Saturday, January 10, 2015

Winter in My Garden

Winter in my garden can be pretty boring.  Except when I am running around throwing frost cloth on beds when the temps dip below 32F.  During the winter I get a chance to reflect on the past year.  The accomplishments and yes some failures.  But isn't that part of gardening?  

I like to take photos during the winter and plan what I'm going to need to do come Spring time.  Because beds always outgrow the design and need to be redone.  The plants grow and multiply and before you know it you have more plants than you know what to do with.

And that is where my beautiful sister comes in.  I'm happy to say that she will be retiring and moving in with my Father the end of February.  She will be moving from Phoenix to help care for my Dad and join me in my Succulent adventures.  I am excited to have a Succulent Sister!


This bed is against the fence and at the end of my new yard project.  It used to be this beautiful flowing river of Echeveria's but some got burned out.  So this area will be redone!


Don't you love that aloes bloom at all times of the year!


The Aloe delta lights has tons of babies on it.  The Echeveria aquarius developed three large heads that have tried to smother out my aloe in the corner and some aeoniums against the pot.  They will be split up!


My patch of Echeveria imbricata had become so outgrown that last year that I pulled them out and started new.  Looks pretty good.  I have these guys growing everywhere.


I love this corner and my varigated opuntia has become so large.  I believe it is called Opuntia Joseph's coat.  I received one pad as a gift from a friend a few years ago and it is growing well.


Kind of blurry pic but this water trough is doing well.  Hopefully we won't have many more freezes so I lose the hanging varigated elephant plant.


With most of my plants in the gazebo or greenhouse things look so sparse outside.


Standing out my back slider looking left you see my gazebo greenhouse and new greenhouse.  Then the start of my planters all around the back fence.


That opuntia on the right is sooooo huge.  Too big.  I will either get rid of it completely or trim it tons!  Ugh!


Still a lot of red fruit on my Cereus Peruvianus Monstrose .


Right after the last big rain my beautiful Opuntia robusta just fell over.  So I will be removing a lot of pads and standing it back up.  Before you know it I will have lots of new pads.


I have a lot of leaves in my front garden.  They help keep the succulents warm.  I will remove them in the Spring.


My wagon full of succulents is doing pretty well along the side of my house.


The wonderful rains that we had really jump started my succulents.  This patch was actually sparse and you could see lots of dirt before the rain.  The succulents loved the benefits of the rain and grew like crazy.


Yes underneath the mass of succulents is a beautiful blue birdbath.  The plants are growing like wild weeds in here too.  And look at Graptoveria Fred Ives.  They are so huge and tons of them.  I need to pull out the Eche's that are hiding underneath so they won't get forgotten.  But where will I put them?  LOL


This crazy sticks on fire is in a really cool ceramic fish planter that you cannot see.  In the spring it may need to be transplanted.


One of my beautiful Christmas cactus is still blooming!  I love the color.


This is my front planter.  And it is quite a mess.  I have leaves all over it to hold in the cold.  Potted plants are in the walkway to be covered in case of cold.  I have decided to redo this whole planter in the spring.  The Echeveria's are so crowded now I am afraid of a big mealy bug outbreak.

Echeveria aquarius

Here is a closer look at those E. Aquarius that will be split up.  Aren't they gorgeous!

Aloe coral fire with echeveria lipstick

This pot is in the new planting in the front yard.  The Portulacaria afra variegata Rainbow Bush froze a bit since this photo.  But there is new growth underneath.  I will leave the dead leaves on the plant to help keep it from getting hurt any more.  The aloe is a new one for me called coral fire.

So what is happening in your winter garden?

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year....Brrr it's cold!

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great new year and got home safe and sound.  We spend a quiet evening with friends and watched the new year on TV.  Doesn't sound exciting I know but it was nice.

California is experiencing it's first really cold weather.  December was wet and warm which was nice but now we are really cold.  Last night was in the 20's and same is expected tonight.  Hopefully the deep chill will stop soon.  I know you East coast people are probably laughing.  But hey, we just aren't used to it.  And neither are the plants.

This is some of the precautions I take.


For the past few years I have wrapped one of my gazebos in 5 mil. plastic.  Inside are shelves stuffed with potted succulents.  Then other's on rolling stands are rolled inside.  I have a table set up inside with a small heater.  This year so that we wouldn't have so many in the garage we bought a small greenhouse.


This is what the gazebo greenhouse looks like inside all stuffed!


The new greenhouse.  I should have gotten a couple more sets of shelves for the sides.  Next year.


I still needed to put plants in the garage.  Geez!


Not at many as normal thank goodness.  I have grown that Madagascar palm from a 4 inch baby.  Wow!


I have a lot of hanging planters this year.  We hung many in the gazebo but the rest are on the table in the garage or hanging like this with the kayak's!  LOL


Outside the plants in the ground are all covered up with frost cloth.  It's crazy!


Now really who does this?  LOL



Water trough cover up!  You can use sheets and blankets in a pinch.  But if it rains they will do more harm than good.  They will absorb the water and freeze.  Then you will have this frozen cloth laying on your plants.  Not good!  Believe me I tried this method and lost a lot of plants.





I resorted to small paint cans to hold down the frost cloth.


I was given this umbrella greenhouse by a vendor at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.  It was a thank you for buying many tillandsias.  I am curious as to whether it will keep these succulents safe.  They are cuttings so time will tell.


These plants are now all covered up with frost cloth.

So I hope you all are keeping warm.  And I am curious to hear of any new year resolutions you might have.  I want to lose weight and get rid of excess (stuff) in the house.

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Giveaway

It's almost Christmas time and I think it's timely for another giveaway.  I am doing this giveaway with my friend Debra Lee Baldwin.  I already have my annual calendar from her so I thought some lucky girl or guy would want one too.  And for free!

Debra is an exceptional photographer as many of you know.  But among her many talents she is an incredible watercolor artist.  So this year she did the 12 months in watercolor.  So you will get the chance to choose which one you want if you win (photo or watercolor).  It's a tough choice I know!  

So on Christmas Eve I will draw a name at random and that person will win.  You have until 6 p.m. on December 24th to enter.  I will make the announcement on my page (Candice Suter), my Facebook page (Sweetstuff's Sassy Succulents) and here on the blog in the comments section.


Please make sure that if I draw your name I can get a hold of you.  If I don't hear back I will have to draw another name.  Here is another rule, tell me what you are thankful for this year.  I would love to hear!  Last rule, you need to comment on here to win!

00 Cover IMG_3610

I told you it was going to be a hard choice!

12 pages

I have this one and just love it!

Screen shot 2014-12-04 at 3.00.40 PM

But then again this one is amazing too!  How will you choose?

So, remember to leave a comment.  Second, make sure I can get a hold of you.  And third you can leave a comment by December 26th at 6p.m. Pacific Standard Time.  Oh and tell me what you are thankful for this year!

Good Luck!!!

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Plant of the Week Cotyledon Tomentosa

I have a really juicy plant for you this week.  And I bet most of you have it already in your collection.  This week it is Cotyledon Tomentosa.  I just love this chubby little member of the Cotyledon family.  Some people call them bear's claw succulent because they really do look like little bear feet!

Cotyledon tomentosa Bear's Paws 3

Aren't they adorable.  Now I have bought quite a few over the years and just love to add them to potting's with other succulents.  They add the greatest shape and texture.  As with a lot of succulents these are native to Africa.

Cotyledon tomentosa Bear's Paws 1

They prefer full sun to get their really cool red toes!  This was taken in the hot, hot of summer here in Roseville, CA.  And I am pretty sure these are in the holes of a strawberry pot.  So the dirt dries pretty quickly and these are stressed.  But they still look great!

Oh, here is a little tidbit.  These are dormant in the summer.  That means they don't grow much.  So I usually plant them with cactus so they don't get watered very much.

Cotyledon tomentosa

Now this is the same plant but a leaf found it's way in a pot of tiny opuntia I have growing.  I love it when that kind of thing happens.  Just spontaneous growing somewhere I didn't plant it.  The pot get's just a few hours of our afternoon sun.  So these are not quite as stressed.  Tiny red toes and pretty longer green pads.

Close up of Cotyledon tomentosa

They are so fuzzy!  I love to touch them.  The fuzz doesn't rub off.  They like to be petted.  LOL  And look at those tiny red toes.

Cotyledon tomentosa Bear's Paws varigata

This summer I found a varigated tomentosa at the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society Show & Sale.  I was so excited.  As you know varigated varieties of succulents are always a great find.

Cotyledon tomentosa Bear's Paws in pot

I put them in this fish pot with some other rare varieties of succulents.  This plant has pretty five petaled flowers.  I don't have a photo for you but you can find one on the net.

These succulents do not like the cold so make sure you put them in your greenhouse or bring them in the house when freezing.

I am packing up my succulents and getting ready to put them in my gazebo greenhouse.  Click the link to see last year's post.  I ordered a small portable greenhouse that I will be putting between my two greenhouses.  Hopefully I won't have to put many succulents in the garage this year.

Next post is a giveaway!  Woohoo!

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Plant of the Week Echeveria Raindrops

As a lot of you know I have a certain fondness for Echeveria's.  I don't know if it is the shape or what but they are my favorites in the succulent world and I actually dedicated a whole bed to them.  So with this in mind I am going to dedicate my first Plant of the Week to an Echeveria.  Echeveria raindrops to be exact.

I am following in the footsteps of many other gardeners in featuring a plant of the week.  A couple of years ago Loree Bohl from Danger Garden started doing this.  And more recently my friend Gerhard Bock of Succulents and More has also decided to join in the fun.  So I thought, I don't want to be left out either.  So this is the first of many to come.

Echeveria raindrops 3

Now isn't she a stunner!  I found this beauty (believe it or not) at Home Depot or Lowe's earlier this year.  It was quite a bit smaller but I knew immediately what it was and snatched it up as a hungry dog snatches up a bone.  I couldn't believe my eyes because I had seen this on Facebook and Pinterest but never knew anyone that had one or sold one.  I figured it would be many years before I would get one.  So you just never know.

Until recently this was in it's original container just sitting on my back patio.  Waiting patiently for me to pay attention to it.  And growing, growing.  It must be about 6 inches across by now.  Supposedly that is as big as it will get.  We will see.

Echeveria raindrops 1

I looked through all my pots to find one that would do it justice.  Then I came upon this pot.  I wanted to plant it alone.  Sometimes I just want to show off the plant.

San Marcos Growers says:  Echeveria 'Raindrops' A solitary plant that reaches at most 6 inches across with pale green rounded leaves with pale reddish margins and a single globular blue-green bump in the middle of each leaf toward the tip that develops with age - young plants often do not exhibit this trait but it appears as the plant ages. These bumps, similar to a water droplet, are what give this unique plant its name.

I sure hope this guy makes some babies.  Then I can see the progression of the bumps.

I have been giving it morning light and afternoon shade or filtered light.  I have watered when the soil is completely dry.  As the nights get cooler this definitely will be a plant that goes in my gazebo/greenhouse.  The internet says it will take temps down to 30F but I don't want to take a chance.

Echeveria raindrops 4

Here's a close up!

Echeveria raindrops 2

And a shot from up above.  It's interesting that there are just a few leaves that don't have the bumps or caruncles on them.  I wonder why that is.

By the way this Dick Wright hybrid is thought to be the smallest of the bumpy-leafed cultivars.  Very cool!

So hope you enjoyed!  Have a great week!

Until later:

It's Another Beautiful Day!