Recently I did a succulent podcast with British nurseryman Alan Lodge of Newlands Nursery. We were on opposite sides of the planet, but we chatted as though sharing the same pot of tea. Alan hosts weekly podcasts with international gardening experts. He proudly told me that Newlands participates in Royal Horticultural Society shows at Hampton Court and Tatton Park. "We've won numerous medals including Silver Gilts and Golds."
The Brits Love Houseleeks
Clearly the British have a challenging climate for succulents---all that rain---but we found common ground in sempervivums. Could there be a plant with a more Harry Potterish name than "houseleek?" These perky little succulents grow on cottage roofs throughout Northern Europe.
Houseleeks (Sempervivum sp., hens-and-chicks) have been known since Roman times for improving the longevity of roofs. Intriguingly, they're used today as green-roof plants in cities across the US, including Portland, OR and Washington, DC.
Alan asked how the succulent craze started, so I explained that back when I was researching my first book, Designing with Succulents (Timber Press, 2007), "Southern Californians didn't want jade or other succulents. They were using roses and Mediterranean perennials to create the look of English gardens. But then the drought came along..."
The beauty of podcasting is you're able to share an intimate conversation with people worldwide
If you're curious, do have a listen. Podcasts are great for when you're doing something fairly mindless, like folding laundry, peeling apples, or sitting in traffic. This one is 53 minutes, and it goes fast.
I'd love to know what you think of my British succulent podcast. Please leave your comments below. Thanks, and enjoy!
Cold-Hardy Succulents: Details, Photos & Varieties Looking for succulents that go below freezing? You’re in the right place! About cold-hardy succulents The common cold-hardy succulents shown here can handle northern winters, snow, rainstorms (if given excellent drainage) and summer dry spells. Most cold-hardy succulents are in the genera Sedum and Sempervivum. Sedum (stonecrop) Trailing varieties are lovely as…
The popular and readily available varieties shown here can handle northern winters, snow, rainstorms (if given excellent drainage) and summer dry spells. There are two main genera: Sedum and Sempervivum. Lesser known are Rosularia, Delosperma, and Orostachys. Notably, certain species of Agave and cacti don’t freeze in all but the coldest climates.