Saturday, December 31, 2011

Look what I got for Christmas!

Look what I got for Christmas!

Hi my blogger friends!  Just a quick post to say I hope that Santa was good to you and brought you some goodies on your wish list.  I was very fortunate this year in that I went shopping for myself!  Yes you heard it, I shopped for myself.  My Dad always give me some Christmas money and says get what you want and we will put it under the tree.  So I went to Ross and found the great gold gecko in the photo above that I will decorate my gazebo with.  Then I also found the gecko 3 tiered stand.  I love this and can't wait for spring to put some pots of succulents on it.  Then behind the sun in the middle is a 3 tiered iron mesh stand.  I plan on putting spaghnum moss, dirt and succulents in each layer!  EEEEE I can't wait.
Then you are probably wonderful about the other goodies.  My hubby and I did the usual Christmas pilgrimage to the local huge auction here in Roseville.  It is called Denio's Market and Swap Meet.  It is a great place to get about anything.  Except maybe succulents.  I may have to do something about that!  So we found this great place that had outdoor fence art and other items.  So he bought me the two suns and the little bench.  The suns will hang on my fence and I will put some pots of lovely succulents on that bench.  Yummo!


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My sister and I also got vertical garden sets from the Cactus Jungle in Berkeley, CA.   This was given to us my nephew, her son Jeff and his girlfriend Jessikah!  I almost jumped out of my chair with excitement.  What a perfect gift for his Aunt Candy!!!!

I also got some great leather garden gloves to work with those crazy cactus of mine.  They will come in very handy.  Oh and I also got a gift certificate from Annie Annuals!  Can't wait to use it in the spring.

So what gardening stuff did you get?  Let me know, I would love to hear.  And please everyone have a wonderful and safe New Year.  I look forward to spending more time with you and sharing more adventures from Sweetstuff's Sassy Succulents!

Until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my Flickr Friends!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their bed,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And Mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eye-how they twinkled His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

I would like to say thank all of you my wonderful friends for visiting my succulent blog.  We have had a wonderful year and I look forward to more succulent Sweetstuff in the coming year.  Merry Christmas to you all and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Baby it's Cold Out There! Succulent Hibernation!

First of all I want to say hello it's great to be back.  Lots of crazy stuff been happening at Sweetstuff's house.  But I'm not going to bore you with all that stuff.  Suffice it to say I have not been up to blogging and put it on the back burner.  It has a bit chilly here in Roseville and my husband and I have been busy putting all my succulents either in the garage, under frost paper or in my Gazebo Greenhouse. Yes you heard me right. We are experimenting with turning our gazebo into a greenhouse. My collection got so big this summer that I didn't have enough room in my garage to overwinter my sweet succulents.


The big wrap up!

First thing we did was put up the mosquito net that fits around this gazebo. Then we went to Home Depot and bought 3.5 mil plastic.  About 10' tall and as long as possible.  It took about three rolls to go all the way around.  We used duck tape and wrapped the plastic around the metal frame work as best as we could. This shot is just at the beginning of our project and we don't have all the plants in there so we could work.


Succulents in gazebo greenhouse

This is the back left side of the greenhouse inside.  Looks kind of weird doesn't it.  I have electricity that runs to this gazebo.  The extension cord goes to some lights that I have in a planter that's behind this gazebo.  I put frost paper over the planter and a set of blanket lights over it.  I am hoping a tiny bit of heat will help them.


Back right

In this shot you can see the plastic being held down by bricks on the right.  We used anything heavy we could think of, rocks, bricks and pots filled with dirt.  I also put a small heater on a table inside.  It is definitely helping.  But I may have to get another when the weather dips a bit lower like it will do a time or two in the winter.


Bricks and rocks

This is the front right corner.  Rock and bricks being used to hold down the plastic.  During that big wind storm we had that rock kept falling down so I will have to come up with some heavier objects.


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I bought some three string Christmas lights and wrapped them around the inside of the gazebo.  It is really bright with them on.  I will be keeping them attached.  They will be great for entertaining in the summer.  Here you can see the top and see how we attached the plastic.  Not very scientific but so far had some pretty big winds and not one has come off.


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Imagine no plastic in the summer.  Sitting outside on a warm evening. The glow from these lights, surrounded by my succulents, friends and drinking an iced tea.  Sounds like a heavenly evening.

My glowing gazebo greenhouse at night

Now I have a big night light in my back yard!  The glow looks so pretty!


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We put a thermometer outside the gazebo greenhouse and inside.  Great idea of my husbands.  We wanted to compare outside temps to inside to see if it works or not.  It's at an angle but the temp show's to be about 39 degrees.


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So this is the inside thermometer.  As you can see it is about a 5 degree difference.  As you can see I tucked it in with my ripsalis.  So it works pretty good for now.  I am worried about the big wind storms we get though.


Part of Garage hibernation

Check out my old card table piled with pots of succulents.  They are hiding underneath also.  We had to leave space to the right so I could get into my pantry and to the left is my hubby's Jeep.  Have to be able to walk by that.  But actually now we do have some smaller plants on the left hand side.  Had to have a place to put my succulent BBQ!.  Behind this table is another one covered with a Xmas plastic tablecloth.  This table is also covered with potted plants and as many as I can stuff underneath as possible.  We open the garage whenever we are home and the sun is out.  I roll some of the pots out from underneath there hiding spots to get some sun.


Hibernating Succulents

This is the left side of our garage if you are facing the opening.  This table is pretty big and really sturdy.  Lot's of room underneath also.  You can't see in this shot but continuing down into the garage I have potted plants hanging out on rolling chairs, old trunks, whatever has an empty space to place something.


Madagascar Palm

This last year I repotted this Madagascar Palm plant.  And by the looks of it's continued growth I will be repotting it again soon.  As you have probably noticed most of my larger potted plants are on rolling platforms.  I think this next year I may try to make my own.  The ones you buy in the stores don't last long.  The plastic wheels collapse under the weight of the pot.




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Underneath the frost cloth is my opuntia cresting microdasys.  It always takes a hit this time of year.  I am hoping this time will be better.


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This is the long skinny planter behind my gazebo.  Boy was it tough covering this up.  But well worth the effort.  I don't usually get it this covered and I lose a lot of succulents.  Hopefully this year I will be luckier.


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This is my front porch.  It has this little protected corner.  I put a bunch of my smaller pots of succulents next to the house in this corner.  I am crossing my fingers on this one cause some of these potted plants look really great.


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This is my front planter.  First thing I did was take all of the neighbors leaves and pile them on top of my plants.  I did the same thing last year.  It worked out great.  I then covered them with the largest frost cloth I could find.  It's hard to tell but it is anchored down with rocks.


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This is the new planter I show'd you in a previous post.  I have covered it just like the other's but no leaves.  It's pretty funny but this one is anchored with some old ski racks.  You can see one in the front by the lights.  I am glad they are still coming to some use.  LOL


Echeveria Gibbiflora hybrid

Echeveria gibbiflora
Here is one of my garage hibernator's.  This giant is the echeveria I deadheaded just before the cool weather started.  It's called echeveria gibbiflora.  It was so crooked I just had to.  It is already starting to turn toward the sun but the leaves are getting a bit floppy.  I don't know if it's the cold or if it needs water.  It is in the garage now in semi-hibernation.  What do you think?  By the way I did give it some water and think it is a bit better.  Don't want to give it to much this time of year.


Sedum nussbaumerianum

Sedum nussbaumerianum
I'm going to end this post with the above gorgeous copper colored sedum.  It is also hibernating in the the garage.  All my succulents and myself are waiting....just waiting for the warmer weather.  In the meantime I am hunkering down in front of my heater we put in the living room and drinking hot cocoa.  Dreaming of sugar plums shaped like........succulents.  LOL

Hope everyone is keeping warm and is happy and healthy.  Have a wonderful holiday season and hope everyone is spending time with their friends and family at this time of year.

Until later:

It's Another Beautiful Day! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A great gift from The Succulent Perch


Gift from The Succulent Perch

I am one lucky girl!  I met a wonderful woman named Cindy Davison on Facebook.  She is one of the many members of a group called the Succulent Fanatics.  We share photos and planting ideas for succulents.  She lives in San Diego and has started a company called The Succulent Perch.  She specializes in made to order custom succulent rooftop birdhouses for those seeking something unique in housing.


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Her philosophy is simple:  Create - Share - Nurture

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To Create a sense of relaxation and wonder when viewed from indoors or out... Share with nature by providing a habitat for our feathered friends... Nurture our connection to plants, birds and nature.
Here is a little information about Cindy and her company.

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Cindy and I became fast friends and since we were going to exchange plants by mail she was so sweet to send me one of her enchanting birdhouses as a surprise.  I love it so much I have ordered a couple to be sent as gifts to some special people.  Here are some other examples that can be ordered.


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My beautiful Succulent greenhouse

Here is a better shot of the birdhouse of mine!  Isn't it gorgeous!

Top of succulent bird house

Here is a shot of the top.  My bird house includes the following succulents:  Echeveria pulvinata 'Frosty', Graptosedum 'Alpenglow/Vera Higgins', Kalanchoe tomentosa 'Chocolate soldier', Echeveria hybrid 'Doris Taylor & Sedum 'Aurora' rubrotinctum.

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These birdhouses would make wonderful Christmas gifts.  They are very easy to take care of and no matter where you live in the U.S. Cindy will try to add succulents that will do the best in your area.  There are three different prices depending on what style is chosen and they are very reasonable.  For prices and ordering information please contact her at either the phone number or email address below.


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Have a wonderful week and hope everyone stays warm!  My succulents are either in the garage or in gazebo I tried to turn into a greenhouse.  The other delicate succulents in the ground are now covered by frost cloth.  More on that in another post.  The holiday's are coming so I'm off to go shopping and then it's time to bake cookies!

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Huntington Botanical Gardens The Greenhouse (part 2)

Huntington Gardens Greenhouse

We are back in the greenhouse at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino.  What an incredible greenhouse full of rare and beautiful succulents.  If you missed post number one you need to check it out.  Click here and you can look at it first!  In the above shot I am showing you the upside down cactus from the first post with big beautiful succulents of different kinds hanging out down below.


Abromeltiella brevifolia

Abromeltiella brevifolia
Let's start off another visit to the greenhouse with this beautiful clumping succulent.  They grow mostly on hillsides and do well in rock gardens.  They can form mounds up to 2 1/2 feet thick.  Easily propigated with rhyzones cut from the underside of this plant.  This beauty is from Bolivia and does not do well in temperatures below 45F.


Buiningia Brevicylindrica

Buiningia Brevicylindrica
This cylindrical cactus is from Brazil.  I don't know a lot about cactus of this kind so I don't know why half of it is all fuzzy like that.  Maybe one of you know why this happens and what it is called.


Encholirium reflexum

Encholirium reflexum
Another beautiful succulent from Brazil.  I googled this succulent and could not find any useful information at all.  I took a photo of the tag and the name is correct.  It was hand written.  Wouldn't you like to have one of these.  Must be rare or the name is slightly off.


Kalanchoe laetivirens

Kalanchoe laetivirens
I love Kalanchoe's and this one is from Madagascar.  This succulent can get 6 to 12 inches tall.  As you can see it get's lots of little babies along it's leaf margins.  These will fall off and make more plants.  It likes sun to partial shade but not direct sun.


Rebutia fiebrigii

Rebutia fiebrigii
Look at these beautiful orange flowers.  Those flowers and the rust colored spines against the green plant make this a very handsome plant.  This one looks to be reproducing little ones quite a bit.  All the little mounds would make it easy for cultivation.  This succulent is from Bolivia.  These plants like full sun and look out they are susceptible to spider mites!



Rebutia Heliosa x R. Albiflora

Rebutia Heliosa x R. Albiflora
This is a beautiful clumping type of cactus.  As they continue to multiply they grow into this beautiful mound of white beauty.  I looked on line and the Huntington posted a shot of the flowers and they were a pale yellow.  But other cultivars I saw were a pink from light to dark.


Trichodladema bulbosum

Trichodladema bulbosum
This beautiful succulent which hales from South Africa is known as the African Bonzai. This Caudiciform ( which means plants that store water in their stem bases or roots) succulent has long stems that branches heavily and forms low rounded shrubs.  As you can see the flowers are violet to purple red with a yellow center. 

Another crazy claudiciform


Euphorbia cylindrifolia ssp. tuberifera Rauh


Stapelia grandiflora flower

Stapelia grandiflora
This is the flower of the Stapelia grandiflora.  It is from Southern Africa.  Another one of it's common names is the carrion flower.  That is because it smells like a dead animal.  Supriseingly this photo does not show a fly on the flower.  There were many that kept landing and they help with pollination.  The stems are quadrangular in shape lengthwise which you will see in the next photo.  These succulents do well down to 40 degrees F.

   
Stapelia grandiflora

Stapelia grandiflora 
Here is a photo of the actual plant.  The flowers come from the base of the stems.  Because I love these plants so much I am going to show you another interesting shot.


Stapelia grandiflora opening flower and bud

Stapelia grandiflora bud and bud opening
Look at the shape of the buds and see how the one is opening. And those long white hairs make them look so fuzzy.  These flowers can be as big as your hand outstretched.


Wow me!

Mammillaria hernandezii
I think they should call this cactus the "Hide and Seek" cactus.  I read on the internet that in the wild these cactus are so low growing that when it is the dry season or very hot they will contract so much that they go underground and can't be seen.  Sometimes all you see is the flowers pushing up from the soil.  Even though you know exactly where they are in their natural state when they are contracted they cannot be found.  Isn't that crazy?!!!!


What color is this?


Cleistocactus winterii



Last look at the greenhouse

On our way out of the greenhouse at Huntington's Botanical gardens I had to turn around and take one last look and picture.

Next at Huntington's Botanical Gardens we will continue our walk around the desert section.  Lots more photos and information to share on all the incredible succulents we saw.  You won't believe your eyes on what's to come.

I hope that everyone is keeping themselves and their succulents warm.  Have a great week and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Look what I made!

This pumpkin is ALIVE!

I was inspired by a post of Debra Lee Baldwin on these beautiful decorated succulent pumpkins!  Laura Eubanks at Design4Serenity.com is designing and putting together these wonderful living pumpkins.  She is an award winning succulent designer from Southern California.  She is making these beautiful pumpkins for people in her area to buy.  It would really be impossible for these to be shipped.  She is an excellent designer and even has Christmas ones ready for the holidays!


Another decorated pumpkin!

This is pumpkin number two.  To take care of these all you have to do is spritz the plants with water once a week.  They can come in the house for about a week but should stay outside on your porch in the shade the rest of the time as long as it is not freezing.  With proper care these can last up to a year.  When the pumpkin starts to rot just scrape the succulents off the top with a spatula and plant in the ground.  Throw away the rest of the pumpkin.

I am hoping to sell these in my area.  If anyone in my area of Sacramento, CA is interested please leave me a comment.  Hopefully I can find a supply of these beautiful pumpkins so I can make more.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.  I am still working on part two of my Huntington Gardens Greenhouse post.  I should be done with it soon.

It's Another Beautiful Day!