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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
Now isn't this a strange flower!
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 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.
The colors, textures and shapes in this planter are some of my favorite.
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.
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.
A closer look at this awesome kalanchoe. I love the way the leaves fold together and the edges are pink!!!
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!