Friday, October 19, 2012

Succulent Extravaganza 2012 - Speakers and Retail area

 Castroville, CA is a sleepy little coastal town.  It is located 9 miles nortwest of Salinas at an elevation of  23 feet.  They claim to be the Artichoke Center of the World.  We stayed in Marina, CA and drove down the beautiful coastal Hwy 1 to the gardens.  The cool ocean air comes down and blankets the area and Succulent Gardens with it's cooling mist. The temperatures don't go above 85F very often and it rarely freezes.  Sounds like and is the perfect growing grounds for Succulents.

Both days of the Extravaganza were filled with great speakers, wonderful food and beautiful succulents.  Not to mention meeting new friends and people I had spoke with on Facebook but never meet.  I belong to a great group called The Succulent Fanatics and we got together for lunch each day and drinks Friday night.  What a great bunch of people.  We had a fantastic time!

The Succulent Girls

The Succulent girls!  Back left is Debra Lee Baldwin to her right is Rebecca Sweet.  Front left is Noreen Fenton, Laura Livengood Schaub, myself in yellow, Laura Balaro and Jeanne Eige.  So many more gals should have been in the photo but we got seperated at different times during the two days.

The speakers were absolutely amazing.   I wish I could have seen them all but I just couldn't stay away from the succulents themselves.  Debra Lee Baldwin author of Succulent Container Gardens, Designing with Succulents and the upcoming Succulents Simplified spoke both days.  Saturday she spoke about "Companion Plants for Succulents".  It was fantastic and really makes me want to add some wonderful companion plants to my garden.  After Debra on Saturday was Rebecca Sweet co-author of Garden Up.  She gave a wonderful presentation on solving different gardening problems.  Very educational.

Debra presentation on companion plants

Debra Lee Baldwin during her presentation!  It was really eye opening for me.

Now lets check out the retail sales area!


They had lots of pots for sale.  Some full of succulents and some empty ready for you to create.  You can see the little otters and quail in the above photo.  I just had to get an otter and a fish not pictured here.  I loved this little area in the corner of this painted wall.  Loved this Euphorbia tirucalli, beautiful but they don't do well in my area.  They don't like the cold. 


Don't you love this Mexican Fire Pit or Chimenea surrounded by succulents!


They had really cool little vignettes set up in the retail area.  Each had there own special something to grab your attention (like this metal succulent sculpture) surrounded by pots of succulents or other treasures.  The next few photos shows a few of these great areas.





Had to show you the other side of my favorite!


Check out the crowd shopping!  And this isn't even as busy as I saw it at times.  I was trying to walk around saying excuse me, pardon me!  It got really crazy.


This is Laura Balaro.   She runs the Facebook page Succulent Fanatics and is a Master Gardner.  I went to visit her home and garden with Debra in San Jose, CA and was blown away.  A post will follow on her amazing garden.  But this hat got her so much attention at the Estravaganza.  She made it herself by gluing sphagnum moss on the hat then adding succulents.  All she has to do is spritz with water and they grow.  Amazing isn't it.


 So now let's check out some cool pottings I saw.  There was someone (I am sorry I didn't get his/her card for the name) that made hypertufa pots.  They were for sale and some were planted.  This was my favorite.


Here's another one I liked.  Wonder how they added the color?


This pot looked like hollowed out rock.  Then driftwood is added.  I like this idea.  They had pots full of driftwood you could buy to get this look also.


Loved this beautiful hanging pot of  Senecio rowleyanus 'String of Pearls' and Donkey tail sedum.  I wonder if anyone bought it?  Check out those pots!


Cute little potting but check out the color on these strawberry pots!


Love the succulent wreaths for sale.  You could also buy a kit and make it yourself.


How about a heart shaped succulent arrangement?


Ready to hang!


Look what I had to choose from!

Robin Stockwell and Flora Grubb

I have so many photos to show you but this post is so long I am going to stop.  You can see more photos on my Facebook page.  I love this photo of Robin Stockwell who is the owner/manager of Succulent Gardens and Flora Grubb.  Flora is the owner of a fabulous shop called Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco, CA.  She is such a wonderful girl and has a great personality.  Her presentation entitled "What is next for Succulents" was really eye opening.  And she is a really funny girl.  I only live 2 hours from San Francisco and believe it or not I have not been to Flora Grubb yet.  Guess where my next road trip will be.

Can't wait for next year because what a great event.  So anyone who hasn't gone and can should put it on your calendar for next year.

So until next time:

It's Another Beautiful Day

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Succulent Extravaganza 2012 The Grounds

If you weren't at the Succulent Extravaganza this year you sure did miss a great succulent event.  The event of the year in my book.  It took place at  Succulent Gardens located in Castroville, CA.   Succulent Gardens is a wholesale/retail nursery that grows over 400 varieties of succulents.  Being just a few miles from the coast it is a beautiful place to grow succulents, the air is fresh and cooler than here in Sacramento.  At Succulent Gardens the succulents can grow to there fullest maximum growth.  Robin Stockwell, owner/grower/manager of  Succulent Gardens and his crew have organized this second annual event and people like myself come from miles away!  There was food, plants and speakers galore.  So let me show you around the growing grounds in this first post!

Aeonium decorum ‘Sunburst’, Agave attenuata ‘Variegata’, Aeonium canariense hybrid

Aeonium decorum ‘Sunburst’, Agave attenuata ‘Kara's Stripe’and  Aeonium canariense 'Garnet'

This is in the front of the nursery.  My photo does not do it justice.  You can see Brian Kemble, curator of the Ruth Bancroft garden giving his garden tour.  That man is a wealth of information.

Calandrinia spectabilis

This is looking to the left at the entrance.  In the foreground is one of my new favorites
Calandrinia spectabilis
It flowers all year on these long stems.  The flowers are this beautiful pink color.  It also loves full sun and is great in rock gardens.

Aeonium mosaic

There were so many beautiful Aeoniums at Succulent Gardens.  This is just 4 of the many varieties.

Echeveria imbricata in rock wall

All of the succulent beds were surrounded by these beautiful rock walls.  Succulent like this Echeveria Secunda love to live in the nooks and cranny's!

Agave Attentuata and aeonium arboreum

Agave attentuata 'Kara's stripe' and aeonium arboreum

Echinocactus grusonii

I love this Echinocactus grusonii, it's very photogenic!  LOL

Love this area of Succulent Gardens

I love this beautiful wall, it's one of the entry ways into the retail area of the nursery.  The Agave 'Blue Glow' is such a beautiful color contrast with the Aloe ferox (in the back) and Barrel Cactus.

Agave ‘Blue Flame’ and Agave ‘Blue Glow’

Behind the area where we heard the speakers there was this incredible huge bed of Agave 'Blue Flame' and Agave 'Blue Glow!  When the sun came out I went out and got some back lit shots.  You can sure see why they call Agave 'Blue Glow' by it's name.

Agave 'Blue glow'

Here is a row shot.  They don't look real do they?

Agave 'Blue glow' back lit

A close up of the edges of Agave 'Blue Glow'.  I was facing the sun and it was shining through the edges.

Aloe polyphylla all in a row

These Aloe polyphylla were all so perfect!

Aloe polyphylla

Here you can see the beautiful spiral on this amazing aloe!

Agave americana ‘Striata’

Here are a couple of  Agave Americana 'Striata'. 


I'm pretty sure this is Agave Mr. Ripple

Aeonium's forever

I just couldn't get over the Aeonium beds.  I took so many photos of them!  This bed had been replanted fairly recently.  Last year most of the plants were over my head.

Monstrose cereus with golden barrel cactus

This cactus bed was super!  In the back we have tall Trichocereus Pachonoi 'San Pedro', Golden Barrel Cactus and in the foreground is a beautiful Cereus Monstrose.

Cereus monstrose close up

Here is a close up for you!  To understand how monstrose happens click here!

I will have another post soon about the speakers, retail area, food and fun!  I had two days of incredible fun. And I can't wait to share it with you!

Until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!