So Thomas and I live in Portugal now, and here in the southern part of the country, we get a lot of warm weather, a lot of beautiful sunshine, and pretty paltry levels of precipitation.
In terms of living here and enjoying the weather day to day – couldn’t be happier! In terms of keeping plants thriving without much watering – it’s a struggle. So I’m rolling with the punches (a.k.a. my laziness) and embracing the now incredibly trendy, hyper-Instagram-friendly world of succulents & cacti.
I have a few odd succulents in my collection, but they’re not lush and pretty enough for me to show here quite yet. I grab pots when plants I like show up in our local Jumbo – a grocery store that doesn’t always sell plants, though luckily our local branch does.
I’ve managed to snag a few varieties of Jade, some colourful flowering kalanchoes, a number of echivaria (including one incredibly sad one that wasn’t too happily transported – lost its in the trunk on an Uber home). I’ve killed a small number of these plants, learning what’s best not to grab (teeny, tiny ones and those that don’t look the healthiest in the store, as well as varieties that aren’t hardy), but most have made it through alive, albeit the heat wave that sunburned them for a week.
I’ve also manage to nick some pretty gorgeous succulents from my neighbours, though not as many as I’d like. We had gardeners completely tear up and re-structure our garden back in November. They helped make our backyard more water efficient by adding gravel where there would otherwise be grass, and two of our neighbours generously donated quite a number of succulents.
The gardeners that did our landscaping come by every two weeks for maintenance, and they do so for a few neighbours in our area as well. Wish I spoke Portuguese so I could tell them to bring any succulent cuttings they take away from regular trimmings up my way! Would love to get my hands on more plant material without breaking the bank, but will need to wait for our ever-so-kind English speaking neighbour to return from vacation in order to be sure my message doesn’t get lost-in-translation.
But back to the cactus collection, which was the original point of this post. I’ve fallen in love, and picked up a large number of these little fellas when they appeared at Jumbo. They currently live in my front yard in these gorgeous indoor-intended pots that Thomas kindly poked holes in for me so the cacti don’t drown.
Can’t wait until these wee ones grow bigger, and I’m able to re-home them in bigger pots, grabbing new, small cacti to take their place, and increasing my collection over time.
I’m probably more enamoured with cacti than succulents at the moment, though who knows if that will change.
One particularly good haul of cacti, one that grew my collection past just a small handful:
Yup, that’s all we checked out with that day – wine, cacti, and flower pots.
The poor cashier! Next time I do a haul, I’ll do my best to keep it at one cactus per pot. That probably doesn’t mean reeling it in, however, just means more pots brought home!