You Don’t Succulent

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It’s time for another Adventure Challenge from the Solo Edition. I’m loving using this book as a guide during my Year of Adventure.

Once or twice a month, I select an activity from book…there are 50 of them…scratch off the covering over my choice, and do that challenge. It’s a fun way to try new adventures while pushing myself beyond my comfort zone.

I chose Adventure #47 for my activity this week: You Don’t Succulent.

You Don't Succulent title meme

Adventure #47: You Don’t Succulent

The adventure challenge: Go to your local hardware store or plant store and buy a little succulent. Pick wisely for this succulent isn’t just a plant, it’s about to become a friend.

Name your plant, give him or her a backstory filled with drama, love and agony. After you’ve come up with your backstory, give it to a friend you think will appreciate it.

Challenge accepted! I love plants and already own several succulents. And I knew exactly which friend to gift the succulent to, once I named her and created a backstory.

You Don't Succulent lowes
You Don’t Succulent – a trip to Lowe’s Garden Center

Finding the Right Succulent

I drove to Lowe’s Garden Center with a mission: find the right succulent for this adventure.

The garden center offers a wide assortment of succulents. I didn’t yet know what I wanted however I trusted the right succulent would make itself known to me.

And it did…she did. As I looked over the selection of succulents, one stood out. In fact, she seemed to have a hand raised in the air, to get my attention. “Choose me!”

It worked. I walked out of Lowe’s with a succulent and the beginning of a story to go with her.

You Don't Succulent stand out
You Don’t Succulent – “choose me”

Alma the Succulent

My succulent is in the echeveria family, notable for their striking rosettes. She prefers bright sunlight, direct or indirect, and water every two to three weeks, when her soil dries out.

I selected the name Alma for her. Alma is a Celtic name with Latin roots. The name means “kind, loving, soulful”. With her “choose me” personality and beautiful appearance, a backstory unfolded rather quickly in my mind.

You Don't Succulent alma
You Don’t Succulent – Alma

Alma’s Backstory

Alma left the nursery with her many brothers and sisters, excited about the next part of her journey. The group of tiny, thriving succulents arrived at a garden center, eager for someone to take them to new homes.

Alma watched with delight, at first, as one by one, her siblings left for new adventures in new places. As days and weeks passed, her delight turned to despair. “What is wrong with me?” she wondered. “Am I too small? Not beautiful enough? What do I lack?”

Her constant worry and comparisons with the other plants caused Alma’s appearance to shift. Her once plump leaves shriveled a bit and some leaves grew more quickly than others. The gardener put her in an extra sunny location and then eventually moved her to the back of the display.

There Alma’s thoughts turned inward. “Would she ever find a new home? Who would want her?” Finally one day, Alma decided that the only way to grow, was to let go of her fears and focus on being herself.

Time to Grow

She stopped comparing herself to her few remaining siblings and the other succulents. Instead, Alma got to know herself, from her sturdy roots to the tips of her pointy leaves. She savored the sunlight and felt grateful for it, soaked up her infrequent drinks of water and allowed herself to feel love for the first time…love for her unique beauty, her strength and endurance. To her surprise, she felt herself becoming more…growing into the succulent she was meant to be.

The garden keeper stopped in surprise one day, as he passed the succulent display. “Well look at you,” he exclaimed to Alma. “You grew a flower stalk. You are blooming.” He moved Alma back to the front of the display.

That same day, a woman arrived in the garden center. She carefully looked over the succulents. Alma held very still, confident in who she was, although her flower stalk bobbled just a teensy bit. The woman smiled at Alma. “You caught my attention, little succulent. You are the only one with a flower stalk. It’s as if you are raising your hand. I choose you.”

Alma felt waves of positive energy radiating from the woman. She sent waves of energy back. Together they left the store.

You Don't Succulent adventure challenge
You Don’t Succulent – challenge accepted

Completing the Challenge

I love having Alma in my home. However, the challenge isn’t over. Now it’s time to give Alma to a friend who will love her as I do.

I know just the friend. I spoke to her on the phone this evening and I’ll meet her this weekend, to give her this beautiful succulent and share Alma’s backstory.

The last two years challenged my friend. She’s experiencing health issues and yet she continues to send kindness, compassion and positivity into the world. My friend loves plants too and I know she will care for Alma and nurture the little succulent as she continues to grow. Alma will send waves of energy to my friend as she continues to heal.

Using my Instax Camera, I snapped a selfie with Alma. It goes into the Adventure Challenge book as a memory.

You Don't Succulent snapshot
Succulent selfie.

Want to Try These Adventures?

The Adventure Challenge Solo Edition is proving a fun way to enjoy new experiences. It’s perfect for me and for this year.

The company includes Adventure Challenge books for couples and families as well as the solo edition. If you’d enjoy these fun challenges, pick up your book HERE. Use my code GOINGBEYOND to save 10% off of your order at checkout. The company offers kits that include an Instax camera for documenting the experience. Or you can purchase one at Amazon. Use this LINK.

Watch for another adventure challenge soon! What will I do? I don’t know…and it’s so fun not knowing. Where will adventure take you today?

You Don't Succulent adventure 47


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Journey 108: Colander Planter

colander planter finished

Today, in spite of thunderstorms and rain, my mom, sister Linda and I headed out into the weather to participate in Sutherland’s annual half price plant sale.  Mom and Linda wanted plants for their “Aunt Annie” containers, among other flowers and vegetable plants, and I had many metal containers still to fill. Rain or not, this was too good a sale, too great an opportunity, to miss.

The rain didn’t deter us or, apparently, other shoppers. It was busy, in a cheerful sort of way, in the garden center at Sutherland’s. We had fun, pushing our carts up and down the crowded aisles, discussing flower choices and what would grow best where. We each ended up with our own unique assortments, since we each have our own preferences and ideas. Linda called her selection of plants the “rebel” assortment.

colander planter ingredients

There were a few plants that we didn’t find at Sutherland’s, so off to Lowe’s garden center we went next. Mom found the central plant for her tub, a beautiful red Gebera Daisy. And I picked up a trailing perennial for my copper watering can and an assortment of succulents to complete a project I was looking forward to doing for the first time. I had a grand time, shopping with my mom and sister, laughing and talking, and not minding the dampness or how wild our hair looked. Okay, maybe it was just my hair that looked wild!

colander planter in process

 Back home, the rain moved out of the area and the sun, at last, came out. I was excited to bring my idea to fruition. On the first day of spring this year, I brought home a metal colander from True Treasures in Bentonville, AR, with the intention of using it as a planter. Serendipitously, the very day I bought the colander, a picture popped up on Pinterest sharing this very idea. I laughed this afternoon, when I pulled up the Pinterest pic again. The instructions for creating the planter were in Spanish. Oh, well….I was confident I could create my own.

colander planter angel loves it

Angel loved the new planter!

And create it I did. Using a coco fiber liner, I cut it to size and lined the inside of the colander with it, and filled it with fast draining soil mix (both items were purchased at Lowe’s). The fun part was adding a variety of succulents. It was an easy project. I look forward to seeing the plants grow and fill out. After the plants are established, I’ll keep the colander-turned-planter on my bistro table in the garden.

watering can prep

With such gorgeous weather, I didn’t stop, but continued adding my newly purchased plants to various metal containers. Four buckets and a large watering can received impatiens and asters in pinks, purples and whites, and bronze and yellow Gazanias. And I tucked the trailing perennial with tiny white flowers, called Trailing Mazus, into the copper water can and hung it on its shepherd’s hook in the hosta garden.

watering can with Mazus

I loved my time in the garden this afternoon. The earth was washed clean from the heavy rains, and there was a freshness, a newness, in the air. Drops sparkled like diamonds on the wet grass. It was a fun and productive day. More weather is moving in overnight, with an 80% chance for thunderstorms tomorrow. I have flowers for my next project, which will make use of a recent purchase during the 2 Friends & Junk show. After the rain….I’ll be back out…puttering in the garden, creating, enjoying, getting dirty…experiencing bliss.

colander planter next project