You know that feeling in your stomach when you are really excited to go somewhere or do something you've wanted to in a long time? That is how I felt last week and Friday night (the worst) when I was anticipating my trip to Castroville, CA to attend the Succulent Extravaganza at Succulent Gardens! I had butterflies in my tummy like crazy. I couldn't wait to get there to see this wonderful nursery, hear the great speakers and drool over the luscious succulents. I was not disappointed!
This is a partial view of the right side of the entrance.
Before we go any further I gotta tell ya that I took a gazillion photos. I would like to share a bunch with you so we will have to do this in at least two different posts.
Ok, so with that out of the way.....we got there at about 9:40 on Saturday the 1st of October. A bunch of guests were already taking a tour led by Brian Kemble, Ruth Bancroft Garden curator. So we hurried out of the car after grabbing hat and camera. What a great tour. Holy cow that man knows soooo much about succulents. We all got some great information besides seeing the beautiful grounds of this nursery. Afterwards we started wandering before the first speaker (Debra Baldwin) and found big tubs of water, soda's and two kegs of beer. They also had yummy fresh donuts and flats of beautiful red strawberries for all to enjoy absolutely free.
This gorgeous succulent masterpiece was on a wall of a building near the refreshments. I stared at it a long time till my husband looked at me and said, "Candy shut your mouth, your gonna let flies in!" LOL! We then headed into one of the greenhouses that was all set up for the lineup of fabulous spears. First and most important to me was Debra Baldwin. Author of Succulent Container Gardens and Designing with Succulents. She is my succulent guru. Her speech and slide show was very inspirational. I left with a ton of information, signed book and picture of us together. Yippee!
Another great blogger friend of mine Gerhard from Bamboo and More was there on the same day. We didn't see each other but he did a couple of blog posts on the nursery also. You can see part 1 and part 2 on his fabulous blog!
Debra Baldwin and me
What a great lady. She is about as tall as me 5'10" and she commented on that. It was pretty funny.
Debra's speach was from 11-12pm, followed by Landscaping with Succulents, Jarrod Bauman & Davis Dalbok. They are Zeterre Landscape Architecture (Los Gatos) and Living Green (San Francisco). From 2-3pm was Regionalism with an Emphasis on Succulents by Jeffrey Gordon Smith who is an author and award-winning landscape architect. And last but not least from 3-4pm was Vertical Gardening with Succulents by Robin Stockwell. After Debra's presentation I got the itch and had to look around the greenhouses and before I know it the time was gone. Wish I had tried to make Robin's presentation because I am very interested in vertical gardening with succulents. If I had more time I am sure I would have enjoyed them all.
Is this Heaven?
Succulent Gardens is built on 3 acres of beautiful countryside in Monterey county, California. They have three greenhouses built on the site along with one shade house. This is what I encountered when I walked into one of the greenhouses. Ahhhhh!
Shades of Mexico
I just loved this area of the nursery. This adobe wall is the entrance to the courtyard between Greenhouse 1 and 2. Check out these Golden Barrel cactus multiplying like crazy with beautiful Agave's in the back. I love the color combinations.
I could not believe the aeoniums around the greenhouses at the Succulent Gardens. They were huge, some were bigger than dinner plates. There were aeonium zwartkop, canariense, and others. Breathtakingly beautiful!
The embankment that borders the nursery was incredible. The design changed as we walked along the road next to the nursery. This shots shows the beautiful green sempervivums and echeveria's surrounding the circle of blooming echeveria hybrids.
I am pretty sure those are blooming Echeveria 'Dondo', surrounding some beautiful very light echeveria's in this design down a little bit further from the previous photo.
I think this was my favorite part of the continuing embankment. The lazy echeveria river.
I had to show you this panorama shot of the incredible aeoniums planted beside one of the greenhouses.
Aeonium arboreum Zwartkof
Beautiful Golden Barrel cactus with tall agave's in the back.
If you have a large pot that broke do not despair. Leave it lay with crumbled pieces, throw in some dirt and succulents and there you go. I love the surprise and wonderful colors and textures.
This beautiful blooming cactus was at the entrance to the nursery. I love the agave parryi, prickly pears and barrel cactus in this area. The rock ground cover makes me think of Arizona.
I love the variation in color on this beautiful cactus bloom!
I have so many photos this could go on forever. I'm going to stop for now and let you soak this in. I wish you could all have been there with me but I can at least show you what I saw with photos. It was such a wonderful day. In my next post I will show you more of what I saw on the inside. It was a whole other world. Until next post remember...
It's Another Beautiful Day!
It's Another Beautiful Day!