Having a ball with succulents

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These goofy Dr. Seuss-inspired baskets were a happy find while lunching at Morton Arboretum last week. They are filled with succulents, which includes many species most of which are really easy to propagate and grow. Here, they are absolutely loving the dappled shade provided by a pergola.

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Should you find yourself sans pergola, try hanging a basket of these beauties from a stout tree branch, provided your tree is one that lightly shades the ground. (Thread your chain or rope through some garden hose to protect the tree branch.) Don’t hang them from a tree that casts deep shade, such as a Norway Maple. You’ll be able to tell by looking at the ground under the tree; if grass is growing under the tree, you’re all set.

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To keep these sweeties happy, narrow drip lines provide irrigation (in black in the photo). Do supplement food for all your container plants – the small amount of soil in the pot or basket cannot give them all the nutrients they need. They will find compost tea delicious!

If, like me, you love the ball shape of the hanging baskets, here is a DIY approach to making your own hanging basket ball. If you try this, please let me know how it works for you! Even better, send me a photo.

~sue lambe, your Spark exterior stylist