Wednesday 6 January 2021

2020: The Year I Became A #PlantParent  #PlantParenting succulents

Happy New Year! I hope everybody is keeping well and coping with the new UK lockdown announcement. To say 2020 was a ride of a year would be an understatement, and sadly 2021 still continues to carry many of the same burdens, albeit with more progress (and therefore hope) behind us.

2020 was the year that more of us spent more time indoors, in our homes, than ever before. Aside from baking sourdough and banana bread, lots of us looked to self or home improvements to keep us busy, whether that's learning a new skill or redecorating a room. Of course, my lockdown was spent with a toddler, the kind who likes to be with her mama at all times, so whilst it wasn't the MOST productive way to spend a year we probably did a lot more than I give myself credit for! One thing I did repeatedly was to try and tidy and improve the appearance of our house and garden (this is always very much a two-steps-forward, one-step-back situation if you live with a toddler) and I noticed I really missed being able to pop to the shops and garden centres easily to pick things up to brighten up our home. Even when we weren't locked down, it still felt like more of a mission and more of a risk to venture out to the shops - and almost everywhere else. (Have you remembered your mask? Hand sanitiser? What are the rules on meeting people in any given moment? Are you standing 2 metres away? How on earth do you keep a toddler 2 metres away and stop them touching everything?!)

Luckily, I've now discovered the joy of ordering plants online to be delivered to my door. I've been desperate to stock up on house plants this year, as we've had some casualties (our three year old ficus, our still-sickly umbrella plant, several aloes) as having plants in the house brings me so much joy but our nearest garden centre has a very small selection and the price points are unrealistic for us. I've always wanted some succulents - I know they are supposed to be low maintenance but I felt a little nervous about taking care of them as they are so different to other plants and I've not successfully kept them before. Luckily, I found a useful succulent care guide from Eddington House Nursery, where these plants are from, to help me take care of them - yes, sadly I really do need a plant care manual even if succulents are supposed to thrive on neglect! In fact, 2020 has really expanded my role of Plant Parent - taking on succulents which are really new to me, and parenting multiples which is a challenge (I got 5 succulent babies!) As gardening had been such a lovely way to spend our time in previous lockdowns, I really missed it when winter came around, so taking on these new babies was a lovely way to bring gardening indoors.

I wasn't sure how my new plant babies would fare on their journey to me, but I was pleasantly surprised with their condition upon arrival. Upon opening the box, the plants were wrapped in plastic bags - I prefer to avoid plastic but they did need some containment as they'd been a little shaken up and were covered in soil (I just gave them a wipe with a damp cloth and reused the bags for seeds!)

Like with any new parent, it's easier to accept straight away that you WILL make mistakes. Despite my careful reading of the Plant Care Manual, I STILL decided to water my new babies when they arrived ("Surely they're thirsty from their journey and being in plastic!") which they clearly demonstrated they didn't like by starting to drop their leaves. Luckily I quickly caught on that I was smothering them - I've since left them to their own devices and they're recovering well! The succulents arrived in their small plastic pots, and I'm desperate to repot them into a terrarium style feature but I've chosen not to do so during the winter, as apparently this can be their dormant phase and it's best not to move them. So for now they are sitting prettily on a tray on my kitchen windowsill, simply in their little plastic pots, waiting for their forever home which will hopefully be ready for them in the spring.

Did you enjoy #PlantParenting in 2020, or will you be taking it up in 2021? Do you have any tips for taking care of succulents?

*This post contains gifted products, all opinions my own.  #PlantParenting succulents


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