The Garden of Earthly Delights


Kalanchoe Humilis (center), Sedum Aurora (bottom left), Echeveria Secunda Glauca (bottom right)

When I stopped working last February, in an attempt to fill some of the free time I knew I would have, I tackled a project I’d been meaning to cross off the list for quite some time. My front and back yards were in desperate need of a makeover by way of cleaning out numerous overgrown planters. After five years of filling large pots with our favorite plants (mostly succulents), my husband and I didn’t make any changes for 10 years. Some plants thrived and filled the pots beautifully–others not so much. This project turned out to be more than a one-month endeavor; I foolishly underestimated the time it would take for planning and execution. It took the better part of 2015 to refresh my outdoor space with a lot of the grunt work performed by my husband and two other helpers. They were tasked to do all the heavy lifting while they let me simply point at where things should go. Mostly I shopped for succulents, trying to bridge the gap between the vision of my new garden in my mind and reality.

Close to 300 individual plants later my very own garden of earthly delights is coming together. I borrowed the title of this post from Hieronymous Bosch’s late 15th to early 16th century triptych but the similarities stop there. Where the artist’s painting depicts scenes of life from light to darkness, my new garden is brimming with new life, every inch colorful and evoking joy each time I set foot outdoors.

I’ve found a new subject for photography, too, (in addition to food and landscapes) and I’ve learned quite a lot about succulents over the past year. Cacti were my first love and little did I know the bounty of beauty within the succulent family. In this little section of my blog I plan to document what I’ve learned and if nothing else, just to share some succulent inspiration. I hope you enjoy this new journey as much as I do.

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Variegated String of Pearls


Aeonium Mardi Gras, Echeveria Imbricata, Graptopetalum Pentandrum Superbum


Aloe Brevifolia


Aloe Brevifolia


Aloe “Pink Blush”

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Aeonium Sunburst

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Echeveria “Neon Breaker” and Kalanchoe “Fantastic”


Graptoveria Bashful



Kalanchoe “Flapjack”

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Echeveria Elegans aka Mexican Snowballs

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Echeveria Agaovoides


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  1. So pretty! I love succulents.



  2. What a wonderful project, Jean! Your succulents are so pretty!

  3. Charlotte says:

    Your sunburst is stunning!!!
    I got one too, but only with a diameter of 8 cms.
    I’m so curious to know how big your giant one is? And how long does it take to grow to this size?
    I love all your photos. Harmonic and artistic!

    • Charlotte, thank you. My sunburst is larger than dinner plate size now. I bought it last summer when it was about 6-8 inches in diameter, so I’d say it has grown pretty fast. So glad you like the pictures, thank you so much! 🙂

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