02 November, 2016

4 DIY miniature garden accessories to try!


Succulent miniature gardens are not just for the little ones, us big kids get a kick out of creating and admiring miniature landscapes too. And why not, when in these times limited space in the backyard and limited budgets prevent us from making life size landscape gardens, these miniature creations are a great way to get those creative juices flowing and to get those green thumbs to work! 

Although it seems logical to start the planning of a miniature garden with your plant selection, we have actually found that choosing your accessories first helps with the plant selection process. So with that in mind, here are some accessory tutorials we found online that we personally can't wait to try out:



Lesley Shepard on about.com shows you step by step how you can create a mini fence with just wire and a pair of pliers. So simple, and yet so effective. I like how this fence doesn't have to be in a straight line, it can be curved around to match your miniature garden edging. This could work well around a lawn made from Sedum lydium. Pure magic!



If you prefer something a touch larger and more solid, then Lesley Shepard also has a tutorial on how to make a petite picket fence using Popsicle sticks. I honestly thought cutting the top shape out of a pop stick would be too tricky, but Lesley is one clever lass and instead uses a small file to make an indent either side of the stick. Clever. A coat or two of paint and you have yourself a miniature white picket fence! You could pair this up with mini shrub type succulents, like A. 'Irish Bouquet' or Sempervivum 'Hen and Chicks' .



This was too cute to pass by, and although the idea of a seaside/swamp miniature garden hadn't really crossed my mind just yet, this mini fishing rod is surprisingly simple to make. Lush Little Landscapes provides step by step instructions on how you can make you own using a skewer, fishing line, wire and some small buttons for the reel. Maybe a jetty made out of pop sticks to accompany it? And for a swamp like succulents, Bergeranthus multiceps would make a great clump of reeds.


By Juise

And for something a little more challenging, why not make this house which comes complete with a door, a window and a very cute sconce on the front. thejuise.blogspot.com.au gives step by step instructions on how you can make your own house with just sticks and a hot glue gun. This house was made from Cherry tree branches, but I think eucalyptus sticks will give it that touch of 'Australiana'. A tree next to it, like a Crassula tetragona perhaps?

So we hope these great ideas inspire you to create your own succulent miniature gardens, and help with the choosing of your miniature garden plants. Happy projecting!


31 August, 2016

How to make a Succulent Wreath


A succulent wreath is simply a wire frame filled with sphagnum moss and a selection of succulent cuttings (and yes, they are real plants!).
You can hang them up on a wall, or on your front door, or lay them flat and use as a stunning table centre piece. They are incredibly easy to make and if watered regularly, can last for many years. Amaze your friends with your very own living piece of art! Here's how to get started.

What you will need:

A wreath wire frame
Sphagnum moss
Thin Wire
A selection of succulent cuttings
A chop stick
The wire frame, sphagnum moss and the succulent plants can all be purchased from Fickle Prickles. The thin wire will be available at your local independent hardware store (support your local independents!).

How to assemble:

1. Hydrate your Sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss comes in a dehydrated brick, and to use it in your succulent projects, simply follow the instructions on the packet to hydrate. Usually a 150g block will expand up to about 10 litres which should be enough for two succulent wreaths.

2. Fill up your wire frame. Simply take small handfuls of the hydrated sphagnum moss and mold it on top of your wire frame. Be very generous with the moss as you want your base to be quite solid so the roots of your plants have something to take hold of. Aim for a mound that is about 8cm tall.


3. Wire it on. Take a long piece of your thin wire and attach it to the frame by winding it securely on a selected section of frame. Then use this wire to secure the sphagnum to the frame by cross threading it over the top every 7-8cm. UPDATE: We have discovered the wonders of fishing line. Fishing line is fantastic at holding the moss down, and is far less visible than the wire.

4. Clean it up. Tuck in any straggly, loose pieces of sphagnum moss.

5. Prepare your succulent cuttings. You can use cuttings consisting of the tips of your succulents, or you can also use rosettes. Combine as little or as many different species in your design, the choice is yours. To prepare them, simply remove some of the lower leaves so you have a stem of around 1.5cm - 2cm.

6. Place Your Cutting. Use your chopstick to make a small hole and simply place the stem of your cutting into the hole. repeat until the frame is full.



7. Grow them up. Lay your wreath flat until your cuttings are well rooted. This will take around 6 weeks, keep watering them regularly during this time and don't allow it to dry out. Once established, hang up onto your favourite outdoor wall or use as a table centre piece.

8. Maintenance. Keep your wreath in a partial shade position - This will help to stop your wreath drying out too quickly. Water your wreath once a day, and water thoroughly. Prune your wreath regularly to encourage new growth and keep your wreath nice and densely covered. You can fertilise your wreath with a seaweed and blood and bone solution, which you can buy from your local nursery. Use as directed.



As you can see, it is quite simple to make a beautiful piece of living art! And it an art piece that will keep on giving year after year with regular watering, fertilising and pruning.

19 February, 2016

A Winner has been Chosen!



We were completely inundated with photo entries to our DIY Valentine's Day Competition - You are all so very talented! It makes our job deciding a winner that much harder.

We are very pleased to announce that the winner of a $20 Fickle Prickles voucher is Sharon from Willetton! Congratulations to Sharon, who created this very cute Valentine's terrarium.

We would like to thank everyone who entered, and hope that your loved ones enjoyed all of your DIY succulent creations.

01 February, 2016

4 Delightful DIY Succulent Valentine Ideas!



Skip the chocolates this year, and those expensive flower arrangements that only last a week - Give your Valentine a special gift that will last! We have found 4 really simple, yet incredibly adorable Valentine's gift tutorials that your special someone will love!









So this year, say I love you with a gift they will never forget.

EMAIL us a photo of your DIY succulent Valentine's gift and you can go into the running to WIN a $20 Fickle Prickles Voucher! 

We will announce the winner in our next newsletter. Happy Projecting!



08 September, 2015

Spring Cleaning!


Now that the warm weather is on its way, our succulents will be waking up from their sleepy winter and starting to grow. Spring is the start of their prime growing season (well, most species anyway) and is the perfect time to give some attention to those sad looking succulent pots.

Should I Re-pot?

The decision to re-pot succulents should not be as daunting as you think. If it doesn't look as healthy as it once did, or it doesn't seem to be to actively growing, then it may be the time to re-pot. They will LOVE you for it. All that extra nutrition and aeration around their roots will get them on the right track to producing some amazing new foliage.

How to Re-pot your Succulents:

  1. Remove any dead leaves and/or give your succulent a light pruning.
  2. To get your succulent out of the pot - Tip it upside down, place your hand under the plant and tap the edge of the pot onto a hard surface until it simply pops out. Try not to pull it out, there is no need, it will come out after a few taps.
  3. Give the roots a light pruning as well - this will encourage new root growth.
  4. Place into your new pot a good quality, well draining cacti and succulent potting mix. You want enough in there so when you place your succulent, the base of the plant is level to just under the top of the pot.
  5. Fill in the gaps with your potting mix, being sure to not press down the mix. This will only compress the soil in the pot and reduce their root growth. Simply tap the pot on the ground instead to get the mix into all the nooks and crannies.
  6. Fertilise with a control release fertiliser.
  7. Water in well.
  8. Mulching is a great idea - You can use gravel, pebbles, a wood mulch - anything you like. Mulch is a great way to keep the roots of your succulent cool during the hot months and help the soil retain water (which means less watering for you!)


No Time to Re-pot?

If you think a re-pot is not needed, or you simply just don't have the time, there are still a few things you can do that your succulents will love you for:

  1. Are they water repellent? Watering sparingly over the winter period is great for succulents, but it may have dried out the potting mix they are in and made it water repellent. Does the water just sit on top? If this is the case, you can use a soil wetting agent. They usually come in liquid form and are available at all independent nurseries.
  2. Pruning - A light pruning will encourage new growth and create a more compact plant. With your rosette succulents, simply remove the dead under leaves.
  3. Fertilise - You can use a combination of seaweed solution and a blood and blone liquid fertiliser to give your succulents a real boost. Now is also a great time to reapply a control release fertiliser.


With just a little bit of effort, your succulents will have the best chance during this peak growing season, and you will be rewarded with lush new growth and maybe even some spectacular flowers. Happy Gardening!

30 June, 2015

TIPS on choosing Succulents for your Projects!


When wanting to make a succulent project, whether it be a simple potted garden, or an elaborate wreath, deciding which plants to include in your arrangement can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help make the decision process a little easier:



Consider different colour combinations that work with the colour of your container - Contrasting colours offer a vibrant look, where analogous colours are more natural and harmonious.


Combining different heights will give you a fantastic dynamic look. Place tall succulents in the centre of your design as a focal point, then small trailing succulents around the edges. Fill in the gaps with medium sized succulents. The effect will be a balanced look that is pleasing to the eye.


Use an odd number of multiples for particular species - It will balance out your design. Place multiples in a triangular pattern so that they are equally spaced apart.


Don't be afraid to pack many succulents into a small space. Succulents are more than happy to coexist with each other in tight places. Plus it will help to make your arrangement look more compact and lush.


Your imagination is your only limit! Scrounge around your home, back shed, local op-shop or salvage yard - You would be amazed at what spectacular artworks you can make out of the most unlikely of objects!
For more information on project tips, as well as instructions on how to make the Succulent Box pictured, head over to the Succulent ART website.

27 May, 2015

5 TIPS to Help Prepare your Succulent Garden for Winter



Winter is fast approaching, and as the cold and the rain begin to rear their ugly heads, we all have concerns on how our arid dwelling plants will cope in these conditions. Well fear no more - Here are 5 important tips to help see your succulents through the Winter season:

1. Sunlight:

In the Garden: Make sure your succulents are getting enough light. Remember, Winter has far less daylight hours than the rest of the year, and overlying tree branches can reduce the amount of light your garden receives.

Try to prune these tree branches back as much as you can to increase the amount of light.

In Pots: If possible, relocate your potted succulents to a position where they can receive a significant amount of light over Winter.

2. Soil:

In the Garden: Check that your soil is free draining. This is so important. I cannot stress this enough. With all the rain that will be soaking the soil over Winter, it is important that the majority of it can freely run away from the immediate area.

To help improve the drainage of clay like soils, add Gypsum, a product that helps break down and loosen clay. Simply follow the instructions on the packaging to add it to the soil. Mix it through your soil and water in thoroughly.

In Pots: Check that your potting mix hasn't collapsed. Collapsed potting mix can create a perched water table at the bottom of the pot, and this causes the water to not be able to drain.

If this is the case, remove the lower collapsed potting mix and replace with new fresh cactus and succulent potting mix. Place feet under the pot so that the water can freely drain.

3. Pruning:

In the Garden: Avoid pruning through the Winter months. This creates a wound on the plant, where infections can set in and rot your succulents.

In Pots: This rule applies to potted succulents too.

4. Protection:

In the Garden: Mulch the garden bed to keep the soil warm. This will protect the surface roots from the cold and frosts. Be sure to keep the mulch away from the base of your succulent, as this can cause rot.

Place large rocks and masonry statues next to your succulent to help radiate heat and keep the temperature immediately around your plants warm. This is great in frost areas.

In Pots: Protect cold sensitive plants like Sanseveria and any tropical succulents by placing them under cover. Cacti should also be under cover for the Winter period. Add a layer of stones or pebbles to your pots to help keep the soil warm.

5. Water:

In the Garden: Turn off your reticulation. A silly point to mention, but it is easy to forget to disable automated systems over Winter. Not to mention you risk getting a $100 fine from the Water Corporation if you use your sprinklers from the 1st June to the 31st August and are located in either Perth, Mandurah or some parts of South West WA.

In Pots: Reduce watering your succulents over Winter as the water evaporation rate of the soil reduces significantly during this period. You can tell if your succulents will need watering by burying your finger in the soil. If it is dry, water it.


Hopefully these tips will help prepare your succulents for the cold and rainy season, and keep them looking great for the next few months to come.