I spent 15 years living in the same house so when I moved out this year it was a huge learning curve for this little creature of comfort. For the first couple of months that I lived in Germany I thought I would be moving back to Australia at the end of my contract so I made sure to keep my belongings to a suitcase sized minimum. Recently my plans have changed and I decided that if I’m staying in Europe then I should get a little bit more comfortable and make this space my own but still make sure to not make any permanent additions since I know for a fact that I will only be living in this house for another 6 months. Living somewhere temporarily is a new concept to me so it’s been a fun design experiment for me to learn how to work with what I have and make it my own.
I thought a great place to start would be with some house plants. Like I mentioned in my June Favourites post I’m not much of a green thumb so I didn’t leap straight into buying any big house plant until I was sure that I was staying and that I could handle being responsibility for plant life. Succulents are really easy to care for and are great for frequent travellers because they don’t require a lot of water so can easily be left to their own devices for a little while. They are also quite resilient so when the time comes for me to pack up and move they should have no problem surviving the transit and thanks to this clever little succulent garden set up I’ve created my little plant pals are totally portable.
What you’ll need…
∴ A wooden tray/fruit punnet
∴ Gardening gloves
∴ Assortment of succulents
∴ Pebbles, Stones or Sand
The process of putting it all together is pretty self explanatory. Take the wooden tray/punnet and arrange your succulents inside. A few of these cacti were from IKEA and came in their own little ceramic pots so I took using my “gardening glove” (I didn’t have any so got savvy and used a thick wash cloth instead) I carefully took them out of the outer pots so that only the little plastic pots remained. Once I had them arranged how I wanted them – I just went for a 3 x 2 arrangement because it fit best and looked well with the different shapes and sizes of the succulents – then it was time to add the stones to secure it all. Using an assortment of stones of all different shapes and sizes I placed them into the spaces around the succulents. Keep adding stones until you either reach the desired look or the tray becomes too heavy to move. The reason why you don’t want to make it too heavy is because, if you plan to place them outside like I do, you might need to move the tray inside in rainy weather to stop the succulents from being over watered.
An alternative to using stones would be to use sand. The reason why I didn’t choose this option however is because when I have to bring the succulents inside in bad weather I keep them in my bedroom and didn’t want a horrible sandy mess in my bedroom because of it. It would also mean needing to close any gaps in the punnet/tray before filling with sand. If you wanted this garden to be a bit more permanent then you could easily take the cacti out of their pots and plant them into a layer of soil before covering the soil with a layer of stones or sand.
When it comes time to move I can easily remove the succulents from the tray, leave the stones (and the majority of the weight) behind and reconstruct once I get to my new place. The succulents are all still in their individual pots and the tray itself is a lightweight, handy little way of storing the plants all together and upright while moving. An additional bonus of having individually removable cacti is that if one dies or no longer fits it can easily be replaced by just taking the old plant out and finding another of equal size to replace it with. All in all I love my little windowsill succulent garden and look forward to finding it a new little home wherever I move to next. Let me know if you make your own little succulent garden too. See you on Thursday!