Brian and Becky of Markley Family Farms are taking a twist on the traditional Valentine’s day bouquet with Texas-raised succulents. These greenhouse-grown plants are arranged into handmade cedar boxes (made by Brian himself) and are now available in the Farmhouse Delivery market! After farming produce for some time, the Markleys have now turned to selling succulents at the Pearl Farmers’ Market in San Antonio and to local plant-lovers. “We started just experimenting in our greenhouse because we had the space and it kind of just went from there! The succulents just took over our greenhouse,” said Becky.
This Valentine’s Day, we are celebrating the love and passion our community has for providing beautiful and handmade items. We talked with Becky Markley about their budding succulent business and why their arrangements make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift! Read on for succulent care tips and how much love goes into each and every arrangement.
Why are succulents the perfect Texan gift for Valentine’s Day?
“They last longer than cut flowers and they are also original and unique- you have more variety and they have a different look than cut flowers! They just make me happy- when we were at the farmers market and people walk up to our booth, they stop and light up— the succulents make them happy!”
How should I care for my succulents?
“They are one of those things that you can buy and even if you neglect it for a bit, it’s not going to die- you can help them recover from a bit of a drought. You can have them indoors with bright light and when you have them, they can grow and you can even transplant them to another pot. It’s important to let the soil dry out in between waterings. Too much water will make the soil rot, so it’s important to pay attention. Succulents are not native to Texas, and so our extreme weather isn’t what they are used to. They take a little extra care, but they are relatively easy to take care of.
Girls can get this- it’s like having a new friend! When you first get succulents, you have to pay attention to them a little bit more, not like that old friend you don’t have to try as hard to be around. As you get to know your succulents, they will tell you what they need! Maybe more water or less light- that’s the beauty of them. They will tell you what they need or what they aren’t happy with. In the beginning, you have to give them more attention until you know what they need.”
Note: The Markley Family Farms Succulent Boxes available for purchase in the Farmhouse Delivery Market come equipped with a drain hole in the bottom of the cedar box for proper maintenance.
What is it about succulents that delight your customers?
“Once they get one succulent, people just enjoy watching them grow! People want more to add to their collection because they are all so different and unique. They have a hard time just picking out one or two! It’s fun to add a few to your collection at a time and just see how they grow. The succulents are also great because during the season your succulents will change colors and even bloom!”
How do you design your arrangements?
“For the boxes, I like mixing colors and textures, either with lots of colors or sticking with a monochromatic color scheme. If I arrange them and I don’t like it, succulents are easy to re-arrange. All of the boxes are beautiful in their own way. Personally, I like the more packed-in look so that they are brimming with beautiful blooms.”
How do you involve your family in your business?
Both of our young kids are very involved and they love it just as much as we do. My daughter who is 8 does a lot of arranging and when I tell people, they say: “No way! She has a great eye!” In the beginning, I tried to change her designs but I realized that people like her look, too! It’s not just about my likes.
There’s a lot of love going into these boxes- my favorite part of the week is the Pearl Farmers Market in San Antonio. I love my whole family being there together, arranging succulents in different vessels, and both of our kids are arranging too! It’s a fun family activity and how we spend time with each other. Our beautiful arrangements come from a lot of passion; Our business comes out of a lot of love we all have for growing the plants and succulents. I’m so blessed and grateful for that!
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family?
“For Valentines Day, I am a gift giver! I always have to get things for my kids and husband. It’s because the memories and experiences I have around holidays are about being together with people we love, whether its Valentine’s Day or any other day! My relationships are very important to me, so the holidays are one of those ways to bring people together and it’s a day to share and be with the people we love.”