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 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!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall at Sweetstuff's Succulent Garden

At this time of year I like to go out and take stock of my accomplishments during the spring and summer.  I go all around my garden and pots and take a bunch of photos.  I do this at the beginning of spring also and then I can  do a comparison. I can see how much the cactus grew around the fence and then how many more pots I have around the gazebo!  Hahahaha!  This year I think I went a little crazy.  But if any of you that were following me last year remember, I ruptured a couple of disc last summer and was on my back for a couple of months.  The prime gardening months too!!!  So I think I had a right to go crazy!

Opuntia In May

This beautiful optunia fell down about a month after this photo.  I talked about it in this post.  It was a twin with another one a bit to the left of this photo!  I have replanted this area but I will miss the beautiful flowers it produced.  It also gave my back yard planter a bit of balance.

Lookin on down

Looking down my planter (in the other direction from the previous photo) from the place where my opuntia fell this spring you can see my new plantings.  I decided to plant a new type of opuntia, a red yucca, golden barrel cactus and a small Pachycereus pringlei (also called a false saguaro).  I've also got a succulent grown cover growing that has beautiful red flowers.  Of course at the moment I can't come up with the name.

Golden barrel and Santa Rita opuntia

My Echinocactus grusonii or golden barrel cactus just keeps growing and growing.  I love the contrast in color with it and the Opuntia 'Santa Rita' growing behind it.

Spilling the beans

I found this pot at at Joanne's a few years ago.  It has a flat bottom like it is half buried in the dirt.  I planted some Sedum rubrotinctum.  

My gazebo is full

I know this may look like a crowded mess but to me it is succulent heaven.  The summer's in Roseville, CA are very hot.  The sun will scorch some of the tender succulents in one afternoon.  I don't have one tree on our property and this patio gets the afternoon burning sun.  I would love a covered patio....but you know how things are.  When I sit under this gazebo with a glass of tea and am surrounded by my succulents it is great!

In the middle I have a large green umbrella.  As you can see it is down in this photo.  It gives a little more shade to plants growing in between the gazebo and my planting area.  Speaking of planting area, it is to the left of the umbrella and has the open sided cover over it.  I have a lot of room.  Inside this area I have an old desk with drawers for gloves, tools etc.  It's a great elevated area to plant.  I have a lot of plants in this area also since it has more shade.  This year I added shelves for my pots so they won't be just piled up in the corner.

Dasylirion wheeleri  and Opuntia Engelmann

Dasylirion wheeleri and Opuntia Engelmannii
The Dasylirion started as a little thing and has really grown like crazy.  The base must be 12 or 14 inches wide.  It looks like a yucca but is not.  It is really hardy here and in other places like the Southwest.  It can take temperatures down to -15 degrees F.  This one has a couple of babies coming off the side.  I can't seperate without getting my arms ripped up.  The thin leaves are very jagged.  The birdbath that you can barely see to the left is planted with cactus.  It get's a lot of sun.  And this opuntia has really grown quite a bit.  You can't see but it is growing over the fence.

Opuntia, Cylindropuntia arbuscula (type of cholla), Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' and cereus

A recent shot of the remaining large opuntia with it's fellow succulents getting ready for winter.  You can see the 'San Pedro' has some old flower buds hanging on it and the cereus has some fruit.  The fruit is now gone and already eaten.  He he!

Unnamed opuntia, Austrocylindropuntia subulata crested and unnamed euphorbia

Believe it or not this opuntia is really old.  As old as the other's.  Thanks to a friend on Facebook I have a name.  It is called opuntia cochenillifera.  It just doesn't grow as fast and if it is not watered enough the pads fall off!  LOL  But the blooms it gets are so amazing.  I'll show you a pic. The succulent in the middle is crested.  I almost lost it a couple of years ago.  It got a black fungus around the base that grew up the plant.  I didn't know what to do so I just took a knife and carved all the black stuff off.  I thought it would die but nope.  Hard to believe.

Blowing a raspberry!

Now isn't this a strange flower!

Bunny hiding

I planted a couple of euphorbia's in the back left of this planter.  I have the name somewhere darn it.  Can't find it.  Echeveria's, aeoniums, aloe, different sedums and climbing pink bower live here.


This is the other end of the succulent bed that is against my side fence next to the gazebo.  It get's quite a bit of shade except for right about noon.  I have a large table unbrella set up over this area.  It helps keep these succulents from burning in the hot noon sun.  Aeonium voodoo is happy with a tall Kalancho fedtschenkoi growing against the fence and a crassula next to it.  Underneath is Senecio Kleiniiformis,  sedum and sempervivum.  And boy if you want exact names it will take some digging.  

Opuntia neoargentina with fruit and Opuntia Robusta

Opuntia neoargentina and Opuntia robusta
I bought the neoargentina when it was only about 5 inches high.  It's about 5' tall now.  The red fruit is from last year's flowers.  The robusta's fruit is just starting to turn red now.  I love the contrast in color of these two.  The robusta is spine free and the neoargentina has many long ones and lots more pads.

Cresting Opuntia microdasys, Barrel cactus and Echeveria glauca

The colors, textures and shapes in this planter are some of my favorite.

Fall in the front planter

When I go out my front door I always get joy when looking to my left at the planter we started 3 years ago.  At this time of year the neighbors tree drops leaves all over this area.  I will actually rake them up and add more because they add a lot of insulation from the cold.  This area will get covered with green frost cloth when it gets colder.  In the spring it is easy to remove the leaves.  At the same time I can check the plants, remove dead leaves and any weeds that have grown.

My big blue Pot and luscious Kalanchoe marnieriana

The changing of the seasons always effects my aeoniums in the big blue pot.  Right now it is so full and green.  As it get's colder they will turn redish color.  And when they don't get enough water the 'flowers' close up a bit.  The blue kalanchoe belows grow like weeds and are easy to cut and start elsewhere.

Kalanchoe marnieriana

Kalanchoe marnieriana
A closer look at this awesome kalanchoe.  I love the way the leaves fold together and the edges are pink!!!

Finished planter waiting for winter

In a couple of years this planter will be so full I will be yanking plants out and selling or giving them away.  I am excited to see what will happen with it as early as next year.

But now I am happy to look at what I have done and be happy.  But I am worrying about the coming winter.  The frost will be here before I know it and I need to be prepared.  Over a hundred pots need to be protected from the cold weather and frost.  They will not all fit in the garage with my husbands Jeep.  So I am trying to think of other places like the shed and maybe an upstairs bedroom.

Everything will work out though and spring will be here before I know it.   (Wishful thinking!)  In the meantime I hope you all had a good time on our mini tour.  During the winter I will be showing you more pictures I took during the summer and fall.  I even have many photos that I have not shown you from years past.  Plus we still have part 2 of the greenhouse at Huntington's Desert Garden along with the rest of the incredible succulents I saw there.

So have a great week and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!