Tag Archives: Hens & Chicks

Flower Garden Update

This time last year, I didn’t even have a garden, just a whole mess of bare soil and a rock-strewn outline for my garden border . . .

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Even now, Im amazed at how far I’ve gotten . . .


Once that Magnolia matures, it will become a lovely focal point for that side of the house. I am so impatient for results, but I often forget that it’s only been a year since I started!


I checked in on my Cherry trees. (They are a bit hard to see-the base is surrounded by scalloped concrete forms). The Black Tartarian doesn’t seem to have broken dormancy yet, but I did see a few buds starting to swell on the branches of the Bing.


The Georgia Peach started showing green first, about four days after I planted her (she is in the middle of the curve in the first picture).


The Methley plum is probably going to take the longest-no buds, no sign of life whatsoever. So I notched her a bit with my nail-still green inside!


Only one of the free Forsythia plants has begun to bud. The other one is lagging behind. But on the bright side, it seems the Acidanthera has finally emerged from the ground! They look remarkably like Gladiolus when they first come out-sharp, pink blades, followed by a green blade in the middle that splits the pink blade . . . and thats as much as I know! I’ve never grown these babies before, so I’m not sure what to expect from them.


Forsythia Corner is still looking scruffy, but I like to check on her progress from my son’s third story bedroom. Its a comforting view, makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something even though my pregnancy is at a point where I really shouldn’t can’t do any more active gardening.


I also planted a few Sky Junipers with donated Azalea plants, and a few discount boxwood. They are progressing very slowly, and most of the Azalea have perished-I didn’t realize before that they needed to be in a sheltered area. I have placed them on the windiest spot in my entire yard Oops! At least one of the Delaware Valley White has survived. I will be moving him early next spring. He’s going next to the Belle of Georgia Peach, where he will eventually get a little more shelter.


Well, when you have eight free Azalea, you try not to complain when five of them appear to have died. After all, that’s still three free Azalea . . . for some reason I thought they’d be easier to care for.


Iris Hill is still around! She ain’t perty, but she is very effective in keeping my kids from sliding down that bare patch of eroded soil. My husband is frustrated at the small patches of overgrown grass here and there, and insists he will “mow the whole thing down” if it gets bad enough I think the look he gets from his hormonal, pregnant wife is keeping him at bay.

Remember that pot of free Hens & Chicks? I had more than 80% of the pot transplanted, and now look at it!


Its previous owner was totally right! These poultry are no paltry problem! I need to find someone in the KC area who wants some fowl . . .

Sedum, Sempervivum, and Erosion control

Several years ago I was given a Jade plant by a coworker. He advised me it belonged in the “succulent” or “desert plant” family. Although it did, eventually, die, I found myself intrigued by the benefits and potential of a drought resistant, dry site tolerant sun lover.


IMG_1290Last year, I was given some free sedum divisions by the daughter of one of my neighbors I think they are Autumn Joy. She had been thinning out a large patch for her mother, and wondered if I wanted any. How could I resist? Free plants? Of course I would love them!

She gave me two plants, which I immediately found homes for. One went next to the garage door, and the other was at the end of the stone path near the boxwood and downspout. They needed to be at the top of the slope, where there was adequate drainage and no chance of sitting water. This side of the house gets more than 6 hours of full sun, and a lot of partial sun in the morning, so I had no worries about meeting their light requirements. And now I had a good plant for erosion control, because it didn’t need to be watered.
IMG_1293When my sister moved in with us for a few months, she brought with her these little squiggly guys (possibly sedum reflexum). I am not a huge fan due to their shallow, but convoluted, root systems. However, they are helping with erosion control, and they were free. But I still need to keep an eye on them. Apparently they are fast spreading creepers, and any cuttings or breakages will quickly root if allowed access to water or soil.

IMG_1292Another plant she brought with her is this ferny guy. I have to confess, I have no idea what he is, and my internet searches have come up blank. He acts like a sedum, though, preferring dry soil to wet soil, and thriving in full sun. He is also a creeper, and because of his pretty little yellow flowers, I don’t mind him spreading out a bit beneath my magnolia, keeping the soil in that location from eroding as badly as some other areas have.

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During the winter, Autumn Joy died to the ground (as I expected). This spring, these quarter sized Rosettes emerged from her remains. Aren’t they pretty? I wonder when the flowering stalks start to emerge?

Apparently some of her stalks fell to the ground last year, and like the little squiggly guys, they developed a root system. I now have four more volunteer plants. Two of these guys are going into Forsythia corner for fall interest, the other two will be used as fillers for the side garden.

IMG_1787Here is a small irony-I visited Farrand Farms last year, a local greenhouse, and bought 4 $10 pots of Hens and Chicks (sempervivum). After my purchase, my son had to use the restroom, and while I was waiting I noticed an advertisement on the wall from a man in the area who needed to give away some of his hens and chicks. He was so darling about it, too! When I contacted him, he kept saying “yep, the poultry yard is just too small. Gotta get some foul on the move . . .”

IMG_2433The free Hens were green, and three of my purchased Hens were also green. During the winter, though, the color changed. Nearly every single one of them, except the free transplants, turned purple with the cold. I wonder if they will turn back?

These “Hens & Chicks” were placed throughout my stone path border, as you can see. The leftovers were then planted throughout the lower part of the slope near the iris and peonies, to help with erosion control. They aren’t stopping it altogether, but they are helping a great deal. Once I have more established ground cover, I will remove them. Or I just may let them become the ground cover, they do spread rather quickly . . .

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