Thursday, January 26, 2012

Check out Country Garden magazine!

Country Gardens

Just a quick post to let you know about a great article in this months Country Gardens magazine. I took pictures of the magazine and they are not great, sorry. But wanted you to see this article on growing living pictures with succulents!

Art Alive

I love this photo of living art. They found this vintage frame somewhere and created this work of art. Think about going to garage sales and flea market's to find these treasures.

Another way to display your succulent art!

Another page from Country Gardens magazine! You don't necessarily have to fill the frames with plants you can use them as shelves!


A huge old frame placed on top of an old table and painted. Genius! How beautiful and vintage this looks. And the colors are wonderful!


Now how about this?! A little wood vanity with mirror. I love the old gardening tools added for a bit of whimsey! It would have to be worth nothing for me to do this to it. Or it was already wrecked by water. But what a great statement it makes! I really love it!


And the last page shows us how to make a backing for our frames. It even show's how you can add a shelf if you can find an old air vent cover. But you could use something else. I think the way I would do it different would be to put spagnum moss over the dirt then add a layer of chicken wire stapled to the frame to help hold your plants in. Otherwise when you water this the dirt will come pouring out unless it is packed with plants.

Now go on out and get your copy!  Great article and I would like you to post photos of your work.  It will be a lot of fun you will see!

Until next time,

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Garden Bon Bons

Top of the box of Garden Bon Bons

For Christmas this year I got this brown box tied with a pretty green ribbon. On the box it said Garden Bon Bons.  At first I was pretty perplexed!  What in the world could this be?  I opened it up and found the gold crinkled paper you find in boxes of chocolates.   And when I looked at the chocolates they looked old and like they had been put in the freezer!  LOL  On top it had a paper with a description of each 'chocolate'.  When I read the paper enclosed I realized this was not really chocolate after all but something quite unique to plant in the garden!!!  Each 'chocolate' is hand made, using a 'centuries' old technique of rolling seeds with rich organic compost and clay into a ball. As it say's on the information paper the compost provides nutrients and the clay protects the seeds from insects. And some of the 'chocolates' have been dusted with a natural pesticide like coffee, pepper and cinnamon.

Garden Bon Bons

Gourmet Seed Ball Truffles

This candy is for planting, not for eating!  They come in three different assortments.  There is Italian, Edible and the one I received Herbal Tea Selection.  So in my assortment I have Lemon Balm, Stinging Nettle, Borage and Chamomile.  Each plant will provide me with yummy tea and a couple of them I will be able to snip off and add to salads!  I plan on hanging some pots on my fence so eight of them will include these wonderful flowering plants.


Planting instructions are a little different.  With Garden Bon Bons you just place them on top of the soil in your pot.  You are not to bury them.  You plant one Bon Bon per square foot if not in a container.  So I will add one per pot.  You water the soil well and wait for it to germinate.  They should be grown in a sunny spot.  

If you would like information on this great gift idea you can find them for sale on Etsy.  I was so excited to get this unigue garden gift.  It came from my sons friends and they really thought outside the box for me.  They know how much I love gardening and even though it's not succulents I am excited to have the plants and their pretty flowers.

Hey by the way, this was my 100th post!  Woot woot!  Working now on Part 4 of the Huntington Botanical Gardens!  I will be posting it soon.  Until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day

Monday, January 9, 2012

My visit to the California Cactus Center part 1

The day after Christmas my husband, son and I headed in our car down to South Pasadena, CA.  Every year the Suter family get's together during the holiday season.  We have three that come from Toronto, Canada, two from Denver, CO, two from Edmond, OK and three from Texas.  Along with the four Roseville, CA Suter's and Mom it makes quite a bunch of folks!  My father in law, the heart of our family passed away unexpectedly last February.  You can read about this amazing man here.


While we were in Southern California I decided that I would like to see a beautiful succulent garden.  Southern California is the succulent mecca as you all know.  So I sent out a facebook message to Debra Baldwin, Cindy Davison owner of The Succulent Perch and The Succulent Fanatics.  The Succulent Fanatics are a group of great succulent lovers from all over that share information and tips on a Facebook page of the same name.  Debra, Cindy and the group all had some great suggestions but number one on there list was the California Cactus Center in Pasadena, CA.  So since it was only 15 minutes away that is where I went.


When I first drove up to this nursery I saw this great open bricked space.  I had no idea they wanted people to park here so I drove around the corner and parked on the next street.  When I walked through the gate the first thing I noticed was the Aloe bainesii Barberae "Aloe Tree" shown here in silhouette.  The last time I saw it was at The Huntington Botanical Gardens.  The specimen at the Huntington is bigger but this one was just as beautiful!

California Cactus Center

This is inside the entrance gate looking left.  There were so many succulents all tucked in close to each other.  As you can see many species were here.  They did not have names or prices though.  I would have to ask someone from inside for help if I wanted to purchase any of these.  But for now I just wanted to wander around with my two camera's, tripod and jug of flavored water.  

Aloe Ferox

As you can tell from this photo of this magnificent Aloe Ferox, the pots of succulents are just bunched all together.  My eyes were just hopping all over trying to take it all in.  But this aloe with it's blooms really stood out!

Bloom of Aloe Ferox

The blooms on this Aloe ferox were so long and a beautiful rusty red.  This one is just getting started.  The bloom stalks will get even taller on this plant and pretty soon each little red button will open to reveal a pretty red flower.  This is a great time for aloe's.  It is there bloom time.  So all over Southern California you could see the amazing blooms of aloes.

Aeonium 'Sunburst'

There were quite a few of these beauties sitting around waiting to be purchased.  I have three babies in my gazebo greenhouse and hopefully they will grow big and beautiful this summer.  That is if they survive the winter.  For some reason I have a tough time with this certain variety.

Echeveria hybrid

Macro of Echeveria 'Etna"
I love this echeveria!  It has these crazy bumbs all over it call caruncle's.  The colors are this one was so pretty also going from green on the inside to the beautiful red on the edges!

Echeveria hybrid

Check out this amazing echeveria.  I wish you could have seen how big it was.  But imagine trying to put your arms around it and you can't.  That is how round it was.  And then it was about 10 inches or so high.  A truly beautiful echeveria hybrid specimen.  Don't know it's name though.

Succulent Love

As I walked toward the entrance of the partially covered nursery I encountered these three potted stunners. The urn in the middle was placed on this medium sized pedistal. The 'thriller' in this pot is the kalanchoe luciae. It's reaching, reaching for the beautiful California sun. I love how the red goes well with the 'filler' red echeveria in this pot. The 'spiller is a fabulous green with red senecio jacobsenii. Then to the right is a cereus monstrose and to the left is a really cool succulent that I have never seen before. But I sure would like one. In a future post I will show you a shot of it only.

Yucca gloriosa

Variegated Agave Attenuata

This agave was so big and beautiful and was just waiting for someone to come along and buy it. I just love the light that was filtering in at this time of day. I went in the afternoon and stayed for about 3 hours. So I actually caught the beginning of the golden hour. The best time to take photos.

Painted tips

Echeveria Agavoides 'Lipstick'
This red tipped echeveria was just glorious. I had to crop the photo quite a bit because there was a sale sign on it off to the left. I kept being drawn to it and wished they had a small one I could buy.


Here is another pot that I just couldn't get over it's beauty. I wanted to scoop it up and take it home. The different shapes and variaties of green in this pot are wonderful. Then a small tinge of red makes this just a masterpiece in my eyes.

Floating Islands

Floating Islands
These succulents seem to be floating on a sea of beautiful green glittering water. After seeing what they do with repurposed crushed glass I will be trying this for top dressing.

Crown Me

They did have some really great cactus there. This one was plump and beautiful and was starting to get a crown on top. Looks like a type of ferocactus.

Isn't this interesting

Ariocarpus retusus
Check out this interesting succulent. I have no idea what it is called or what catagory to put it in. Weird light tanish green color with fuzzy white stuff in between all the leaves.  According to our succulent expert Debra Baldwin this beautiful succulent comes from South Texas and Northern Mexico.  They need a lot of heat and do not tolerate the cold very well.  The fibers inside create kind of a sweater and shade the core of the plant from the hot sun.  They are seldom seen in habitat.

Pot of every color

They had pots of many shapes, sizes and colors. This was only a small portion.

Looking into the depths

Looking down one of the rows into the depths of the nursery. So many different varieties of succulents. Check out the red cactus in the tan pot on the bottom shelf. I don't think I got a shot of it darn it. And the plant in the front, bottom is a Abromeltiella brevifolia. They had a few of them. I will show you a full photo of it next.

Abromeltiella brevifolia

Abromeltiella brevifolia
Here is a better shot of that Abromeltiella brevifolia from the last photo. I think this one is about 35-40 years old. It is creaping around a red rock formation that is in the middle of the pot. They had another one that was 45-50 years old. I will post a photo of it another time.

Pet Me

You wouldn't want to pet this cresting cactus. Isn't it purdy. And it is potted so nicely in this red ceramic pot with lava rock top dressing.

Ok boys and girls I am one tired succulent lover.  Still getting over my cough and cold and you know how they wear you out.  I think I will leave you right here at the California Cactus Center.  I'll return and show you more, and believe me you will want to see it, in another post.

Until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!