Tag Archives: Crassula

Succulent Book Planter: UPDATE

We have received a great response for the succulent book planters that I posted last week.  They really are one of the coolest ways to have living plants in your home.  We have been on the lookout for defected books that have little life left.  Books with pages missing, or irrelevant editions of textbooks.  We have no intention of reworking books that could be used for their intended purpose… bibliophiles can rest easy! Also, we are even using the pages that we cut from the books in the can planters I posted about earlier this week.

We have been working hard on preparing the books for their new lives as planters and I wanted to share a couple more that we finished.  This first one is perhaps my favorite succulent planting of any type (lightbulb terrarium not included!).  It was plant book, so it felt like added pressure to make it look just right.  How do you think we did?


The goal for me was to keep the color in the soft blue/green with the plants.  The large plant, a graptosedum, transitions those tones to beautiful pink and purples.  I really think it is subtle yet stunning!


The sedum in front will fill out.  The echeveria has a little bit of stretching.  The plants around it in the greenhouse grew faster than it did resulting in a lack of sunlight causing it stretch.  It is not too bad, and it will recover nicely in its new home!


IMG_8477In addition to the circle cut planters, we have also been working on these rectangular ones.  The rectangles allow us to use a saw instead of drilling.  This gives us larger portions of pages to salvage for other projects and provides a large planting area for some different plants.

IMG_8486I have wanted to use this aloe for a while.  The red book really brings out the color of the “teeth” of the aloe.  To give the arrangement some height, I planted the crassula ovata (commonly called the gollum succulent).  This is another succulent that blushes when it receives plenty of sunlight, which I think looks good with the red book.  Finally, I settled on the sempervivum as it matched the green tones in the aloe.  I tried many different combinations of plants here, but I didn’t want it to be too busy.

IMG_8484 I added a little bit of red gravel (mostly because I bought it last year and it doesn’t look good with anything) and I thought it looks pretty good here.  I added a couple different ornamental and horticulture mosses for the top dressing and added a rock for some balance.

IMG_8483Here is the collection of planted books.  We will be finishing up more in the near future.  We will be selling these at our first holiday event (Nov. 8th, details to follow) for $25.00.  If interested feel free to contact us to place an order at any time.  Out of the area followers, we are selling and shipping the drilled and water sealed books with a bag of our hand mixed succulent soil and moss topdressing for $18.00 + shipping.  Message if interested.


Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

A local area coffee shop, Drips, in Council Bluffs Iowa is a great spot.  Beyond their delicious drinks (they even have handmade syrups for unique sodas), they are an amazing supporter of local artists.  At Geek Gardens, we are always kind of affiliated with art, but have never felt like true artists… until now!

To celebrate this time of the year, Drips is hosting an art event based on the Day of the Dead theme. The kick off starts tomorrow (Saturday at 6pm), and if you are in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area you should make very effort to attend. Find out more information here. We decided to take a more literal artistic approach and submit two succulent living art pieces to celebrate.

IMG_8510Meet the lovely “la diosa Fortuna” or “lady luck”.  We combined our hypertufa poured concrete in a handmade planter frame with succulent cuttings to produce this living art. We added hand painted flowers to continue the colors and them from the frame to the mask and succulent background. The best part is that this piece of art will only get more and more stunning as the plants root and grow adding depth and texture.

IMG_8502Our second entry is titled “La Vida a Través de la Muerte” or “Life through Death”.  This piece shows a copper tree with a skeletal trunk branching out with succulent foliage. Additional copper vines and our hand painted flowers complete the work.  Again this is comprised of succulent cuttings that will continue to grow a fill in the piece over time. The base of the frame is made from a beautiful tissue paper that we water sealed and acrylic coated.

Scroll down for more pictures of these two living artworks.  We are so thrilled with the results! If you are able, stop by Drips in the next few weeks and check out their exhibit!

IMG_8515 IMG_8506 IMG_8497Regards



Terrarium Tuesday

IMG_8189Summertime and the living is easy! This week’s Terrarium Tuesday features our “Pitcher Terrarium”.  Planted in a glass pitcher, this is the ultimate summer terrarium! Sedum, Sempervivum, Echeveria, and Crassula are planted in this unique terrarium. (Warning, contents are not a beverage and should not be consumed)

IMG_8193And since it is summer time, a little sea side embellishments can never hurt!

IMG_8187I think these are a fun way to add succulents to your decor.  I picture this as part of a summer centerpiece on an outdoor deck/patio table.  Not sure if its refreshing…. well at least not to drink!


Hope your summer has gotten off to a great start!


Celebrations with Succulents

ImageThis past weekend we celebrated an amazing accomplishment!  My oldest sister graduated (with distinction!) from Pharmacy School.  What is even more amazing is that this is not her first doctorate degree.  She also has a PhD in Bio-Engineering.  She is very accomplished!


So to celebrate this achievement and 17 years of higher education Geek Gardens had to put together something worthy of the occasion.  This centerpiece is a combination of over 30 individuals plants.  It is definitely the largest arrangement we have put together and I was so happy with the results.


One of the coolest things about this is that I always see something different.  Depending on the angle that I look at it, I see a plant that I forgot I put there. Structurally, I wanted it to cascade down.  In the back, I started with blue dwarf sedum contrasting with beautifully blushing golden sedum. A number of crassula and echeveria make up the front with a fine hearty sedum filling in the gaps.


She also had these simple white planters (I think she got them from IKEA) that she asked if I could plant.  She has a beautiful shelf above the kitchen sink.  Well, you don’t ask Geek Gardens to plant something for you and not expect succulents!

IMG_7977Simple and understated but definitely interesting!  I love String of Pearls, but it can be hard to find a place that they can hang from.  This was the perfect spot! Also pictured is the Burro Tail and Zebra Plant.  This is a perfect example of what I talk about in the Succulent Care section of the blog… A perfect spot for interior design, less than ideal for plant health.  She has promised that the plants can live in a suitably lit area and be moved in place for company!  We will see if someone with two doctorates can handle it!


I thought they turned out great and more importantly, she loved them!



Terrarium Tuesday

If its Tuesday… Then its Terrarium Tuesday!!

I think that I am on a vertical terrarium kick these days.  This does present some challenges though.  First, plants must be tall, but not wide.  Second, It is always a challenge to plant where your hands cannot get!  When i was putting this together, I took many a trip around the Geek Gardens greenhouse to find the perfect plants.  When I found this piece of glass, I had envisioned using blue chalk sticks.  However, I always forget that although tall and skinny, blue chalk sticks branch out and would not work in this terrarium.  When I picked up my crassula capitella I knew it would be perfect.

IMG_7847eI love the geometric pattern that this crassula makes.  In the plant world, the stacking of leaves is actually pretty rare.  Leaves generally will form where there is space, kind of a path of least resistance.  That is where you see the spiraling effect that is so common in nature. I decided to keep with the geometric theme by adding four of the same variety of sempervivum in between the four branches of the crassula.  I love the way it turned out!  As the summer goes on, the leaves of the crassula will blush a beautiful red on the tips, This will really be a show stopper!

IMG_7851eAnd if you have visited this blog before, you know my theory, “Why have 1 succulent container, when you can have many!” For this reason, I coupled it with this potted arrangement.  I put this together in a thrift shop mixing bowl for our last sale about a month or so ago.  I love it even more now that it has grown together and filled out all the space!


See yall next week for another Terrarium Tuesday!

(By the way, I finally got my camera back, so I will hopefully bring you higher quality images from the greenhouse!)