I have been Facebook friends with Chris Hansen for years and have seen photos of his garden as it progressed from an empty lot to an awesome rock garden, so when I had the opportunity to finally meet Chris in person and see his garden, I was thrilled. Chris Hansen is a super nice, one-of-kind guy with as much energy as he has passion for plants. The man behind the Chick Charms brand of sempervivum, his garden was chockful of them and other perennials that prefer hot, dry conditions. I knew his garden would be beautiful but was not prepared for just how jaw-dropping it was. Wanna see?
Talk about curb appeal! The rock garden in the front of his home first stopped you in your tracks and then invited you to explore.
The proportion of plants to rocks was perfect. “Look at this!” and “Look at that!” Chris wanted to make sure we saw all the unique plants in his large collection of succulents, perennials, unique conifers and Japanese maples. We were like kids in a candy store.
“This pot has been outside for 2 years,” Chris touted. These sempervivums were thriving despite being exposed to Michigan winters.
There were a number of miniature houses and garden décor throughout the garden for the neighborhood kids to play with. Chris believes Chick Charms may be the gateway plant to get non-gardeners and kids interested in gardening, and the kids are encouraged to play.
On to the backyard…
This was the first view of the backyard as I rounded the corner of the house – wow!
Three semi loads of rocks from Kansas were moved to the backyard one by one. This wasn’t even the largest one!
“My goal is to fill every nook and cranny in every rock with hens and chicks,” Chris shared. He was well on his way.
I wish I lived closer so I could sit around the fire pit in the evenings with Chris, admiring the view while talking about plants. But with his energy, I doubt he sits down for long.
Chris was so happy talking plants and sharing his garden with us. His enthusiasm for plants of all kinds, but especially for hardy succulents was contagious. I think my little rock garden is the perfect place to start my own collection of Chick Charms and sedums. With hundreds of varieties in the collection, however, I will either have to be very choosy or my rock garden will have to get a lot bigger.
Garden with me!