Sunday, October 30, 2011

Huntington Botanical Gardens, The Greenhouse part 1

Inside the Greenhouse

Inside the Succulent greenhouse at Huntington Botanical Gardens was like walking into another world.  There were succulents from all over the globe inside.  At this point my hubby and I were still at the beginning of the desert section and were still following a tour guide.  But inside this greenhouse is where we fell way behind.  I just kept looking and taking photos.  Some of the succulents in this greenhouse I will probably never see anywhere else.  And I will show them to you!  I took tons of pics in this greenhouse because the plants were so great so I may do the greenhouse in two posts.

Dioscorea Macrostachya

Dioscorea Macrostachya
Curious plant with tuber is above ground level covered with layers of corky bark, resembling a caudex. Slow-growing. It is a very unusual succulent. Its main feature is a large, corky caudex that grows up to one meter in habitat, resembling an elephant foot (hence the popular name). The caudex looks as if it is segmented into geometric patterns (smaller plants look like tortoises) and looks dead but is actually a living tuber. A plant with a 18" caudex can be 75 years or older. The plant grows into a vine with attractive heart-shaped leaves and small yellow flowers.

Dioscorea Macrostachya

Tuber of Dioscorea Macrostachya
Looks like a turtle shell to me!

Glottiphyllum oligocarpum

Glottiphyllum oligocarpum
Isn't this a beauty.  This is from South Africa.

Mammillaria Spinosissima ssp. polyacanthae

Mammillaria Spinosissima ssp. polyacanthae
Now this is an interesting plant from Mexico.  It likes to grow upside down.  Now the tour guide said that in the wild these cactus like to grow upside down like this so they cut a hole in the bottom of a pot and planted this cactus and it has grown like crazy.

Mammillaria Spinosissima ssp. polyacanthae from Mexico

Here is a shot of the bottom of the pot this crazy cactus is growing in.  You would think it's weight would pull it out.  But it does not.

Stenocactus crispatus

Stenocactus crispatus
This interesting succulent is from Mexico and can only be propagated from seed.

Mammillaria Fraileana from Mexico

Mammillaria Fraileana from Mexico

Welwitschia Mirabilis

Welwitschia Mirabilis

An adult welwitschia consists of two leaves, a stem base and roots. That is all! Its two permanent leaves are unique in the plant kingdom. They are the original leaves from when the plant was a seedling, and they just continue to grow and are never shed. They are leathery, broad, strap-shaped and they lie on the ground becoming torn to ribbons and tattered with age.  These plants are truly one of a kind. The estimated lifespan of these plants is 400 to 1500 years old.  This has been proved through carbon dating.  I do not know what the age of these are.   The sexes are seperate in these plants.  I believe that this is a male.  For more information in regards to this plant check out this web site.

These plants are so awesome and unusual that I took quite a few photos.  The greenhouse had about 5 of them.  Since they are so different I will show some of the others.  They don't want to be left out!

Welwitschia Mirabilis

I think this is a male and female.  The male is on the left.

Welwitschia Mirabilis

Welwitschia Mirabilis

Welwitschia Mirabilis

These two plants are surrounded by Stapelia grandiflora.  I will show them in the next post.  They were really beautiful and blooming all over.  You can probably see a couple in this photo.

That is it for now.  I hope you enjoyed.  These are some very interesting and incredibly unusual plants.  The last one I don't think I will ever see again.  Unless I go back for another visit.  Yes!!!

Have a great week and I will try to visit everyone soon.

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Update on Strawberry pot

I have a new follower named Becca from Australia.  She has a great blog called Trusting Skybax.  She has requested to know how the succulent strawberry pot was doing that I did a post about here.  So I am happy to oblige.  It is doing so great I was going to show you anyway.  I know I promised the next post would be on the Huntington's but I am still working on it.  

Succulent Flower pot side 1s

Side number 1.  It is filling in so nicely!

Succulent flower pot side 2

Another side and that Kalanchoe marnieriana is reaching out to grab you.  The Crassula muscosa has almost taken over the top.

Succulent flower pot view 3

Another view and look how large the echeveria glauca is.  You can't see the hole!

Favorite view of Succulent flower pot

This might be my favorite view!  The crassula perforata is doing very well in that hole in the center.  The Pachyphytum bracteosum in the bottom left has gotten big and plump.  I love that group of succulents.  And  Graptoveria 'Bella' right above it is awesomely enormous.  Is awesomely a word?  Haha!

Top view of Succulent strawberry pot

Top view of the pot.  Sorry to say the sedum donkey tail did not make it.  Not exactly sure why because I plant cuttings  in other places and they take hold.  Oh well, not much room in the top what with that Crassula muscosa and the Sedum Rubrotinctum taking over.  

Ok succulent lovers, back to work on the Huntington post I promised you.  Hope you all have a great week.

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Best find of the year!!! And new planter taking shape!

Euphorbia Milii 'Crown of Thorns'

Just had to share!  I've been working on my new planter most of last week into the weekend.  I had to go to Lowe's to get dirt and of course I had to look at current supply of succulents.  Got a little Golden Barrel cactus and thought I was done.  As I headed toward the cash register out of the corner of my eye I spotted this huge plant.  My head whipped around and I almost gave myself whiplash.  What did I see but this gorgeous Euphorbia Milii 'Crown of Thorns'.  They had about 4 of them and the price was $18.00.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I was at a nursery a few weeks ago and I almost got one about 1/3 this size for $25.00.  I almost ran to the cash register just in case they made a mistake.

Euphorbia Milii 'Crown of Thorns' close up

Just wanted to show you a close up of these healthy leaves.  Euphorbia Milii is from Madagascar and can get 3' tall.  Dave's Garden says that it is ok to 25 degrees F but I am kind of afraid to leave it outside here in Roseville, CA.  I have lost so many succulents.  It likes sun to partial shade and blooms all year long.  The blooms can be pink, red, pale yellow and almost white.  Just like all euphorbia's it is really poisonous.  The milky fluid that comes when skin is broken is very harmful to skin and eyes.  This plant has pink blooms I am pretty sure.  It has some old ones on it and they are kind of pinkish.

New planter (not finished yet)

Here is the new planter in front of my house on left side.  My son Jordan dug all the old plants and dirt out.  Took him quite a while and lots of muscle.  He also layed the brick and with my hubby's help put all the dirt and Dry Stall in to get ready for my plants.  Then it was my turn to take over.  It is still not done.  Lot's of plants and rocks are still waiting to go in.

Pot overflowing

This was my husbands great idea.  This pot had no hole in the bottom.  So really for me it's not very useful because I would forget and overwater the plant in it.  So we half burried it in the corner of the planter.  I added some broken roof tiles inside the pot then added soil.  I want it to eventually look like the pot has fallen over and the plants are flowing out.  I have more plants to add and these will grow and fill in.  But I really like this idea!

Circle of cactus

 In the center is a Echinocactus grusonii 'Golden barrel cactus' so is the little one on the left.  The cactus in the front is a Notocactus magnificus.  The white one on the right is Oreocereus trollii.  It has red spines and is covered with this long hairlike substance.

Left side of new planter

Back left side of my new planter in front of my house.  I got that beautiful aloe on the left from a great guy at the Carmichael Cactus & Succulent society sale this summer.  Robin Stockwell from Succulent Gardens has identified it as Aloe saponaria.  It has lots of babies in the back.  Behind it to the right is  Kalanchoe panamensis which will multiply and crawl around.  To the right the cactus is a small Pachycereus pringlei 'False Saguaro or "Cardon".  It is from Mexico and can grow to 70' tall.  The flowers are white and look a lot like the Saquaro flowers.  It grows faster than a Saquaro and when it gets older it will lose it's needles.  To it's right are 4 little Myrtillocactus geometrizans 'Blue Myrtle Cactus'.  This is a columnar cactus that can get 10' tall.  It is native to Mexico, Central America and Baja, CA.  They get satin white flowers.  Hopefully it will do well.  It does not handle frost well so might have to cover with a bucket in the winter.  The spikey thing in front is Agave stricta 'Hedgehog Agave'.  Very sharp spins on this one.  And it tends to grow in clumps.  So it may not stay in this planter for long.  

Echeveria Decorum

Echeveria Decorum
I wanted to show you a few of the pretties I added to my new planter so far.

Echeveria hybrid

Echeveria Mahogany
I don't know the exact name of this hybrid but the color is amazing!  Hope it does well!
Thank you so much Robin Stockwell from Succulent Gardens for helping me with the names of a lot of these succulents!  It looks like quite a few were mislabeled.

Echeveria Ciliata x nodulosa

Echeveria Ciliata x nodulosa
One of my favorites.  Love the red edges.  I have this planted in my new planter out front.  It is one of the succulents that is pouring out of the buried pot.

Echeveria pulidonis

Echeveria pulidonis hybrid with agavoides
This echeveria is really small.  I planted it so it will flow out of the pot also.

Sedum Nussbaumerianum

Sedum adolphi hybrid
Native to Mexico this is an excellent ground cover.  It is also great for hanging baskets.  This is flowing out of the pot along with some burro's tail sedum.  It is suppose to be a coppertone color.  This one has been in the shade for a long time so hopefully it will change color in the sun.  

Senecio Scaposus 'Silver coral'

Senecio Scaposus 'Silver coral'
This is native to South Africa.  It forms finger like leaves covered with white spider web like coating.  This succulent would look great if you were making a ocean themed pot or planter.


Sempervivum calcareum tectorum
I don't know what kind this is but I love the color.  Check out those little babies around the bottom.

The next post will be Huntington Botanical Gardens part 2.  I'll start working on it now because it seems to take me forever to put a post together.  Hope everyone is having a great week.

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Huntington Botanical Gardens Part 1

If you are a serious succulent lover where is the one place in California you would want to go?  For me it is the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA.   The last time I was there was about 30 years ago.  I really wasn't into photography much and I had not yet acquired my love of succulents.  I did have a camera at that time and took a photo of a huge Golden Barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii).  I don't think we actually went into the desert section, just the edge headed toward the Japanese garden.  It was really beautiful and I blew the photo up into an 8 X 10 and had it hanging in my craft room for years.  Somewhere inside I think there was a Succulent Fanatic trying to get out.

Aloe bainesii barberae "Aloe tree"

Aloe bainesii Barberae "Aloe Tree"
This aloe is a native of South Africa.  It can reach 54' tall.  It has pink flowers in the winter.

This is the first thing we saw on our way into the desert section.  I have to tell you that my head was spinning around like crazy trying to see everything.  I felt like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.  There was so much to see and photograph.  We decided to try and catch up with a tour that was starting at this very tree.  The man was very informative and told us some interesting stuff about the different succulents.  But I'm sorry to say that I was having a hard time paying attention because I was taking so many photos.  I was very courteous of him speaking though and did not interfere.  I did ask him some questions though that made him realize I knew something about the subjects.  We stayed with him until we reached the succulent greenhouse.  Then Stan and I struck out on our own.  

Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue'

Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue'
This agave  is a native to Mexico.  In the spring it blooms a beautiful greenish yellow but not until the plant is around 10 years old.

These beautiful blue agave's are everywhere in Southern California.  And these are surrounding the Agave Tree above.  They are so big and beautiful and I love their color.  

Aeonium 'Jack Catlin' hybrid

Aeonium 'Jack Catlin' hybrid
The color on these aeoniums was so amazing.  The green in the middle and brick color on the outside.  This huge patch of them was breathtaking and this photo does not do them justice.  Oh and just look at the background.  Every time I took a shot I pointed at something in the background.  Oh, oh let's look at that.  Stan would say hold on a minute we will get there.  So funny!

Crassula Falcata

Crassula Falcata
Another succulent from South Africa.  It can grow to 4' tall.  Likes shade to full sun.  Seems to need full sun part of the day to bloom.

Just look at this giant plant.  I have one of these but it does not like Roseville, CA.  This is so amazing to see such a big beautiful specimen like this!

Euphorbia lambii is the little 'tree in middle', all around it's base is Aloe petricola.

Euphorbia lambii is the little tree in the middle and all around it's base is Aloe Petricola
Euphorbia lambii is a native of the Canary islands.  It is also known as the Tree Euphorbia.  Can grow 6' to 10' tall.  Annie Annuals says it does good in Northern California so I have it on my wish list.

Down in the front is the Aeonium 'Jack Catlin'.  Palm trees are mixed in some of the areas and you can see the Aloe Tree in the background.  I would like one of these Euphorbia's but I wonder how it would do here in Roseville, CA.  And how long did it take to get that big?

Aloe Glauca

Aloe Glauca
This succulent is from the Western Cape of South Africa.  This aloe produces beautiful stalks of red flowers.
Because I took so many photographs I am going to do many posts on my visit.  This is just post 1 of many.  I think with each post I will give you a little history of Huntington Botanical Garden and the desert garden.

The Huntington was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington.  Mr. Huntington had a vast financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities and real estate holdings in Southern California.  Mr. Huntington was very passionate about art, books and gardens.  He was born in 1850 in Oneonta, New York.  In 1872 he went to work for his uncle, Collis P. Huntington who was one of the owners of the Central Pacific Railroad.  He worked for the CPR for 20 years then his uncle wanted him to help manage the Southern Pacific Railroad.  On the way to San Francisco he visited the J. DeBarth Shorb estate "San Marino".  He must have liked what he saw because he later bought it and now the estate is home to his collections.

The botanical gardens cover 120 acres with more than a dozen specialized gardens.  The most popular sections are the Japanese gardens, Desert garden, Rose garden and Chinese garden.  After the desert garden my husband and I went through the subtropical jungle garden and it was quite beautiful.

Kalanchoe marmorata 'Pen-Wiper Plant'

Kalanchoe marmorata 'Pen-Wiper Plant'
Such a pretty scene with the aeoniums on the right and the base of that giant aloe behind.

Lampranthus Piquetbergensis

Lampranthus Piquetbergensis
This is a type of ice plant from South Africa.  It is a low growing, trailing succulent.  Hardy to 20 degrees F.  It can get 10" tall and the leaves can be 1" long.

What a glorious day we had!  I am so glad that I can share our time with you.  Please check back for more photos and information from our Huntington adventure.  In between I will be keeping you up to date on Sweetstuff's Succulents.

Until then:

It's Another Beautiful Day!
I have had a few people ask why I end each post with this.  Please refer to this post.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Succulent Extravaganza in Castroville, CA part 2

Hello again fellow succulent lovers. If you read my previous post you will know why I am excited to get you part 2.  A couple of days ago I posted about the fabulous Succulent Extravaganza event held at the Succulent Gardens in Castroville, CA.  What a wonderful event and I can't wait to mark it on my calendar for next year.  In the last post I show'd you mostly the grounds of this terrific nursery so this time we will go inside the greenhouses to show you what super succulents and displays they have.  I still have a couple of shots of special things I saw outside so I will stick them in too!

Tall Succulents

Succulent Gardens did not have a lot of cactus but these succulents were quite beautiful.  I am not sure but I think the tall green succulents are euphorbia candelabrum.  Too the left is one of my favorites Alluaudia procera from Madagascar.


This sleepy ceramic mexican's hat was just stuffed with different color sempervivum, echeveria and crassula.  Check out the pots behind also.  The painted pots with cactus and shrubs were so colorful.  The aeonium 'sunburst' poking out of the pot  on the right really drew me in.  I really wanted to snap one up but alas I didn't have enough money to spend.  I guess I will have to stare at my photos and dream.

My love spills over

Again my mouth was hanging open when I saw this incredible planter.  Succulents of all kinds just spilling over the side.  The colors were just incredible.  I wanted to dive right in and swim around.  And look at the echeveria's tucked in between the rocks looking all happy.  The color contrast is eye popping.  And the Euphorbia tirucalli 'Fire stick" on the left just adds to the scene.

Red Echeveria

 Echeveria Gibbiflora 'Volcano'

Inside the huge greenhouses of Succulent Gardens was a wonderful assortment of beautiful echeveria's.  I don't think I have ever seen a more beautiful collection of hybrids ever.  I don't know the name of this beauty but hopefully Debra Baldwin or Robin at Succulent Gardens can help me out.  I could not find a tag but I went home with a small one.  Hee hee!

I would like to thank Tiffany at Succulent Gardens for the name of this wonderful echeveria!

Echeveria 'Etna'

  Echeveria 'Etna'
Those bumps are called caruncles. My husband gave this succulent another name, Elephant man! He is a funny guy.

Thank you so much Tiffany at Succulent Gardens for the correct name for this beauty!

Succulent wall

Near the entrance to Succulent Garden was this large Gazebo.  Each side was covered in this beautiful mosaic carpet of succulents.  So many different varieties and designs.  At lunch time they had a yummy taco vendor.  With so many people all around and the vendor table and canopy I couldn't get a good shot of the whole thing.  So I grabbed a close up of one side.  Such an amazing piece of work.

Succulent wreaths

These succulent wreaths were so perfect.  You could purchase different sizes if I remember right.  They also had kits so you could put them together yourself.  Can you imagine one of these on your front door?  I can!

Succulent Frame

Keeping along the same subject of vertical gardening as the previous photo this beautiful succulent frame was up for grabs.  It is just stuffed with sempervivums, crassulas and echeverias.

Succulent house

Succulent house
I love this!  This just shows the different shapes you can come up with for vertical gardening.

Looky looky

The retail section of Succulent Gardens had great mini displays of wonderful succulents and sculpture. You can see Stan wandering around in the back left of the photo.  Probably trying to find things to hide so I won't buy them! 

Agave love

This display showcased many varieties of beautiful aloes.  Boy I really wanted the varigated one on the bottom right but darn couldn't get it.    It is called Agave Cornelius.  I may have to look for it! And look at that tall kalanchoe.  I had no idea they could grow so tall.

Birds and dreams of tapestry

Birds and dreams of tapestry
Check out this cool garden sculpture. There were a few different birds like this.  Very whimsical.  Now that wall hanging on the left really had me dreaming.  I wanted it soooooo bad.  I have so many succulents in my backyard I know I would have had enough cuttings to fill it up.  Oh well, my dreams will have to wait.

Double the fun

Couple more groups shots of pretties in the retail area.  The pots available were really great.  They even had some talavera items but sorry no pics.  What was I thinking?  That Euphorbia Amak on the left is very tall but there was a bigger one in another area.  They had quite a few Aloe plicatilis 'fan aloe' for sale and planted around the grounds.  See the plant in the front in picture on the right.  I have a little baby and it should take quite a while to get the size of theirs. 

Bloomin Love

Ferocactus peninsulae
So we are back outside again.  I don't know the name of this barrel shaped cactus.  It was in the front planter at the entrance.  You couldn't avoid seeing the flowers.  I have never seen any like these.  It was cool to see the seed pods that had already formed. 

Yeah thanks to Gerhard at Bamboo and More this cactus has a name!

Stripes and hooks

Macro of the cactus flower.  A little blurry but I still like it.

Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla)

Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla)
One of my favorite aloe's.  This is not mine but I do have one.  It is younger and I have a hard time with it here in Roseville.  They don't like the hot sun we get in the summer.  When these aloes get older that's when you see the perfect spiral.  It can go clockwise and counter clockwise.

I hope you enjoyed the photos and this visual tour of Succulent Gardens.  I am really glad that we made the drive to this wonderful event.  I look forward to next year when they have their 2nd annual Succulent Extravaganza.  If you are in California at the time you should try to stop by.  It's something every succulent lover should see.  

It's Another Beautiful Day!