Summer in Spain is serious business. And when I say business, I’m not talking about productivity or profits. I’m talking about vacation.  By the time August rolls around you had better have all of your projects done or at the very least your orders placed because once August shows up, everybody leaves to take their two weeks, sometimes three and hightails it outta Dodge.  It’s pretty much an exodus to the beach.

While this is great for an economy based on tourism, it is not great for someone eager to build a house. I remind myself daily that even if the plans were done and ready to submit, it would do us no good because those working in the local town hall have sealed up their rubber stamps of approval until the month of vacations is put to bed. The same will ring true for our pending internet connection and licensing of the car. I’d just about bet a kid on this.

So to kill some time, I decided to run a test patch of succulent plants before roofing half of the new house with them. If I can keep them alive through the month, better yet through groundbreaking, we may just have a shot at a green rooftop.  I’m not sure yet what I like in terms of design: random layout or planned pattern of some sort?  What are your thoughts?  Here are a few pictures I’ve saved:

It seems to me that both color and texture play a defining role when it comes to this type of garden. I find myself drawn to soft mossy textures and the rounded shapes of the Hens & Chicks, the Perle Von Nurburg, and the Echeveria Desert Rose. I think the Donkey’s Tail is just the sassiest little plant but am not sure how to incorporate it into a roofline without having it look like a teenager with bangs that are too long and in need of a cut. Oh and while not on this particular chart, a couple aloe plants are going to have to happen as I’ve been told that their insides make for a wonderful anti-wrinkle paste, although I might be too late for this miracle. I wonder what Becki Owens would say…

succulent chartWe loaded up the kids and headed over to a nearby Vívero to check out their stock of garden delights.  The first miracle was that they were open! Remember, this is August and most of Spain is either at the beach or well on their way to the beach. I had pretty much resigned myself to playing referee so husband could pick out the plants we were going to start with but to my surprise the kids were excited at the garden center adventure, eager to pick the plants they thought strong enough to withstand mom’s wrath.

We ended up buying about a dozen or so small succulents along with some cherry tomato seeds and two basil plants for husband’s culinary needs.  The boys helped me unload the car then took off to go make smoothies while the girls helped me get everything planted. When we hit the Granada beaches this weekend the mission is to collect some colorful pebbles to outline these little gems.  What do you think? How long til I kill them?