Sedums and Succulents Part 1

This is an old Sears and Roebuck Craftsman Viscosimeter.  It had something to do with paint and enamel originally.  I saw it as the perfect little cup to hold sedums!

I have a fair number of sedums and succulents growing in my garden and in containers around my yard and on my deck.  I cannot identify any of them, except the hens and chicks, but I know they are lovely.  I know that some of them are called stonecrops and some are called wallpeppers but I don't know which is which.  I have no books on them but these two look like they could be helpful. 

Galvanized bucket of hens and chicks.

Sedums and succulents are so versatile and I use them to fill in areas of the rockery, fill in moss-lined wire containers, fill in my Martha Stewart inspired hypertufa containers I made a few summers back, and also to fill in, or stuff in, terra cotta strawberry planters that have never been introduced to a strawberry before!  I even have an old baseball pitchers ball holder that I have turned into a moss lined sedum and plant container! I gotta tell ya, when I saw this thing at a yard sale for $5 my heart nearly thumped outta my chest!  Its gotta be my most favorite planter I own, besides the galvanized metal tool box/caddy one that you will also see in Part 2.

Another galvanized planter.  Its super easy to poke holes in the bottoms of galvanized vessels to turn them into planters with drainage holes.  I have been known to use hammer and nails, drills, and awls!

I have been taking some photos lately of the the many plants in and around my gardens and I have also put together a little photo tutorial on how to use Spanish moss, sedums, and wire containers to create wonderful and unusual garden art planters!  They make great gifts spur of the moment so I always try to keep several "extra" ones around for "just in case."  Also, when you are making one sedum planter, its just as easy to make 3 or 10 since you have all the materials out anyhow.  And its just as easy to water 20 or 50 containers too once you have them planted!  Tutorial in Part 2.
This wire one hangs just below the one above.  This one is meant to hang over the edge of a deck railing but since the one above is heavy enough, it holds it down just the right way, on this odd, random metal frame box type thingy I found at a sale.  This one hangs off, the one above sits atop it.

Here are a few photos of the many types of sedums I have in the garden and rock walls.  When I need some for planters, I just dig out small clumps from all the different types around the gardens.

Another thing I love about the variety of sedums and succulents is that you also get a variety of blooms.  These aren't so much in bloom yet but looking at the variety reminds me that in fact their bloom sets them apart even more.

Here is some more galvanized goodness:

I have an issue with/addiction to galvanized anything.  Can you tell there is a pattern here?  I seem to be pulled right to the dull matte grayish loveliness of it.  It speaks to me.  Here,  I am just showing you the ones that I have planted.  I have umpteen others that are awaiting planting too.

Around here we like to say things like, "can you pass me that Galvy container so I can throw some dirt in it?"  Or, "How about grabbing me that Galvy watering can, please."  And, at tag sales, to my children,  "Quick!  Snag that Galvy piece before someone else does!"  No Galvy goes unnoticed in these parts!  In Part 2 I will show you my favorite galvanized planter, full of sedums!

 There is the galvanized watering can collection too.  Some of the watering cans are planted with pansies (one of my all time favs), and some I use for summer vases, and some, I guess, I could actually use to water plants, but I tend to use my sprayer hose for that.  I digress.  Back to sedums and succulents.

Below are some of the many terra cotta strawberry/sedum planters and hypertufa sedum planters I have strewn about as well:

Here is a hypertufa with trailing sedums.  Another great thing about sedums is they spread around a lot and multiply.  I like that since I have never had to buy any sedums.  I just divy them up and keep moving them to fill in new spots or containers.  The wonder of division!

Here is one of the strawberry planters filled with a variety of sedums in the pockets.  The top is planted with a black elderberry tree that I am trying to  grow bigger before planting out out in the yard and it also has some sedums and snowbells growing in the top too.  It seems every time I plant a smallish size shrub or tree in the yard, Chad cant see them so he whacks em down with the edge trimmer, every. single. time. 
You never know, or at least I don't, which sedums will take off like gang busters and which will take the slow track.  I always try to balance out the colors, texture and size when planting a container like this but sometime it just doesn't matter and the sweet little sedums procure a mind of their own!  Look how the one type above grew out a huge mass on the left and the other pockets look wimpy in comparison?!

Here is another with Delphinium planted in the top.  The delphinium will bloom a few times if you cut it back each time it is done.  This one appears more balanced then the one above and has somehow managed to look almost perfect this spring!

Another hypertufa.  Its been a few summers since I last made these and I have been collecting interesting shaped containers for the next time I make more.  Making these cementish containers is fun to do as a group.  Any of you locals out there want to plan a date to make these at my pad?  Its easy enough to divy up the cost once the materials are bought and the quantities the materials come in are enough for a few of us to make many planters.  Just a thought......

Here is another "pocket planter," meant for strawberries.  This one has a miniature topiary Japanese maple tree growing out of it and I will be planting pansies around the trunk, soon.  Here again is an example of how some sedums are strong men and some are dainty waifs.  The pocket on the left that looks empty is just some tiny little sedum that are slow in coming on this spring but I bet they will catch up and fill in just fine.

So I am going to leave you with a few images of open weave or wire type containers that are best planted with the use and help of Spanish Moss.  In Part 2 I will take you thru a ridiculously easy "how to plant containers with Spanish Moss tutorial."  And in Part 2 I will show you my 2 favorite planters of all time, the baseball holder planter and the galvy tool caddy!  I know, I know, you think I am nuts because you cant picture what the heck I am talking about.  But trust me, if you love container gardening and/or repurposing or upcycling items you find, you will LOVE this as much as me!  Until Part 2, here are a few things to view:

Here are some wire type containers that can be planted with the use of Spanish moss, just like the other hanging wire container way above.  Oh, I guess its kinda obvious but just in case it isn't so clear, the whole point of the Spanish Moss is that you can use it around the inside of the container TO HOLD THE SOIL IN!  Brilliant!  Opens up a whole arena of possibilities for what you can plant in.  I seem to always plant these with sedums but in no way are you limited to said plant. 
Here are some unplanted examples of wire type or open weave planters that will benefit from the use of Spanish Moss:

These look white from the flash but truly they are not painted at all and in fact are grayish darkish metal.

Until part 2, make what you love, love what you make and do what makes you happy!