Sunday, October 4, 2009

Money Tree

Day 4 of homebody.

67° was today’s high. With gossamer clouds sailing by, it was the kind day the miniature pine tree would have liked if it hadn’t succumbed to the heat wave that comes in each year with the Los Angeles County Fair. The tree was only a year old when it passed on to the compost pile.

I had kind of the horticultural equivalent of an Irish wake for it. I looked at the photos from last Christmas and wondered if in this warm climate- would the patio table would ever be so festive again.


It already is thanks to Molly at California Cactus Center.

She has 16 inch moss- lined cones which fit the 16 inch circumference of the now-lonely bowl perfectly. I took her advice in the selection of succulents

. .

Back home in Diamond Bar, when my husband’s attention was diverted, I snuck the cardboard flats of planties to the patio table. When Gerry left for work- the assembly line was set up, starting with a big towel to shorten the clean up. A bucket of water to soak the form and extra moss for stuffing. Potting soil to level the soil. Push pins to anchor the rooted cuttings safely.

The whole topiary production took about 2 hours start to finish, but it is worth the effort. It will last longer than the dearly departed pine. My husband- who had this look his face I imagine is him wondering if plantaholicism is something for which someone can be committed for- I explained to him that this newest addition is quite practical. Because as it fills in it becomes a little cutting factory. Kind of a money tree from which future gifts will grow.

More info on California Cactus Center in Pasadena can be found at http//


  1. Lydia,

    LOVE IT!! What an adorable little tree! I love succulents anyway and that is just beautiful!!

    Do you ever run out of room in your garden and patio?

    XO Trisha

  2. Good morning Trisha- Plants are like books. I could never can never "stop" but sometime I do need to rest between bringing new ones in until the rest are rearranged or those who will never be visited again are given a new home.

  3. Ohhhhh, How WONDERFUL to see a picture of Molly...! It has been a long time since I have seen her....I think her advice was perfection. And so true, to. Succulants spread like a money tree, For Sure! Just laying one little "ear" down on the ground---it will root and grow! Magical, Magical!
    It looks Baautiful, Lydia!

  4. I made a very similar topiary last night. I'd LOVE to know how yours has held up over time. I'm a little nervous about that. I am excited to have my own little cutting factory too! I think I spent nearly $100 on plants for the thing! The good news is that it should be the last time I have to spend so much on succulents because now I have a collection (and possible addiction).

  5. Good morning Cynthia- I just filled two of the BIG coffee canisters (3 lbs?) with clippings from the one topiary. One can went to a new friend and the other is happy waiting for me to get off the computer and over to them. Some time next week.


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