Monday, February 28, 2011

My first Aeonium bloom!

My first Aeonium bloom in my Big Blue Pot


I have taken pictures of my Big Blue Pot of aeoniums over the years. I have seen photos of other people's blooming aeoniums but this one would never bloom. Then starting before winter one of my aeoniun flowers began to elongate. It was really interesting to watch. I was worried about it because it stuck out over the sidewalk. I threatened everyone with bodily harm if they broke it off! LOL Everyone was careful and it has now started opening up! It got a little freeze burned on the other side but I am still pleased.



My Big Blue Pot

This is a shot of the Big Blue Pot taken last year. It is a bit bigger now and the Kalanchoe panamensis at the bottom of the pot has gone crazy. It's crawling all over!


It's bloomin time!

Here's some info on aeoniums for you. Hopefully some of it will be helpful. They are winter growers and there root system is very small compared to the plant. Some varieties leaves will change color with the seasons. This one in particular does this. In the winter and early spring it is very red and it gets greener with the hot weather. They do like to have a bit more water in the summer than a lot of succulents. Many varieties will actually go into a kind of dormancy in the summer. They need to be kept out of the scorching heat as they will sunburn. But in the shade and given water they may will grow slowly.

They do not like to be in freezing weather. They actually look like they have melted if they have been frozen. But as long as the freezing weather does not last long (more than one evening or so) your plants will probably come back to life as it gets warmer. Just make sure to cut away any dead parts of the plants and remove fallen leaves to prevent rotting and bug attraction. My Big Blue Pot has done really well over the years without being covered. It could be the kind of aeonium that it is or the fact that I have the pot placed right against the house.

They store the water in the stems and leaves. So if they start wrinkling it's time for lots of water. They also will get air roots off of the stems if they start getting a bit leggy. They are easy to propogate. Just break or cut off one of the 'flowers' with a good part of stem. Wait a week for the cut off portion to harden over. Then stick the stem in your potting soil 2 or 3 inches if possible. Water as necessary and before you know it, it will take off!

Happy planting and have a great week!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stormy Skys photo challenge

Storms a brewin!

Crazy weather here in Northern California. We got dumped on here in the Sacramento valley. It even hailed in Roseville where I live. As I was heading home yesterday I took this shot with my cell phone! I am facing NE toward the Sierra's. As you can see where I am at this intersection we had sun and puffy white clouds. My Dad had to drive to the foothills where he lives and called me when he got there. He said he came home to Christmas! LOL It very rarely snows where he lives.

I am entering this shot in the Bloggers Community Photo Challenge. There are no winners it is just a challenge so I thought this would be fun!

I hope everyone has a sunny fun weekend!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Succulent House

Front of succulent house

First of all I want to let you know that I am home from Southern California. What a tough two weeks it has been. We have Mom set up with 24/7 home care and she seems to be doing pretty good considering. It was really hard to leave her alone but she is in good hands.

Another thing is that my favorite point and shoot camera decided to break. So thank goodness I had taken out a warranty which would have been up in May. It would not auto flash and it wouldn't macro focus. Aaaah! I have the worst luck with cameras. It's like my body has some weird magnetic field that actually degrades and breaks cameras. Only cameras. I don't drop them or misuse them. They just break in weird ways. So I took my camera into Fry's and they gave me a loaner. I think the pics are terrible. So hopefully I will get mine back fixed soon.

So during my travels in South Pasadena I kept passing this great house. What kept jumping out to me was that the whole front yard was practically all succulents. And the kalanchoe's were all blooming. The fluorescent pink color was so intense and there were so many of them. I've never seen anything like it before. So with all the craziness going on and the weather changing every day I finally snuck out on the last morning and took some pictures!


Crazy Kalanchoe blooms

Here is a shot of some of the amazing Kalanchoe blooms!


Ooooh!

Two seperate planters in front of the sidewalk were stuffed with different succulents and low growing grasses.


Other planter at Succulent House

This is the front planter on the left. I love the rocks!


The finale

Here is a shot of the other side of the same planter!


Path through succulents

This side the larger planter had this little grass path running through it and the other side had a rock path. By the way I knocked on the door of the owners house. No one was home though. Darn, I really wanted to see if they would talk succulents with me. Also I was wondering what there back yard looked like!


Giant aeoniums

Lot's of aeoniums in the mix like this beauty about to bloom. Other's were already blooming. And how about that great crassula falcata at the bottom the picture!


More Succulent House

So much beauty everywhere I just couldn't stop taking pictures.


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So many succulents and short grasses I couldn't even identify them all. I also loved the fact that they had tall dracena's and nasturtium planted. I think it was a bit overgrown and needed a little tending but it was so great to see. I hope you all enjoy!

Have a great week!

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Another Beautiful Day

It's Another Beautiful Day

This photo is dedicated to my father in law Vane Suter. He passed away on 2/09/11. He struggled for over 20 years with a debilitating illness called Primary Lateral Sclerosis. This disease robbed him of the use of his body but never his mind. Every day till the end of his life he would greet you with a smile and say," It's Another Beautiful Day!" Every day! This is our family's moto now. He will always be a hero to me in every sence of the word.

The picture was taken in his and my mother in law's back yard. They live in Southern California and the backyard overlooks the valley and the San Gabriel Mountains. It is a beautiful sight.

The whole family has gathered at this location to be together during this time and take care of so many, many things. He took care of everything in this house even with his disability. My mother in law is very ill and we are getting in home care for her. On Sunday we will be having a celebration of life with many friends and family.

During the summer the family will gather for our annual vacation. We are going to charter a boat to take us out to sea and scatter his ashes as a family. As an avid scuba diver (one of the first people in this sport) and boatman this is his request.

Every day please remember that it is another beautiful day!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Epiphyte in bloom!

Look what's blooming!

This beautiful plant is called Hatiora salicornioides. It is a succulent and a epiphyte. Epiphytes are plants that live in treetops. Examples of them are: epiphytic ferns, cacti, bromeliads, orchids, mosses, lichens, ant plants, lycopodiums, ficus, or anything else that grows in trees! I am doing this post for a couple of reasons. First I love this plant and it is in full bloom now and second I really enjoy the blog The Rainforest Garden. He talks about awesome stuff that is really helpful to any gardner. He has a contest right now called Epiphyte day! I hope to win some cuttings from him. So wish me some luck! What's funny is that I was about to do a post on it anyway!


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This is the entire plant. The front has a few different kinds of echeveria's. I usually put this pot outside in a corner by the sliding glass door. This plant faces the wall and it seems to be perfect for it. So the only time I get to enjoy it is in the winter.


Yellow stars

Look at all the pretty blooms. Looks like yellow stars!


Rhipsalis bloom

I took this shot last year I think! Just a single bloom. Didn't know I had aphids till I saw this on the computer! So funny! Everybody have a great week!