jupiter” and planted them on roofs to guard against lightning. This myth spread throughout Europe to Ireland where they were described as “a wee cabbage sat down, on my roof. ”
This article appeared as "Empty Canvas" in the November/December 2011 issue.
It’s been cool in Los Angeles, but every few days Lari Pittman gets up early to turn on the sprinklers in Parque Oaxaca, the three-quarter-acre private garden he and his partner Roy Dowell have been building for nearly a dozen years. It’s mostly cacti and succulents, olive and pepper trees — drought-tolerant plants that can endure the heat without watering.
My mother laughed when she read the Kalanchoe daigremontiana's identification tag. "'Mother of Thousands'! You have my sympathies," she sighed and patted its plantlet-fringed leaf. We were at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, where the aptly named succulent nurtures its young in the Conservatory's Desert House.