I’ve recently developed a love for succulent plants. It is a bit random and not my usual kind of hobby, but here’s the story behind the discovery of my new favourite plant pets…
Last October, I was browsing through Instagram when I spotted a post from an account called Blasus Succulent Emporium. The greenery and artistic graphics caught my attention and I followed the account straight away. Somehow it had a feeling of serenity and calm. Little did I realise, this haven of greenery was based locally, in the Bone Yard in Canton, Cardiff. Set up by artist and plant-enthusiast Rhona Duncan, the Succulent Emporium is a shipping container shop-unit, oozing with greenery – a luscious little oasis in the city.
From the shipping container, you can buy all sorts of plants and succulents and I also discovered that you can visit and attend a terrarium-building workshop. So, of course, I booked a space and dragged my skeptical brother along with me.
It was a fun evening of plant-based discovery and with a glass of prosecco in hand, Rhona taught us all we needed to know about creating our very own terrariums. Layer by layer, we built our terrariums and developed an understanding of why we needed to use soil, sand, charcoal, sphagnum moss and stones to create distinctive but functional layers within our glass bowls. All the materials were provided and we were guided step-by-step to use special tools to perfect each layer. Rhona was super-friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and her energy was contagious. I knew straight away that this was the start of something and I was about to become a big fan of these versatile little plants.
Choosing our selection of plants was the tricky (but fun) bit. With a wide choice of succulents on offer (I’ve never seen so many plants in such a small space!), I found it difficult to choose when I secretly wanted them all. After finally settling on five fabulous baby plants, I set about arranging them within my glass terrarium, finishing it off with some decorative stones for a little added feng shui and design style.
At the end of the workshop, Rhona explained how to maintain and take care of our terrariums and we left with smiles on our faces – even my skeptical brother was happy with his creation. My terrarium is now living happily on my windowsill, making me smile every time I look at it!
I have since returned to Blasus on several occasions to buy more succulents, browse new stock and pick up terrarium gifts for my family. They are all rapidly becoming succulent-converts like me. Succulents are even starting to make their way onto my desk in work, adding some greenery and brightness to my office space.
My new-found love for these little plants keeps growing and I have found a fantastic little book which is now my succulent bible, helping me keep my little plant pets healthy and thriving. The beauty is that as a relative of the cacti family, succulents often thrive on neglect, which is great given my poor track record of keeping plants alive!
My brilliant cacti and succulent book has even spurred me on to try propagating them to grow my very own little succulent army. I know what you’re thinking… I am a little bit obsessed with succulents right now, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. My indoor gardening experiences have proven to be therapeutic and mindful sessions giving me a chance to slow down and reflect on the week. I’d highly recommend it to anyone, and a terrarium building workshop at Blasus Succulent Emporium is the ideal place to start!