ISSUE 95  |  Southern Gothic

Succulents for Two: A Tarnished Tea Party

October 28, 2013 1:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

What would Miss Havisham serve trick-or-treaters at teatime? Not miniature Snickers.

I am always looking for an excuse not to polish my sterling silver tea set, so thank you Halloween. A little tarnish actually improves the look when you are serving succulents in silver. If you have a tea set–or even just a silver plated tray with a lip–it’s easy to create a ghoulish floral arrangement with the addition of some plump, delicious looking baby succulents (cue the cackling). Here’s how:

Photographs by Michelle Slatalla.

Above: Not to anthropomorphize, but the coffee pot does look a bit menacing while serving as a vase for a posy of echeveria. (For a less threatening No Water Echeveria Bouquet, see last week’s DIY Bouquet of the Week.)

If you’re looking for a tea set with a lot of personality, a Vintage Silver Plate 3 Piece Tea Set is $35 from Time Bandit Vintage on Etsy. 

Above: All you need to create to make this weeks’ Succulents in Silver arrangement is a tray (or tea set), two dozen small potted succulents (a Collection of 9 Succulent Plants is $27 from Succulents Galore via Etsy), a bag of cactus potting mix, and a spoon to drizzle extra soil between the plants.

Above: The basic idea is to create a lush carpet of succulents to cover the bottom of a silver tray, leaving just enough empty space to tuck in a few silver serving pieces–a teapot, a sugar and creamer, a coffee pot–among the plants.

Above: Remove succulents from their pots, loosen their roots, and gently press them against each other in the base of the tray. With the spoon, dribble cactus potting mix in between the plants to fill any empty spots.

Above: Succulents like it dry, so there is no need to water this arrangement (in fact, it would be disastrous to water it because your silver tray probably is not airtight). You can leave the plants in place for two weeks without harming them or your silver–which you are going to have to reclaim and polish for Thanksgiving, anyway.

Above: If you have a bigger succulent, let it hang threateningly over the lip of the tray.

If you’re looking for a tray with a similar style lip, a 12-Inch Vintage Silverplate Tray is $19 from Fifth and Main Street via Etsy.

Above: Seen from above, a silver creamer is tucked in among the other plants.

Above: Fill your silver pieces with succulents, too.

Above: Succulents like a sunny window (I know, it’s not very Halloween-ish to admit sunlight exists). So if you are keeping the spooky teatime floral arrangement in a dark hallway or on a dimly light sideboard in your dining room, remember to carry the tray to a sunnier spot every few days to give the succulents a couple of hours of sunshine.

After Halloween, you can re-pot the succulents in tabletop containers or open-sided terrariums (which will make lovely DIY holiday gifts, by the way).

 

For more DIY seasonal bouquets, see No Harvest Colors, Please: Unexpected Autumnal Arrangements.