Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oasis Water Efficient Gardens with Debra and Cindy part 1

Last week I had the most fortunate opportunity to spend some time with two really wonderful woman.  The first is Debra Lee Baldwin photographer and author of Succulent Container Gardens and Designing with Succulents.  Both of which you can order through the publisher Timber Press. She also is the co-author of a popular blog called Gardening Gone Wild.  The next super lady owns her own business.  She designs, makes and sells birdhouses topped with succulents.  Her business is called The Succulent Perch.  The link will take you to her very popular Facebook page.  I did a post on her business that you can see here!
I have been corresponding with these great friends on Facebook for quite some time and had already met Debra when she was speaking at the The Succulent Garden last year.  So when our family went on our yearly vacation to Oceanside, California it seems like a perfect time to get together.

The first place that we went to visit was Oasis Water Efficient Gardens in Escondido, California.   They are open to the public and have quite an extensive selection of beautiful succulents for you to purchase.   On their website you can download a great e-book called At Home with Succulents written by Ken Altman.  You can also find a link to Garden Life, a website to order their succulents online.  On this website you can order a copy of Debra's book Designing with Succulents signed by Ms. Baldwin!

I'm going to be breaking up this post into two parts.  I have so many photos I want to show you it gets crazy when you have way to many.  I don't want you to get bored.

Right front of nursery

This is a view of the front right of the entrance to Oasis.  The Gardens in the front and a wonderful display to the left of the nursery were really beautiful.  I will be showing you the entrance today and inside the nursery.  My next post will show more of the display garden.

Left front of nursery

  This is looking to the left!  Isn't it magnificent?!

Ocotillo and friends

The focal point of this beautiful stuffed succulent garden is this magnificent blooming Ocotillo!  I have not seen one of these since visiting my sister in Phoenix, Arizona.

Fountain at Oasis

As we walked into the nursery area this beautiful planted water fountain caught my eye!  This was designed by Robyn Foreman.  I believe that all of the succulent arrangements I will show you were designed by her also.

Graptopetalum pentandrum subsp. superbum

Aren't these Graptopetalum pentandrum subsp. superbum amazing looking?  I so wanted to take some of these home!

Kalanchoe 'Pink butterflies'

Another one of my favorites!  There was a whole palette of these Kalanchoe "Pink Butterflies"!


Look at all this beauty!  Everywhere you looked there were so many plants with amazing colors and shapes. 


Every plant was pure perfection.  I don't think I saw a single blemish of any kind on any of them.


 Another beautiful arrangement just waiting for someone to buy.


Another great planting!  Check out the blooming echeveria.  So many plants of different colors and textures are stuffed into this pot.

echeveria imbricata 1

 I think Debra told me when she first saw this potting of Echeveria Imbricata the rosettes were really small.  But now they have taken over the pot and are blooming like firecrackers!

Aeonium noblis, Kalanchoe beharensis 'Fang' Agave atenuata

Aeonium noblis, Kalanchoe beharensis 'Fang' Agave atenuata

Aeonium noblis

Aeonium Nobilis
I just bought one of these in the spring and planted it in my front planter.  I can't wait for the fall when it will start growing.  It is dormant right now.

Echeveria 'Lola' 1

Last but not least is my newest favorite Echeveria.
Echeveria 'Lotus'

Ok my friends that is all for my first post on Oasis and my incredible visit with Debra and Cindy.  I have much more to tell and show so stay tuned.  But until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Blooming San Pedro!

My blooming Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' put on quite a show this year.  It has about six columns now.  It has been starting a new column about every year.  I have these cactus in three other places but this one is the oldest and hardiest.  One more near the house that has two and 1/4 columns put out it's first blooms this year.  But I will be showing you my oldest and favorite!

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' 2012

Here is the cactus about 24 hours before the first blooms.  They start with these little fuzzy areas on the edges of the cactus.  Pretty soon the plant decides that some need to push out and develop these buds.  It happens fairly quickly, about a few days.  So you need to be ready if you want to take photos!

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' 2012

They are just starting to open.  It's about 6 p.m.  It pretty exciting that so many are opening at once.  I asked my hubby to get the big lights out and put in the grass so we can be ready.  My son and some of his friends are over and said, "Let's go out every hour!"  They crack me up at their excitement over these cactus but I am glad!  We didn't go out every hour but at least every 2!

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' 2012

Not quite open all the way but look really amazing!  They are like white lights in my backyard when I open the slider.  I see their brightness even before we turn on the lights.

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' 2012

View of the other side.  Almost open!!!

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' blooms

There we go, creamy white with lots of pollen.  I love the outer petal color.  The contrast is so pretty!  It was after midnight and the outside lights were on of course.  The neighbors probably think I'm crazy.  The kids were laughing as I climbed up the concrete planter wall to take these photos!  Don't fall off!

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' bloom

Check out the pistil on these flowers!  Looks like a crazy albino starfish!  And all the pollen on those stamen.  There are so many.  Wait till you see the photos I took the next day with the bees inside going crazy collecting that pollen!  And at the end of this post I have a video of the bee action!

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' 2012

I should have moved the light a bit at this point cause that shadow looks kind of goofy!  But you can see how pretty and full it was!

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro'

I thought this was a cool angle!  You can see how emaciated the cactus gets at this stage.  It has sent all it's juices to push these blooms out.  I give it extra water when it is blooming because this is only the first bloom. There will be a couple more and it needs the water and nourishment.

San Pedro bloom in the dark

All of a sudden the lights went out.  The kids and I tried with no avail to get them going again.  I was so grumpy.  We ran in the house and searched everywhere for flashlights.  We only came up with a couple and this and the following were the best shots!

Shine a Little Light on Me

I love this one!  Check out the little bug.  So the kids went home and I was about to go to bed when the lights came back on all of a sudden.  Very strange.  So I ran outside all by myself and took more photos!  Some of them are the ones you saw previously.

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' 2012

So this is the very top of the San Pedro the next afternoon.  The blooms from yesterday are fading  to nothing and the new set are just starting to open.  I guess the bees got the word out that there was a lot of pollen to be had.  Because it was really crazy.  The hum from the bees could be heard from our back slider.  So I ran out to take more photos and some video!

Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro' 2012

It's a bee party.....everyone make room.  What is interesting is that the bees don't fight with each other.  They each are just busy gathering the pollen and don't care who joins in.

Check out the video I was talking about.  I sound like a nut but I was very excited!

I hope you didn't get too bored looking at the same plant over and over.  I just had to share this with you.  Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and enjoy the weekend ahead!

And always remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!