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The Upside

October 26, 2009

Some of my best looking hang-ups

Lately I’ve been thinking,”What’ll I do when I run out of space for plants?” It is conceivable at this point ā€” I can’t seem to stop buying new ones and they’re now everywhere on the property, both in-ground and in pots. The problem is just when I think I’ve got every succulent available, a new variety pops up and I have to have it. I’ve really been taken by all the succulent types that drape and trail and that’s suggested a solution for my plant overpopulation: I can hang them! This works out perfectly, because it opens up room for new succulents to be purchased and allows me to indulge my container shopping mania. Here’re some recent acquistions, from left: this large, teardrop-shaped terra cotta hanger actually came with the plant included and I love both. The dry-seeming spaghetti tangle of the stems end in plump little jelly bean clusters and look great tumbling out on both sides. Next, peas-on-a-string succulents weigh in on their new perch: a vintage metal grocer’s scale with a handsome dial. Lastly, a mid-century wire basket hanger brims with plump donkey-tails, looking like a salad that’s tossing itself.


The Rancho's colorful, shapely, hangers-on

From the top left: two really different succulents, one almost geometically twiggy and one that looks like long strands of tiny green peppers, peek at each other around patio posts. The former sits in a marked Bauer hanging pot and the latter in metal cake carrier top, turned upside down. In the next picture a handmade copper container from the Long Beach Flea Market is re-purposed as the home of a plant the seller called a ‘string of nickels’ succulent, the flat leaves forming perfect circles on their slender stems. Last, is the big score of a couple weeks ago: a huge rusted circle with a shallow basket suspended inside that creates the perfect home for vibrant lime green sedums and more of the twiggy trailer of the first picture. I guess hanging plants will eventually leave me with the same dilemma: what’ll I do when I run out of space for more plants? I have a little time, but I wonder if it’s too soon to investigate rooftop gardening?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    October 31, 2009 2:38 pm

    Reubin: Gave you the wrong e-mail address on a comment I just made – what can I say – getting older – confused – whatever – it’s too early….

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 31, 2009 3:57 pm

      Karen, thanks so much for your comment… and thanks for all your kind words about the blog and the Rancho… both are my favorite projects, as you know. I hope I get to meet you soon and yes, please, pass the word on. R

  2. mike dignan permalink
    December 2, 2009 10:38 am

    Hey Reuben,

    I finally had my baby girl “Sydney”. She’s beautiful and I’m excited to be her father. I love your site you have here and am very impressed. I didn’t know it was this intense. You have a great touch for designing with the succulents and cacti. I will be coming back to the market this weekend. Take care Reuben and great job with the site.

    Mike Dignan

    • reubix1 permalink*
      December 3, 2009 2:15 am

      Mike, congrats! I had no idea you guys were expecting… and thanks for your comment on the blog. See you Saturday!

  3. NatureCat permalink
    December 16, 2009 8:17 pm

    Hi Reuben, I came across your site while searching how to prune succulents. I have what is essentially a “chia pet” made out of mossy organic material with about a dozen soft (non prickly) succulents growing from the top. What is the best way to prune them to a proportional size? Should I remove each and cut down, then replant in the chia pet? Thanks for any advice.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      December 19, 2009 4:40 am

      Hi, thanks for your question but I’m not really sure what you’re describing. Would it be possible to send me a photo of the arrangement? You could send it to my personal email at and I could give you an answer, or I could ask other more savvy succulent lovers I know. Thanks

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