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© Copyright 2019 Origin Magazine

Soul Rewilding, Succulent Magic

Jen Tao

Camarillo, California

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Instagram: @jenssuccs | botanicalbright.com

Succulent Fun Facts

Many people don’t realize that the blooms from succulents can be snipped off and put in a vase of water just like other cut flowers. They are so beautiful and unique and will last for well over a week! It’s also beneficial to the plant since blooming refocuses the plant’s energy away from growth. It’s not necessary to do, but is a fun option! Succulents have such a strong will to live. They can have all their leaves knocked off, their stem broken in two and still they’ll survive. Each fallen leaf has to potential to grow into a whole new plant, a broken stem just means you’ve got two plants instead of one. This also makes them the perfect plants to share with friends! I love sharing cuttings from my garden with others. It’s such a fun way to stay connected no matter the distance.

 

My Favorite Succulents 

When I was first starting out, these were definitely what caught my eye. I sometimes refer to them as “crossover succulents”, the perfect option for someone who is new to succulents because their colors and shapes are so reminiscent of floral blooms. If I had to choose a very favorite, I would have to say echeveria Lola.

 

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." —Audrey Hepburn

 

Slow Living + Shifting Focus

After my son Josh was born I chose to not go back to work and instead be a full-time mom. This meant things were tight financially and I needed to find things for us to do that didn’t cost a fortune. I also wanted to be sure I taught him the importance of appreciating simple, everyday beauty and respecting nature. We spent a lot of time at the beach, in the garden, at the park or just taking walks. We would pick up trash at the beach, plant different herbs, fruits and veggies in the garden to snack on or use for cooking. Because of this I was able to reset my focus and my priorities. It’s hard to have a bad day when you can’t walk without being amazed by every tree, flower, bird and butterfly you see. By shifting my focus from things to experiences I’ve been able to maintain a greater appreciation of how wonderful my life truly is. This isn’t to say I don’t still struggle from time to time, because I do, but I just have a better foundation when hard times hit.

 

Photo Advice

Good lighting! It’s always best to shoot in natural, indirect light. Working with plants, nearly all my photos are taken outside. I try to time it right so that there are no harsh shadows or bright spots, sometimes you have to get creative! It’s also important to be aware of the surroundings, you don’t want a mess in the background that can distract from what the photo is actually of. I try to avoid overly staging my shots but it’s important to put some effort into the end result. It can be the difference between a nice shot and a great one!

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