Succulent …

The front garden is like a desert. I’ve planted fifteen trees in the last three years in an attempt to introduce shade…those which have survived deer, squirrel and rabbit foraging will do just that…in a few years’ time.

I’m an impatient gardener. Not a surprise to those who know me well! Inspired by the many tempting photos in garden magazines I decided to try another line of attack…shingle. From shingle I moved to beach. Deciding on a middle road, I ordered a bulk bag of river pebbles.

I marked out the dryest area but was disappointed to find that a tonne of river pebbles doesn’t stretch far …

… Mr Griffit and I did not enjoy the lugging of pebbles from kerbside to beach, despite resorting to towing the bag behind the car when our backs finally said, ‘No more’.

The next order was for smaller bags of pebbles … 60 of them. This just about covered the area. I set aside a circle for the planting of the first succulents, intending to plant waving grasses in the wider beach area. I adorned the circle with ‘driftwood’ (alias broken branches), hand decorated tiles and pebbles and mussell shells collected on a Norfolk beach one holiday.

Eventually I managed to cover the whole of the beach and even installed a kindly donated cooking pot as a nod to the need for water on a beach. It will be rain fed rather than continually topped up with the hose, so the ‘sea’ may well recede greatly if we have a dry summer.

I soon discovered that the waving grasses would not be possible as they were munched so severely overnight that they did not survive. That part of the vision remains to be achieved. A work in progress.

However, the succulents have survived and bloomed and sprouted ‘baby’ succulents. Success!

Encouraged I am striking out and am now trialling a green roof on the meter cupboard.

And, more excitingly all this seems to have inspired my daughter (@katecraft on Instagram) to extend the theme to include my birthday celebration cakes.

Wonderful! They were a feast for the eyes and for the taste buds … once I had overcome my reluctance to actually bite into such amazing creations.

All this from a left-field idea to create a beach in a dry, unproductive and unlovely patch of the front garden.

Succulent Success indeed.