Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Now these are some cactus!

My sister lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She just moved there last year. This spring she made a visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens. I think she really did it just for me because she could care less about cactus. She even took her camera and took some really great shots. So today I thought I would share them with you. I can't wait to go and see it my self. But it sure was sweet of her!

These are golden barrel cactus.

Lots of cactus were blooming!

Check out all the fuzzy stuff!

A type of optunia (prickly pear) with red blooms!

Aren't they a beautiful red.


If you can read that sign then you have the name. Hee hee!

These flowers just blow me away! Enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

My 1st Cactus Monday

My cactus art is taking photos of my cactus or succulents so people can see just how beautiful and different they really are. The picture above is of a new pad developing on my opuntia santa-rita.

This pot of graphed cactus was put together by my kids for Mother's day. They knew what I loved and used there imagination. That is great art to me.

Lastly for this Monday is the center of a beautiful mammillaria cactus. The spiral of red needles forming in the center is so interesting. That is it for this Monday. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Oh Aeonium!

Aeoniums are a wonderful succulent in the Crassulaceae family. Most of them come from the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain in the Atlantic Ocean. Most are moderately drought tolerant, mildly frost tolerant (some more than others), but only moderately heat tolerant as well, and dependent on bright light to full sun.

Sorry but I don't know the name of the one in my big blue pot. It is a very common aeonium to find though. I put this large pot in a planter in the corner of my front yard a few years ago. I planted this aeonium in it when it was just a baby. It soon took off and created what you see today.

During the summer I water it (or should I say them) about once or twice a week (depending on the temperature). And in the winter I don't water it at all. It gets enough with the rains. The cool thing about this one is that in the winter it turns kinds of red/green. And in the summer it gets greener. I also notice that when they don't get enough water the flowers (as I call them) close up a bit. So they kind of tell me when to water, along with losing some of there lower leaves.

This aeonium shot was taken last year in a planter in my backyard against the fence. It is surrounded by echeveria, fire stick, sedum blue spruce, a type of kalanchoe and an agave. Yes that is a conch shell in there too. I have been trying to develop an ocean scene in this planter. It is still in the works.

This is Aeonium Arboreum

Aeonium 'Sunburst' - Copper Pinwheel with Senecio (Kleinia) mandraliscae Blue Chalk Fingers

This is one of my favorites but very hard to find Aeonium tabulaeforme.

I could post tons of different pictures of these guys but for now I will leave you with these. There are many different kinds of these wonderful succulents. Some easier to grow than others. When people come to my house and admire the (red flowers) in the blue pot, I explain that they are succulents. Most of them go home with a stalk and grow there own. I love sharing!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bee Careful!

Coming in for a landing!

My largest opuntia's against my back fence have been blooming for weeks now. The blooms are big, yellow and the bees love them. This year besides the normal honey bees we have a ton of these really large black bees. I don't see a stinger on them and they don't seem aggressive. Maybe they bite if scared. I decided that it was time to go out and get up close and personal with the bees and get some shots. Here is a shot with one of the big black bees:

It's a big one isn't it.

My best friend Lorna and I went outside in my backyard so I could take some shots and she could enjoy the cactus flowers. I climbed up on the cement tiered planter that holds some of my succulents. And then I leaned in with my camera set to macro. Straight into the land of flowers and bees. The next thing I know I look to my right and Lorna is jumping around like a crazy person. Her arms were flay ling around and swatting at things nobody could see but her. I couldn't help it but I started to laugh and almost fell into my giant cactus (which would have sent me to the hospital). When I could catch my breath I told her to stop and that she would more than likely hit a bee and it would for sure sting her. She gladly went inside. I finally calmed myself down from all the excitement and finished my photo shoot. Enjoy!

Last but not least!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bunco at my house!

Last night was my turn to have Bunco at my house. I always try to have it in the summer so that everyone can enjoy my succulent garden. They always get a kick out of them and are so amazed.

The game of bunco is always played the same but some groups play for money and some for prizes. Our group plays for prizes. I have been with this group since about 1995 and it had been going strong for a long time before that. Since there are 12 of us we each get a month a year to host bunco at our house. We always pick a theme and buy the 5 gifts based on that theme. Everyone that comes buys a $10.00 or less gift and puts it in the bunco bag. Everyone that does not win one of the 5 main prizes get to put there score card in a bowl and then we draw for the bunco bag. This is most coveted because whoever wins get 12 gift. Sometimes people just put money in (but that is good too). Here is a picture of Laurie who won the bag last night.
The theme was Southwestern and so a lot of the gifts like this plate cover were in great southwestern colors. We had taco salad and watermelon salad for dinner. Desert was a beautiful fruit tart. There is always much laughter and we all enjoy seeing each other and catching up! Of course I had to add a little pot of succulents to the bunco bag! Who would have thought!!!! LOL

Friday, June 11, 2010

Look what's happening!

This is my huge Trichocereus pachanoi in my backyard. I have been growing this beauty for about 5 years now. Two years ago it gave me my first blooms and I was so excited. The only problem is that it starts blooming in the early evening and they start to wither before noon the next day. So if you want to take pictures you have to take them at night (which I have done) or early in the morning. It is pretty funny to see me out side in the dark standing on the side of my planter holding a light and balancing my camera. Sometimes my husband Stan feels sorry for me and holds the light.

So I have been watching the furry buddetts and watching some of them push out from the plant getting ready to bloom. Last night just as the sun was going down I looked out my slider and saw 5 blossoms opening. Yeah! This is a picture of them early this morning!

So all of those little furry things will turn into blooms. See the strange shaped things poking out the side that look like's body parts. They started blooming tonight. I'll try to keep you up to date. Here is one last shot of the whole plant!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We finally have sun!

This has been the weirdest spring that I can remember. It has rained and rained and we actually had high humidity! It is always really dry here in Sacramento so crazy...... My succulents had the hardest winter so far and I lost quite a few. I am still cleaning and replanting. But now we finally have sun so everything is blooming and really starting to grow. I have some new plants like the ones above that need planting and I will post some great flower shots soon.

So it has been quite a while since my last post. Really long. But hopefully I will have some great stories to tell along with some great pictures. Stay tuned!