I have on many occasions told my husband that we should raise some chickens.
It’s not because I like chickens, actually, I think they are dirty and mean and dumb, but I do like fresh, cage-free, free range eggs.
Joe always says I’m crazy (which is what my mother said when I brought it up before I was married), and so I don’t have any chickens.
I do have lots of Hens and Chicks, though, and they are happily spreading everywhere I will let them go.
Even in Joe’s shoes.
I can’t show you a tutorial on these because Joe and I made them about seven years ago. They were all his idea.
He came home from work one day with new boots, and he said he’d like to plant something in his old boots.
So he cut the toe off of one and most of the front off of the other one, and I stuffed them full of dirt and plunked a couple of cheap hens and chicks in the dirt.
The one on the right took off right away. I kept it watered every couple of days, set it in the hot sun, and the hens and chicks grew and multiplied and grew more.
A couple of times a year, I pluck off all the babies that are flying out everywhere, and I plant them somewhere else. Judging from the photo above, I am due to start plucking. They’re getting crowded and smooshed in the top part.
The second boot, on the left, has not gone as well. I don’t think the toe opening is big enough; the hen in the toe often dies on me. Then I take one from the other boot, stick it in the empty hole, and water it.
These days, I have the boots (up high on plant stands because Allie likes to pluck the hens and chicks out of the dirt and run off) on my deck. They get hot sun from morning until late afternoon, and they get watered by the rain.
They’ve made so many baby chicks that I’ve filled up six very large flower pots with more hens and chicks and at least a dozen smaller pots. I have hens and chicks everywhere.
I branched out two years ago and bought a new variety that looks dusty on top. They haven’t done as well, but I still have plenty of them growing in my pots. We’ll see.
Every now and then, I think about buying some new hens and chicks, but I only ever see these two varieties in the garden centers and nurseries around where I live. I guess if I want more or fancier ones, I’ll have to look online.
Or you could send me some.
© 2013, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.