My Adorable Succulent Garden

When I moved to Arizona almost 2 years ago (time flies!) I was amazed by the saguaro cactus. I’d never seen them in real life! Sadly cacti that huge isn’t what you would call adorable and no, I don’t want anything that monstrous and pokey in my yard. Ever.

At the same time when I moved here I fell in love with succulents. They’re the coolest little desert flower cactus plant you’ve ever seen! They’re so funny looking and yes they make me smile πŸ™‚ Once we moved into this apartment I wanted a flowerbed to hang over the ledge on our balcony & finally five months later — I got one!

Aren’t they the cutest plants you’ve ever seen? The one that looks like a bunch of little grapes cracks me up –Β it’s just so funny-looking! I’ve had them for a few days now and they’re still alive and looking great.

I’d had the dirt I used for a while and little aphids and teeny centipedes had found their way in…or grown in there…I don’t know, I don’t want to think about it — they were just there. And I wanted them gone.

So I googled “natural methods to kill aphids”. Everything I read suggested lemon juice, dish soap, or vinegar. I figured I’d try all three at once and poured some of each into a spray bottle and filled it up with water. I sprayed the dirt then eventually just dumped it all in (this was before I planted anything) and let it sit for a few hours.

It worked! No more aphids or centipedes or anything gross. Just adorable succulents!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

How to Kill A Tomato

About a month ago I posted about my garden in The Gardening Life.

All I have is a cluster of succulents and one tomato. No, my garden isn’t huge or really even a garden but I’m new to Arizona gardening so I thought I should start small.

Succulents do great in Arizona and mine are hanging in there just fine. I mean come on, you water them once a week – even I can’t kill that. Apparently what I can kill is my one little tomato.

One month ago this is what my tomato looked like…

My beautiful green little tomato just trucking right along! Gorgeous, huh?

When it started turning orange and then red I got so excited. I was so proud! It was my a baby taking his first steps. It was big – I had managed not to kill it!

Fast forward to today and here is what it looks like…


Red? Yes. Bigger? Yes. Plump and juicy and ready to eat? Not so much.

So how do you kill a tomato? Easy.

1 – Don’t water it every day.

2 – Let it dry out in the Arizona heat.

3 – Go ahead and let the little buggies eat it.

I learned just last night that tomatoes can be sort of finicky so you should water them at about the same time everyday. I’ll admit that I didn’t even water my tomato every day – let alone at the same. Maybe I’m not cut out for an Arizona garden.

In North Carolina I felt like if you missed a day of watering it was alright because it took about that long for the soil to dry out anyways. Here it takes about half that time and I’m sure my tomato hates me for it.

Despite my sad little garden experience, I plan on trying again next year! Maybe before the summer sets in. Any tips would be appreciated!

That’s life with Mr.Layland & Me!

The Gardening Life

I live in Arizona. Not much grows here.

If it does, it’s because there are some amazing plants that can survive the 115 degree summer that sometimes even I don’t think I can live through. They do it though!

I’m from North Carolina – where everything grows. As long as you can dig through the red clay and get some rich soil in your garden you’ll be set. One year we grew so much zucchini that we ended up giving a few to the UPS guy!

This is the first time I’ve tried gardening in a different climate and since I’m not fond of straight up killing things – I decided to start small.

This is a grouping of three different succulents that I bought about three months ago from Lowe’s. They need water about once a week and partial sun if they’re outside. They’re super easy to take care of and exactly the kinda of plant a new Arizona gardener should start off with.

About a month and a half ago I ventured into more real gardening and ended up with a beautiful little patio tomato plant.

Look! I have one tomato!

It’s my little baby…and probably the only one I’ll get. When I first saw it at about the size of a blueberry I got super excited and wanted to Instagram it — but figured that might be a little pathetic. So I guess I waited until now when it’s a little larger than a cherry tomato!

Right now isn’t the best time for tomatoes in Arizona, the heat is getting to be too much for it. It typically needs full sun but when I had it out in the morning sun the leaves started to wrinkle up. I have it out of the sun now – mostly just hoping that I can get this ONE tomato to turn red and then “harvest” it and start earlier next year.

I’ve had a lot of fun keeping up with my little plants and even came up with a DIY project to go along with it!

See that wine bottle? It’s my watering can πŸ™‚ I got it out of the recycling of the family I nanny for and decided it would make the perfect watering can.

I got a drawer pull from Hobby Lobby ($2) and super glued the ends to some cotton fabric and attached that to the bottle.

I’ve been using it for about a month and it’s working like a dream! When I get a real garden I’ll invest in a bigger (and real) watering can but for now, it works!

That’s life with Mr. Layland & Me!