Powell’s gift buyers have a keen eye. I always check out the array of knick-knacks tucked between shelves of garden books, textile tomes and cookbooks whenever I visit.

Recently, while wandering through Powells’ Books for Cooks, I stumbled upon a tray of colorful candles in the shape of different succulent plants. Pointy pale pinks and rounded dark greens, they were so adorable I wanted the entire bunch. The one-inch-round votive candles look like the small cuttings you break off from your already established succulent plants when you want them to multiply.

I moved here from California, leaving all of my succulent friends behind when we sold our house in LA. I missed the vegetation so much that I took a job (in trade) at Cistus Nursery where the owner Sean Hogan has a strong kinship with and knowledge of Mediterranean plants. Out on Sauvie Island, I spent quality time with the real live succulents I sorely missed. Now, too busy with other work and living on the tenth floor, I guess these wax versions will have to do. At $1.95 each, you could furnish yourself or a friend with row upon row lined up on your bathroom counter or patio table.

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