The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.


The View from a Drawbridge

When I was young, I had a jade plant, and it fascinated me. It looked like a miniature tree made out of silicone. Its leaves were fat and fleshy. Its limbs were rubbery and flexible. It seemed like a beautiful little alien life form to me.

From there, I got an Aloe Vera plant. I would cut open its thick leaves and rub it on a minor burn, it would soothe and heal it. That was magical.

Another magical quality about succulents is that they’re often found in arid places, and yet they retain water like no other plant does. Succulents, to me, are the epitome of abundance. Some can live up to two years without water. They are survivors. I admire them. I also really, really enjoy saying succulent.

There is a controversy regarding succulents in the plant world. (And who doesn’t love a good controversy? Bring it on!)

In horticultural circles, the term succulent excludes cacti. But botanists would tell you that nearly all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. For our purposes, succulents are thick, fleshy and engorged with water. That describes most cacti, too. I tend to look at cacti as succulents with an attitude.

There are lots of reasons to love succulents. They’re beautiful, they’re hardy, they’re low maintenance. They come in countless varieties. But maybe I just like them because, at my age, I can relate to water retention. Who knows?

If you are really into succulents, I suggest you read my post about the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. They even have conventions! The day I get to attend one of those is the day I’ll truly consider myself a succulent nerd.

Here are some photos of the succulents I have at home, some of which are in flower pots that I painted myself. Enjoy!

Read any good books lately? Try mine!

13 thoughts on “Succulents

  1. Martin says:

    wow – the patterns are beautiful

  2. Lyn says:

    Some parts are edible too. They can be tender, juicy and tasty; succulent. I have several dragon fruit smoothies in my freezer right now.

    1. Oooh, that sounds delicious. Do you get to breathe fire after drinking them? 😀

      1. Lyn says:

        It is and I wish I could but I eat it partially frozen so that quashes any flames. 🙂

      2. Bummer. I was going to ask you for video. lol

  3. Lyn says:

    My favorite succulent is burro’s tail because of the way it hangs and drapes.
    Living in a drought prone area, beautiful cacti and succulents are abundant in drought resistant gardens. Though I miss the lush green flora and rains of the Midwest it’s beginning to experience areas of drought now also.

    1. At the rate we’re going, succulents may have to take over the earth.

      1. Lyn says:

        We may have to infuse a little succulent DNA into ours to boost our tolerance to drought conditions.I’m sure someone is working on it.

  4. Lyn says: Just for you, I let the dragon fruit do it’s thing while I crossed a bridge. Drink those smoothies with caution. 🙂

    1. Gorgeous! Fascinating! Thanks for sharing!

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