Friday, March 27, 2015

Spring has Sprung and Misc. Sweetstuff Things

I am so excited for Spring to be here.  I have been so busy working in the garden I have't blogged about the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.  But it is coming.  I wanted to show you a little bit of what has been going on in the garden.


This is one of my favorite nurseries to go to in Roseville.  They always  have lots of succulents and tons of other cool gardening stuff.  You name it they have it  I have been slowly but surely replacing my rollers for their's that can hold up to 500 pounds ad they won't break.


Remember the greenhouse I bought and used last winter?  We kept up the poles and used them to attach shade cloth so I have more growing area without the intense Sacramento sun.  It is fantastic!


I found this awesome new red hybrid Aeonium and added it to a pot in the Aeonium corner.  It's name is mini ming!


I love this aloe in the front side bed but the leaves are unusually sharp.  Don't now the name darn nit!


This beautiful pot I named Lola was potted with crassula tiny tim last year and has grown a lot.  I love her!


I am in love with Aeonium mardi gras!  The colors are superb and it grows like a beast!


 My very first Mark Muradian pot!  I
fell in love and knew I would be planting Perle von Nurnberg in it!


This is Echeveria crinoline ripples!  I am in love with her juiciness, color and curls!


My sister and I will be repotting this soon.  Should be quite a chore!  But it really needs to be done.  This is my huge Euphorbia enolpa.


This is a glass top to a light fixture!  It was begging to be planted.  I used moss covered mesh over the hole so dirt will not fall through.  Aeonium kiwi is in the back and aloe bright star in front!  Red lava top dressing!

That's about it for now!  Have a super weekend!

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Let's learn about some unusual plants called Tillandsia or Air plants.  They are epiphytes.  Epiphytes are plants that grow harmlessly on other plants. They take in all their moisture and nutrients through their leaves.   Other epiphytes are orchids, mosses and bromeliads.  But we will be discussing the genus Tillandsia.


This large Tillandsia Streptophylla X Xerographica is setting in a beautiful green blown glass that belonged to my Mother.

I bet you have seen these little plants before.  You may have even bought one.  Once you get your darling little Tillandsia home and take it out of the bag, you probably stared at it not knowing how to care for it.  Here is my most import tip:  DO NOT PLANT IT IN SOIL!  It will die!  They do have roots but they are used to hang on to trees or rocks.


There are so many ways you can display your Tillandsia.  One of my go to ideas is to put them in a large shell.  Then it looks like a little critter is crawling out.  As you can see in one photo, Green Acres nursery (little plug for one of my favorite nurseries), inserts them upside down in a sea urchin shell. A waterproof glue like E6000 can keep them in place. 


They are really easy to care for.  They like to be in bright but filtered light.  Do not put them in direct hot sun as that will dry them out very quickly.  These plants are used to living high in trees or on rock faces in tropical regions.  They like good air circulation and need moisture.  But they like to dry out between watering. So once or twice a week I drench my Tillandsia in water.  Usually under the kitchen sink.  I shake off the excess water and put it back in it’s home.


Here's another tip: The thinner the leaves the more often they will need to be watered. If the leaves have a fuzzy texture they will need water less often. The fuzzy bits help hold the water for the leaves to take in.

Have fun with your plants.  Hang them from the wall attached to wine corks.  You can even get little terrariums for them.  These are small and round and usually have two holes.  This provides good air circulation.  Add some colored sand in the bottom then tiny shells, drift wood and moss.  Then place your baby inside and hang.  Just make sure to take the plant out of the terrarium to water.  When dry you can put it back inside.

I hope you get one of two and try them out! Have fun and Happy Gardening!

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

San Francisco Flower & Garden Show 2015

Tomorrow starts one of my favorite events of the year! From March 18-22 the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show is a must go to destination for anyone interesting in gardening. This is a public exhibition held at the San Mateo Event Center just South of the San Francisco Airport. It’s worth the drive even if you only go for one day.

Of course Succulent Gardens will be there with a huge booth!   But so much more!

There is too much to see and do. This is the 30th anniversary of the show and the theme is “Going Wild”. Just the theme gets my imagination spinning. I can’t wait to come home with some great plants and fresh exciting gardening ideas!

 There will be more than 100 free how-to seminars and hands-on workshops. From growing your own food, designing with flowers, backyard beekeeping and how to create the ultimate vertical succulent garden. You can even take a photography class. There is something for everyone!

Listen to seminars with top industry experts. You can learn new techniques and skills and talk to the experts on many gardening and landscaping topics. And one of my favorite parts is being able to shop thousands of plants and garden related products. I need to remember to leave extra room in my car this year.

You will be able to wander through 15 designer gardens with artfully arranged plants, trees and flowers in full bloom. This event covers 5 acres and these gardens are full size. These are wonderful designers from the West coast and they will be on hand to answer questions

This is just a quickie post and I hope to see everyone there!  When I get back PHOTOS!  Woohoo!  Should be a blast.

For schedule and more information go to San Francisco Flower & Garden Show!


It's Another Beautiful Day!

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!