Succulent Tea Party at Flora Grubb Gardens

Mis-matched china cups always make us think of the Mad Hatter and his strangely alluring party. Maybe that's why these wonderful succulents planted in china cups are so appealing; the plants, with their alien textures and shapes, would fit right in at the mad tea party—and certainly in our house! As of yesterday, artist Rebecca Marshall of The Cat Bird Nest is selling them on consignment at Flora Grubb Gardens. See more, and learn how to care for these lovelies, after the jump...

Rebecca explains how she began to grow her succulent tea party at home:

One day I was bemoaning the fact that I don't have a garden in my excellent (but third floor walk-up) apartment. I had a cute tea cup I never used, so I went to Guerrero Street Gardens and asked Flora Grubb if i could plant something in it. She looked at me askance and made me promise to water it sparingly and not to cry when it died in a few months. It lasted for three years and brought much cuteness to my home. Last year, when I had an empty tiki bar cart to fill with something other than alcohol, I started collecting tea cups and filled the cart with a Succulent Tea Party. It was very therapeutic.

The trick is to water them with an eyedropper and very sparingly. Keep them free of dead leaves and make sure they're not overexposed to sunlight unless they happen to like full sun (most don't). I also like to pair the succulents that look the wildest and the most bizarre with really traditional china patterns.

It's the perfect SF indoor garden, especially for the plant-challenged. I try to find unique cups, both modern, vintage and antique, and then match the plants based on pattern, texture, and color. The potting with aquarium gravel is a recent development, but gives the plants a more finished look.

The succulent tea cups are on sale at Flora Grubb Gardens (1634 Jerrold Avenue, San Francisco) for $24.95. Rebecca Marshall also has a line of handmade jewelry for sale; learn more about her work at The Cat Bird Nest.