Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meet Scout!


Scout is a Boston Terrier and she is about 6 years old. This little pumpkin is my constant companion. She follows me around like a little shadow. When I leave the house she goes into her little corner (that's what we call the place where she hides) and waits for me to come home. Then she acts like I have been gone for a week when I get back. I named her after the little girl Scout Finch in my favorite book "To Kill a Mockingbird". I have read this book at least 20 times during my life. I read the first book I owned so many times that it fell apart and I held it together with a rubber band.

When my Mom passed away about 7 years ago my sister and I waited a while and decided that my Dad (who is now 87) should have a companion. He had adopted an older Boston Terrier before but it only lived about a year. So he wanted another one. We found a reputable breeder locally and went to get the puppy. We were able to see the Mom & Dad and then the puppies. Only 2 girls were left. Scout who was back and white and another girl that was brindle and white. My Dad held Scout and she immediately started talking. Not cry but making strange talking noises. We fell in love. You get the we in that don't you. We brought her home and showed her to the family. At the time we had an old black lab named Diamond. I had always wanted a small dog but Stan said only one dog at a time. Shoot!!!! Dad took her home and they tried to settle in. He brought her to my house almost every other day for 2 weeks. I got more and more attached to her. One Saturday Dad came over and I was taking a nap. I came downstairs and he and Stan were sitting with Scout in his lap. Dad said,"I brought your dog home!" "What" I said. He told me that he had too hard a time taking care of her. She needs someone that can play with her and hear her when she wants to go out. Oh course I said yes and thanked him over and over. Stan said we planned this all along. Hee hee!


This is Scout and Me!


She is such a sweet thing. She is not much of a barker but she still talks to you quite often. They are the funniest little beeps, blurps and mini howls. She is a nut. She has been a great little company keeper during my back recuperation. Which by the way I set myself back a day or two by just going to the store with my son and walking around too much. Darn it! Thought I was ready for a short trip. Still can't sit upright for any length of time yet either.


My youngest son Parker loves to play with her!

And as you can see Stan has fallen for her too.

Diamond is gone now and we just have Scout. She is prematurely gray on her face. I think this is from my boys teasing her. But she is so great I would get another in a heart beat!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Cactus Monday everyone!


I saw this pretty little succulent flower and wanted to get a shot of it. It was turned down so I took my yellow gardening gloves and held it very gently. With the other hand I took my camera and took the macro shot. Took me a few times to get a shot that was not blurred but it was worth it. Enjoy and have a great Monday!

Happy Cactus Monday!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Echeverias are beautiful!

Hi everyone! I am so sorry that I have been missing in action. I went to my first physical therapy on Tuesday for my back. I was told that my back was so inflammed (after a month) that I should be off my feet and on my back with legs up. (Don't laugh) With ice on my back as much as possible. So here I sit with the computer on my legs, in my recliner (all the way back), pillows under my legs with a huge ice pack on my lower back. I get cold and have to put on a light blanket. It's in the 90's outside! LOL But he said if I want to go to Maui in August I have to do everything he says. OK!

So before we get into the succulents I have to tell you about my project. Ever since I got into succulents I have been taking photos of them. That's how I got into photography. I have thousands of photos by year. Some of the plants are named and some not. Sooooo whenever I am looking for a photo to post I have to search and search because I don't know what folder they are in. So I made a folder in my pictures called Succulents and when you click on it there are a few different folders. One of which is succulents by type or species. I have Aeonium, Echeveria's, Kalanchoe's, Sedum, Notocactus, etc. And I am putting all my photos in there respective folder. If the picture does not have a name I am trying to name it. It will be so easy to find pictures now. It is taking a lot of time but hey, what else do I have to do but watch TV.

Now on to Echeveria's. There are so many different varieties of these little beauties. And I wish I had every one. I do have a lot of them, hee hee!



This is echeveria pludonis and below is it's gorgeous bloom!



Echeveria's are pretty easy to care for and fairly pest free. They like about a half days light (mostly morning light). Try not to put them in direct afternoon sun in hotter areas of the country as they will burn.


Echeveria afterglow with blooms and friends


Make sure that you plant your echeveria's in a well draining potting soil. I buy a palm and cactus mix by Supersoil. My succulents seem to really like it. Sometimes I add a bunch of clean sand. They also like watering during there growing season (which is summer). Make sure to let the soil dry out between watering. But because they are succulents they can go many days without water. They will perk right back up when you start regular watering again. As with a lot of plants a sign that they are not getting enough water is that they will drop there lower leaves. During the winter they stop growing but a little water now and then is a good idea. Especially if you see the leaves get a little wrinkled or dropping.


Echeveria Doris Taylor 'Wooley Rose' with bloom below


Echeveria's are easily propagated. During the growing season they will produce little babies (chicks) at there base. These can be cut off and planted in there own pot. Wait about 5 to 7 days after cutting off for the cut end to harden off (this is true of all succulents when propagating) before planting to avoid rot. Ok, enough education let's see more echeveria's.

Echeveria Lola

Echeveria Spruce Oliver

Ok that is enough for now. I could show you all my pictures but I'm just teasing you for now! You will just have to wait for another Echeveria day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Pink Cactus Monday


This is the fruit that comes after the flower has been pollinated. This type of cactus is called Optunia engelmannii var. subarmata. It has huge pads and grows very slow. The flowers are beautiful yellow. Most people like to call this type of cactus "Prickly Pears".

HCM

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Six Word Saturday


Growing cactus can be hazardous work!

This is my first entry in six word Saturday. I wanted a picture that truly represented how I feel at this moment. Ouch! I picked up a large ceramic pot of succulents and ruptured the last two disc's in my back. Doing so pinched my sacral nerve. So this succulent represents my two butt cheeks with pins and needles in them!!!!! Yikes! Ok, now quit laughing!

Actually this is not a cactus but a succulent. It is a type of euphorbia! Butt whatever!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Let's look at Pachyveria's!

First of all I want to say I am sorry for being missing in action. But to make a long story short about a month ago I hurt my back. One of my ceramic pots with succulents fell of my cement patio onto the grass. It is huge! Instead of going to ask my hubby for help I decided to lift it up myself and then balance it on my rolling stand that I put all my pots on. Success with major effort. Didn't feel the problem for about a day believe it or not. Then whamo my lower back was in major pain with muscle spasms and everything. But did I call the Dr.? Nooooooo! I have hurt my back before and thought I just pulled a muscle. Annnnnd I was suppose to go to southern california with my husbands family for 4th of July and into the following week. So I rode in our car for 6 1/2 hellish hours to southern CA. I spent the whole week on the couch propped up with pillows. So fun! Made a Dr. appt. for this last Monday and he ordered an MRI for an hour later. Tuesday I found out I have 2 herniated disc's. Not one two! At L4, L5, S1 which is about as low on your back as you can go. I start physical therapy next week. Should have known better!!!!


This is a Pachyveria 'Blue Pearl' flower and below is the plant itself!


I just love Pachyveria's because of there big round leaves. But that doesn't mean they are all like this. But they seem thicker than Echeveria's and they have a bluish or lavendar powdery finish. Pachyveria's are a hybrid between Pachyphytum and Echeveria's. They like a few hours of sun a day or partial shade and make sure the soil is well draining. Here are a couple of other specimen's:


This one is called Pachyveria 'Royal Flush'. I love the pink tips to the leaves.



One of my favorite's Pachyveria glauca 'Little Jewel'.

These are the only ones I have at this time. I am looking for the other ones. By the way they grow easily from a dropped leaf put in a little dirt. Have a great Friday everyone!

Monday, July 12, 2010

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HCM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wouldn't this make a great watercolor painting? But with all the tiny bits maybe it would be too hard. I stuck my camera right inside this flower from my Echinopsis scopulicola. The light was from behind and made it just glow!


Here is a night shot of the same flower! I had someone else holding a flashlight into the bloom while I snuck around behind for a different angle! Hope you like! HCM!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Succulent Strawberry Pots!

This is one side of just one of my succulent strawberry pots. They are a lot of fun to make. I did not bother with putting a bottle on the inside of any other contraption because I use so much sand in my soil. That way everything gets water just by watering through the top and each hole.

This was taken when the echeveria's were in full bloom! I really love this pot!

Another view!


Top shot with view


This is my strawberry pot of echeveria's. They are all sending out flowers. This was taken last year and it is now really over grown. I have cut many of the flowers off and planted them elsewhere or given them away. I will save quite a few then dig out the planter. I think I will plant it the same way because I liked how it turned out. I have a couple more pots that I will show you another time. And I still have two more to plant. I love to always have new ideas in the works because it gives me so much to look forward to in Sweetstuff's succulent garden.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Curly Cactus Monday


Cresting Opuntia microdasys

Happy Cactus Monday everyone! Thought I would share one of my favorite cacti with you. This cactus reminds me of coral under the sea! Hope everyone is having a great day!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Meet J. P.


Meet Jack the peacock. My husbands parents live in South Pasadena on the side of a hill facing the mountains. It's a beautiful home and the backyard drops off and gets kind of wild. They have had skunks visit, coyotes and these beautiful peacocks. There used to be three. Mom and Dad named them Manny, Moe & Jack. Manny and Moe stopped coming but Jack still pays visits! So I was sitting in there kitchen with my back towards the slider and there backyard and Stan whispers, "Candy turn around"! I stared at him in my darvocette haze (I hurt my back) and said what? Peacock! I turned and I was face to face with Jack on the other side of the glass. "Stan! Get my camera please!" I whispered really loud. I slowly opened the slider and he wanted some peanuts. So we threw some out. Yummy! He is very photogenic!



I'm so pretty!

All of a sudden Jack spun around and flared out his tail fully! He started shaking it and it sounded like a rattle snakes tail. It was amazing! A little kitty was walking across there backyard and Jack was showing his stuff to scare it away! The 1st shot was my first view!



Does my tail make my butt look big?


If it weren't for the post this shot would be awesome!


Guarding the diet coke.

After all the excitement was over and Jack put down his feathers (I have a ton of those pictures but the post would be miles long) he decided to take a rest on the cool cement.



Eyes on my back


The End!