Sarah Coles


I must have about fifteen different succulents and the odd thing is, when I think of the dozens of plants I’ve managed to kill over the years, I’ve barely lost one. I love them outside in bowls in summer, but particularly I love them now, indoors on the window sill. They include include several sedums, stonecrops, agaves, aeoniums, echeverias and more. Each bowl is a garden in its own right.
They cope with drought by storing water in their leaves. They are sun loving, and come in subtle shades of blue grey green.
I started with an echeveria which I bought by chance, because I liked the leaves shaped like Moorish arches. Then I bought pearly Pachyphytum oviferum, called Sugared Almonds, and Crassula perfoliatum because it looked like a stack of plates toppling over. A tiny powdery blue one with cylindrical arrow leaves, unnamed, was sitting beside the Homebase checkout for £1, and a taller fuzzy one with dark marks like stitching was nicked as a cutting from a pot in the Canaries. Kalanchoe tomentosum,
One aeonium is a flat mosaic of overlapping leaves, spiralling off like sunflower heads – it’s a perfect exemplar of Fibonacci numbers, that magical series of numbers which grows by exponential leaps. I’ve just sent off through EBay for Crassula ‘Buddha’s Temple’ with four stacked towers. I like the name too. Believe me, succulents are the easiest pot plants around. Inexpensive and in summer they flower too.

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