Saturday, December 31, 2011

Look what I got for Christmas!

Look what I got for Christmas!

Hi my blogger friends!  Just a quick post to say I hope that Santa was good to you and brought you some goodies on your wish list.  I was very fortunate this year in that I went shopping for myself!  Yes you heard it, I shopped for myself.  My Dad always give me some Christmas money and says get what you want and we will put it under the tree.  So I went to Ross and found the great gold gecko in the photo above that I will decorate my gazebo with.  Then I also found the gecko 3 tiered stand.  I love this and can't wait for spring to put some pots of succulents on it.  Then behind the sun in the middle is a 3 tiered iron mesh stand.  I plan on putting spaghnum moss, dirt and succulents in each layer!  EEEEE I can't wait.
Then you are probably wonderful about the other goodies.  My hubby and I did the usual Christmas pilgrimage to the local huge auction here in Roseville.  It is called Denio's Market and Swap Meet.  It is a great place to get about anything.  Except maybe succulents.  I may have to do something about that!  So we found this great place that had outdoor fence art and other items.  So he bought me the two suns and the little bench.  The suns will hang on my fence and I will put some pots of lovely succulents on that bench.  Yummo!


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My sister and I also got vertical garden sets from the Cactus Jungle in Berkeley, CA.   This was given to us my nephew, her son Jeff and his girlfriend Jessikah!  I almost jumped out of my chair with excitement.  What a perfect gift for his Aunt Candy!!!!

I also got some great leather garden gloves to work with those crazy cactus of mine.  They will come in very handy.  Oh and I also got a gift certificate from Annie Annuals!  Can't wait to use it in the spring.

So what gardening stuff did you get?  Let me know, I would love to hear.  And please everyone have a wonderful and safe New Year.  I look forward to spending more time with you and sharing more adventures from Sweetstuff's Sassy Succulents!

Until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my Flickr Friends!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their bed,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And Mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eye-how they twinkled His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

I would like to say thank all of you my wonderful friends for visiting my succulent blog.  We have had a wonderful year and I look forward to more succulent Sweetstuff in the coming year.  Merry Christmas to you all and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Baby it's Cold Out There! Succulent Hibernation!

First of all I want to say hello it's great to be back.  Lots of crazy stuff been happening at Sweetstuff's house.  But I'm not going to bore you with all that stuff.  Suffice it to say I have not been up to blogging and put it on the back burner.  It has a bit chilly here in Roseville and my husband and I have been busy putting all my succulents either in the garage, under frost paper or in my Gazebo Greenhouse. Yes you heard me right. We are experimenting with turning our gazebo into a greenhouse. My collection got so big this summer that I didn't have enough room in my garage to overwinter my sweet succulents.


The big wrap up!

First thing we did was put up the mosquito net that fits around this gazebo. Then we went to Home Depot and bought 3.5 mil plastic.  About 10' tall and as long as possible.  It took about three rolls to go all the way around.  We used duck tape and wrapped the plastic around the metal frame work as best as we could. This shot is just at the beginning of our project and we don't have all the plants in there so we could work.


Succulents in gazebo greenhouse

This is the back left side of the greenhouse inside.  Looks kind of weird doesn't it.  I have electricity that runs to this gazebo.  The extension cord goes to some lights that I have in a planter that's behind this gazebo.  I put frost paper over the planter and a set of blanket lights over it.  I am hoping a tiny bit of heat will help them.


Back right

In this shot you can see the plastic being held down by bricks on the right.  We used anything heavy we could think of, rocks, bricks and pots filled with dirt.  I also put a small heater on a table inside.  It is definitely helping.  But I may have to get another when the weather dips a bit lower like it will do a time or two in the winter.


Bricks and rocks

This is the front right corner.  Rock and bricks being used to hold down the plastic.  During that big wind storm we had that rock kept falling down so I will have to come up with some heavier objects.


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I bought some three string Christmas lights and wrapped them around the inside of the gazebo.  It is really bright with them on.  I will be keeping them attached.  They will be great for entertaining in the summer.  Here you can see the top and see how we attached the plastic.  Not very scientific but so far had some pretty big winds and not one has come off.


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Imagine no plastic in the summer.  Sitting outside on a warm evening. The glow from these lights, surrounded by my succulents, friends and drinking an iced tea.  Sounds like a heavenly evening.

My glowing gazebo greenhouse at night

Now I have a big night light in my back yard!  The glow looks so pretty!


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We put a thermometer outside the gazebo greenhouse and inside.  Great idea of my husbands.  We wanted to compare outside temps to inside to see if it works or not.  It's at an angle but the temp show's to be about 39 degrees.


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So this is the inside thermometer.  As you can see it is about a 5 degree difference.  As you can see I tucked it in with my ripsalis.  So it works pretty good for now.  I am worried about the big wind storms we get though.


Part of Garage hibernation

Check out my old card table piled with pots of succulents.  They are hiding underneath also.  We had to leave space to the right so I could get into my pantry and to the left is my hubby's Jeep.  Have to be able to walk by that.  But actually now we do have some smaller plants on the left hand side.  Had to have a place to put my succulent BBQ!.  Behind this table is another one covered with a Xmas plastic tablecloth.  This table is also covered with potted plants and as many as I can stuff underneath as possible.  We open the garage whenever we are home and the sun is out.  I roll some of the pots out from underneath there hiding spots to get some sun.


Hibernating Succulents

This is the left side of our garage if you are facing the opening.  This table is pretty big and really sturdy.  Lot's of room underneath also.  You can't see in this shot but continuing down into the garage I have potted plants hanging out on rolling chairs, old trunks, whatever has an empty space to place something.


Madagascar Palm

This last year I repotted this Madagascar Palm plant.  And by the looks of it's continued growth I will be repotting it again soon.  As you have probably noticed most of my larger potted plants are on rolling platforms.  I think this next year I may try to make my own.  The ones you buy in the stores don't last long.  The plastic wheels collapse under the weight of the pot.




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Underneath the frost cloth is my opuntia cresting microdasys.  It always takes a hit this time of year.  I am hoping this time will be better.


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This is the long skinny planter behind my gazebo.  Boy was it tough covering this up.  But well worth the effort.  I don't usually get it this covered and I lose a lot of succulents.  Hopefully this year I will be luckier.


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This is my front porch.  It has this little protected corner.  I put a bunch of my smaller pots of succulents next to the house in this corner.  I am crossing my fingers on this one cause some of these potted plants look really great.


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This is my front planter.  First thing I did was take all of the neighbors leaves and pile them on top of my plants.  I did the same thing last year.  It worked out great.  I then covered them with the largest frost cloth I could find.  It's hard to tell but it is anchored down with rocks.


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This is the new planter I show'd you in a previous post.  I have covered it just like the other's but no leaves.  It's pretty funny but this one is anchored with some old ski racks.  You can see one in the front by the lights.  I am glad they are still coming to some use.  LOL


Echeveria Gibbiflora hybrid

Echeveria gibbiflora
Here is one of my garage hibernator's.  This giant is the echeveria I deadheaded just before the cool weather started.  It's called echeveria gibbiflora.  It was so crooked I just had to.  It is already starting to turn toward the sun but the leaves are getting a bit floppy.  I don't know if it's the cold or if it needs water.  It is in the garage now in semi-hibernation.  What do you think?  By the way I did give it some water and think it is a bit better.  Don't want to give it to much this time of year.


Sedum nussbaumerianum

Sedum nussbaumerianum
I'm going to end this post with the above gorgeous copper colored sedum.  It is also hibernating in the the garage.  All my succulents and myself are waiting....just waiting for the warmer weather.  In the meantime I am hunkering down in front of my heater we put in the living room and drinking hot cocoa.  Dreaming of sugar plums shaped like........succulents.  LOL

Hope everyone is keeping warm and is happy and healthy.  Have a wonderful holiday season and hope everyone is spending time with their friends and family at this time of year.

Until later:

It's Another Beautiful Day!