Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to make a Succulent Strawberry pot!

Did I ever show you this pot?

Hi all you succulent lovers and gardeners out there! I thought I would show you step by step how I make one of my succulent strawberry pots. The one above I put together a year or so ago and it is already established. Today it is even bigger with a lot more growth. So let's get started!

Before

First you need a strawberry pot. Now the pot above is your plain old strawberry pot that you can get at Lowe's or Home Depot. But if you look harder you might find some really great ones that are a little shorter and painted with great colors. They even have small ones that have just 3 holes. I have a medium size pot waiting to be potted after this one. That will make 5. This one was originally potted with echeveria glauca in every hole. It looked really great but then became root bound this last year so a couple of days ago I tore it all out. Now I get to start new.


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The bottom hole can always be a problem in any pot. You don't want any dirt running out with your water of course. You also don't want to plug it up so the water does not drain. I like to use broken up old pots. I lay them over the hole and then in the next shot you will see I put rocks over this. I want to hold the crockery in place and also give any excess water a place to go before it drains out.


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Here you see the rocks I placed over the crockery.


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Time to add some dirt.


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Add your palm and cactus mix potting soil just until it reaches the bottom of the first holes. Now it is time to pick out your plants and cuttings to add to this bad boy!


Lots of plants and different cuttings to add to pot

I have a lot of trimmings from other plants that have been sitting around waiting to be planted in the ground. You need to let your trimmings to sit for about a week to allow the cut end to harden off. Otherwise it will most likely rot and not root. So I have an echeveria bud, some sedum donkey tail, crassula muscosa, Sedum Rubrotinctum and Kalanchoe panamensis. Some new plants to be added are Pachyphytum bracteosum, Crassula 'Moonglow', Crassula perforata variegata, Echeveria compressicaulis, Graptoveria Bella and a Jade plant in a pumpkin pot I have had for a while.


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I like to place my plants in the holes so I can get an idea what the pot will look like. Make sure you do this. Once the plant is planted and you fill this with dirt it is hard to fix a mistake. Make sure if you use a couple of the same plant you place them on opposite sides. Think about having a kind of thriller plant up top 'my Jade plant' and spillers 'donkey tail sedum' around the top edge and maybe a hole or two. You want the thriller to grab someone's attention and the spillers just give the pot a little flow and are just fun. I actually add the pots in the holes if they will fit at this point as you can see in the picture. Of course you remove the pots when you are ready to plant. Remember not to get plants that are too big because they will continue to grow.


Don't squish me

At this point start adding your dirt and as each hole comes up add your plant. Be careful not to tear your plants apart. I add the plants from the outside in. Keep adding the dirt and pack it in. As the plants go in use your fingers to compact the dirt around the plant. Yes the hole will fill up with dirt. Don't be afraid of this because if you compact the dirt enough and follow my next step you won't have a problem. So continue all the way up the pot with dirt and plants and or cuttings. Now you may wonder how does the water get all the way down to the bottom plants when I water. Some people add a plastic water bottle with holes in the middle of there pot and then add water to this. Rubbish!!! Your water will reach the bottom as long as you are patient and water the top and wait till the water seeps out the bottom. Also water each little hole. Make sure when you water the holes you don't use much water pressure. At least until the dirt has completely settled and plants grown a bit.


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To keep the dirt from coming out of the holes when I water "especially in the beginning" I add some decorative rocks over any dirt areas that I think might have a problem. I add them in the top also to complete the look of the pot. I have found by trial and error that this step really helps quite a bit. When the plants start filling in take the rocks out. You won't have trouble with dirt coming out then.


That's one Sassy Succulent Strawberry Pot!

Yeah! I am finished. I think the final product turned out really nice. It will fill out nicely and I love to watch it's progress. After I have put one of these pots together I let it sit for a day or two before I water it. I kind of freaked out the plants with my shenanigans so I give it a break before I water it.

So I hope I made the directions pretty clear. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can add some helpful hints. See below a shot of a smaller pot I planted a couple of years ago. I love the cobalt blue!


Striking!

I took this shot today. The other side looks pretty awesome too! So let me know if you plant one of these guys. I would love to see what you can do! Do a post and let me know! Of course you can add beautiful flowers or anything else your little heart desires. But as you know my heart desires those Sassy Succulents!

Have fun! And remember, It's Another Beautiful Day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Cactus Monday

Surprise!

Happy Cactus Monday
So today was not quite as rainy but it was cool and overcast all day. They promise sunshine tomorrow and into the week. I may just take a chair and sit outside in the rays for a looooong time if it happens!
A couple of days ago I saw about an hour break in the weather and snuck outside and took some pictures. My kalanchoe fedtschenkoi is starting to bloom. This photo is kind of grainy because I zoomed in so much. I wanted to show you more details of what the individual buds and blooms look like.


Kalanchoe blooms

Here is one of the flower stalks from the kalanchoe. I like the color. Remember the kalanchoe flower blooms I showed you from the succulent house in South Pasadena, CA a few posts ago? Those were so bright pink. I wonder what kind they were? Next time I'm there I will go knock on the door again.


Starting to bloom

This is Aloe variegata Partridge Breast. I had this aloe planted in another location but when I looked at it a week ago it was halfway out of the dirt! So I relocated it right away and it seems really happy. First bloom stalk in a while! The last time it bloomed it had 3 beautiful bloom stalks. So we will have to see what happens this time. I love the spots on the outside of this one.

Not to exciting of a post for today. I think my next post will be the shots I took at Lowe's the last time I was there. The flowers were incredible and the sun was just right.
So for now:
It's Another Beautiful Day!

HCM!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's Another Miserable Day!

Water, water everywhere!

So we have had about a solid 2 weeks of rain. Everything is saturated. I am so sick of it you wouldn't believe. Every morning we wake up to rain and sometimes high winds. It has even hailed here many times. Wouldn't you know this all started after I took my succulents out of the garage and put them under the gazebo. I have even stacked them on tables but the ones around the edges are still getting more water than usual. Hopefully they will be ok. We are suppose to have some much needed sun and clear skys next week so hopefully it will last for a while.
Sorry I have been missing for a bit.
Since February 10th when my father in law passed away it has been pretty busy. We stayed at my mother in laws for an additional week to make sure she is ok. Then we come home to rain, rain, rain, Then last Friday I had lunch with my Dad who is 88. He was fine and dandy. We saw a movie and everything was great. Then he went home and a few hours later called me in acute distress! Saying that he was all dried out and felt weird. He wanted me to come over. I live 40 minutes away. But I realized that the situation was too serious to wait. So I had him unlock his doors and that I was calling 911. I did this and Stan and I jumped in the car. On the way I called his house and a fireman told me where they were going to take him. In the emergency room they had him all hooked up and already giving him fluids. He was seriously dehydrated! Blood tests showed his potassium level was very, very low which made his heart beat funny. He didn't know if it was a.m. or p.m. He also didn't know what day we had met for lunch (that day)! They did a cat scan of his brain and xray of his chest. Both were clear. So they kept him overnight of course and by the next day determined he had an infection because his white blood cell count was very high. Gave him I.V. antibiotics and still tons of fluids and potassium. By morning his heart was back to a normal rhythum and he was sharp as a tack again. Yeah! They think he had some sort of virus. And then Sunday afternoon they let him go home. I spent the night at his house with him and then saw him 3 more times this week. Still doing great now but that sure was scarey.
I will post some pretty pictures tomorrow! Believe it or not I see some sun outside.
Wonder how long it will last. Hahahaha!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh No! Look What Happened!

So I woke up the other morning and as I was walking downstairs into the great room I looked outside in my backyard. Look what I saw!!! I ran to the slider and went outside and stood for about 5 minutes with my mouth hanging open. When I closed my mouth and came out of my sense of shock I have to admit that I said a few cuss words! LOL In other pictures you will be able to see that this 8 or so year old Optunia has started to rot in the center of it's main base. I'm not sure about the other two standing and may pull them out cause they are just standing without the center for support! Boy are we in for a lot of work!


Oh No!  Look What Happened!

Not really sure why it started to rot. We have had a lot of rain lately but nothing out of the ordinary. We did have some great weather for a few days before it started to rain but neither of these large optunia's had started new pads or buds. This optunia is 8 or 9 years old and maybe it was just it's time. Not really sure.


What a mess!

A closer view!


Rot

This is the broken off base of the large optunia. You can see the dark brown in the center is rot. This picture was taken after it had been down a couple days. Around the rot was very healthy looking when it first fell and this rot really stood out.


Bummer!

This is the base of the fallen optunia at the ground. You can see how a lot of old dead dried out pads were around it. This plant was so thick that I could not get in there to pull them out. And you can clearly see how the center has rotted out. My kids asked me if I cry'd. I laughed and said Nooooo! It's just a new opportunity!


Last look

So this scene will look a lot different in a few weeks when we get this all cleared away. I am going to take this opportunity to plant something new and different in it's spot. I want it to be something that get's tall. Should be room for a few things!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Cactus Monday.....Out of Hibernation

Fred is a happy plant!

HCM everyone! Yesterday it was a beautiful sunny day here in Roseville, CA so I decided it was time to take the succulents out of hibernation. They were becoming quite distressed in the garage and I had lost quite a few already. Some were becoming leggy and pale. So my son Jordan helped me take all of them outside and place most of them under the gazebo. Since they were all so jammed together in the garage it was hard to see how they were all doing. I was very excited to see my Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' in excellent condition and had gotten so big.


Fred's close up

Here is a macro shot for you of Fred! Isn't he a beauty?


Succulents out of hibernation


Here is most of my succulents jammed under the gazebo. It was such a beautiful day. Today it was overcast and then started to rain. I'm glad they were under the gazebo and not getting too wet. Some of the plants can't have much water yet, not right out of hibernation. They would freak out and rot. They don't want too much light too soon either. It's kind of a tricky time for my friends.


New growth

Look at the new growth on my optunia. I got this plant in 2009 when I went to help my sister move to Phoenix. We had just eaten dinner at Cracker Barrel restaurant and I was walking to the car. I saw this super awesome optunia with huge long spines and beautiful pink blooms. And laying on the ground was this poor little cactus pad that was starting to shrivel up. I scooped it up with some napkins and took it and a couple other stragglers home. After a couple of weeks at home I put them in the ground. It didn't take long and it plumped up and soon I had another pad. Now I have 3 and and looks like more to follow.


Cholla spines....Ouch!

Here's another cactus I got in Phoenix. It's a cholla and lookie new branches coming!


I got my fish!

Last but not least, remember went I went to Lowe's a while back? Remember the fish planter I wanted but when I went back it was gone? I went back again and yeah I found one! I can't wait to put some succulents in it. Any suggestions?

HCM!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Cactus Monday...Mexican art in my home!

My cactus light switch

Happy Cactus Monday everyone! I have never show'd you my house that I am quite proud of. When I starting getting nutty about succulents I also fell in love with Mexican art and the beautiful colors that they use. I have tons of art and can't show it all in this post but I will show you a bit at a time.


Welcome!

First thing I did was find this incredible Mexican Restaurant that I loved and found out where they got the paint made for there place. The inside of the Restaurant was painted about 8 or 9 different colors. Stan and I chose five. It was pretty funny watching us place yellow sticky notes on different walls and ceiling with the name of the color. The painter's came and got a little more than they bargained for but did a great job.


Part of living room and corner of kitchen

Everything is bordered in chocolate and my Mexican art collected from many a mexican cruise is everywhere. As you can see the walls are all different colors. My kitchen is squash with a orange ceiling. My living room (or great room) is avocado, orange, yellow and in the dining room is a brick color that goes up the stairs. The ceiling in the great room and dining area is squash. The upstairs hallway is avocado and the walls are orange.

Favorite part of kitchen.  Orange ceiling.s

I think my favorite part is my kitchen. Lots of great stuff hanging all around it. It is basically a pepper theme. This shot was taken a while ago so there have been some changes. I don't have cows in here anymore. Before I went Mexican art I had a cow kitchen. LOL Cow stuff everywhere!

Ok, well that is a taste. This is just part one. I will show you more soon.
HCM! And It's Another Beautiful Day!