You’ll be impressed by grand show pieces at the first ever Succulent Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, and you’ll come away with ideas that you can use on a smaller scale in your garden or inside your home.
The show opens this Saturday, Sept. 10, and runs through Oct. 2 at the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors & students, $4 for children ages 3-12, and free for Botanical Gardens members and children under 3.
The show is sponsored by John & Carol Kociela.
Here’s an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at some of the clever and creative exhibits you’ll see at the show. The exhibits were designed by Teresa Mazikowski and Julie Hughes, gardeners at the Botanical Gardens.
Mazikowski lined the dresser drawers with plastic so that water won’t drip out, making it usable indoors.
You could do the same thing at home for a unique indoor display. If you have less room, a single drawer could make a lovely container.
If you have a less grand piece of furniture and like a weathered look, you use the idea in your garden outdoors.
If you think the dresser is a cool exhibit, wait until you see the bed that accompanies it! It won’t be assembled until just before the show, and I can’t wait to see it completed. A sea of 500 succulents create a cozy comforter and fluffy pillow!
Other scenes under construction include a whimsical dog house and dog.
Many container plantings will be exhibited as well. When you visit the show, notice how the containers themselves contribute to the overall look of the piece. Get creative– Many of the containers in the show are garage sale finds and donations! Hughes created the assemblage above right using an old ceramic ashtray as its base.
Tip: When you’re using a large container, fill it halfway with those foam peanuts used for packing, Mazikowski said. Next, line the upper half of the container with landscape fabric. Finally, fill in with soil. This is not only a great way to save money on potting soil, it’s a great way to reuse that packing material!
While succulents are interesting on their own, you don’t have to limit a container planting to succulents.
Even the dresser at the beginning of our story contains a single red geranium plant for a pop of color.
Succulents are great in hanging arrangements, such as the spectacular cone at left. You could make a wreath out of succulents.
“As long as you kept it watered, it could last years,” Hughes said.
You have to pin the plants in place to make sure the arrangement is stable, she said. As the plants grow, you may have to trim some back if they get too big.
If you hang the wreath on a door where it gets knocked around or exposed to drafts, the plants might get stressed. If that happens, Hughes suggested taking it down and setting it in a more suitable growing area until it is strong enough to again be displayed. Or, hang the wreath on a wall.
Succulents are “more of a desert plant, so they do need light, but they’re pretty tough,” she said.
You can also learn more about succulents and how to make a succulent wreath at a Make-it, Take-it Workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30 at the Botanical Gardens.
During the “Succulent Wreath and Propagation Class” led by Hughes, you’ll learn how to propagate succulents to create beautiful desert dish gardens. You’ll also make a wreath of these plants. The cost for the workshop is $35 for Botanical Gardens members and $40 for non-members.