Sunday, December 15, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside part 2

In the second installment of winter succulent hibernation let's have some fun!

Twas the Night Before Freezing

Twas the night before Freezing when all through the house.  
Every creature was stirring even Stan, Candy and Scout.
The plastic was hung from the greenhouse with care
In the hopes that freezing weather does not come to bear.


The succulents were nestled all snug in their spaces
while plants to propagate were put in special places.
With Stan in his cutoffs and me in my capri’s
We worked long and worked hard to clean up debris



When out in the garage there arose such a clatter
I ran from the backyard to see what was the matter..
I found Stan setting up tables in two different spots
My plants will be happy cause I sure have lots



The Moon on the breast on the new fallen frost
Made things sparkle and twinkle, sure hope all is not lost
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But the thermometer dropping, it gave me great fear



When out of the cold came my husband Stan
With many a frost cloth clutched tight in his hands
We covered each planter before the frost came
And we wished them all luck as we called them by name.



Now Kalanchoes! Now Semps! Now Graptos & Echeverias!
Go Aloes! Go Sedums! Go Pachys & Sedeverias!
To the edge of the house, all the way to the lawn,
We bid you good night until the next dawn




To all my Succulent buddies keep your succulents toasty,
and remember from Sweetstuff that I love you the mosty!


I hope everyone is having a Happy Holiday Season! And remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside 2013

We are in day 5 of freezing temperatures at night.  Tonight we are suppose to get record low temps for this time of year.  It should be about 27F.  So I suppose you folks on the East coast are going to laugh at me but, I'M FREEZING MY BUNS OFF AND MY SUCCULENTS ARE TOO!
And you all know how much I care for my babies.  And this year I acquired some new ones so I hope they do OK.  But the forecast calls for another 5 or more days of this weather.  I don't know if they will make it and I believe that I will have many succulent casualties.  I thought the winter of 2012 was bad.  It may look like easy street compared to this one if we continue with this cold into 2014.

But I wanted to show you the steps I have taken to protect my plants and maybe it will help you or give you some ideas for protection.


First thing we needed to accomplish was to turn our gazebo into a greenhouse.  We had to move all of the succulents out from under the gazebo and try to get them out of the way so my husband could wrap it in 4 mil. plastic.


Pots, stands and succulents were put all around the gazebo but it sure was hard to walk around.


I decided to add more shelves inside the gazebo than in previous years.  In that way I could stuff in more succulents.  So these shelving units had to be cleaned off.


This is a view of the sidewalk leading to the front of the house.  Such a mess.  You can see Scout if trying to stay out of the way!


Stan was finally able to duck tape the 4 mil plastic all around the gazebo.  It is quite an undertaking and he is such a great husband to help with this.

You can tell how thrilled he is to be doing this job again.  LOL  I love this photo!


So here is the finished product but we still need to add the plants.  And it's starting to get dark.  Such a lot of work to do!  But the end result is worth it.


We cleared this bakers rack and put it inside also.  As long as you weigh the shelves down with lots of heavy pots the wind is not a problem.


Plants were everywhere but as they were added inside it gave me a chance to inspect them for bugs and give some a nice trim.


Can you believe this mess.  And believe it or not most of these made it in or were put in the garage.


Here is a photo just as we were beginning to put in the plants.  I filled up these two shelves and the bakers rack is to the left.  The plastic is 10 feet long so we curl it under and weigh it down with whatever we can find.  So you can see the brick and lava rocks on the right.


Here is the left near the entrance with the bakers rack full.  You can see the temperature gauge in the pot to check the temps in the greenhouse.


I wanted room to walk around but it just isn't possible.  You know I am a plant hoarder!


The gazebo is wired for electricity as you can tell by the lights so we added a small heater and it keeps the inside above freezing.


This is the other gazebo after the Sweetstuff tornado finished the greenhouse.  Lots of straightening up to do.


We keep jamming potted plants in and moving things around.  But for now we have to quit.  This was all completed a couple of weeks ago, thank goodness.  Just in time for the cold weather.  In my next post I will show you the garage, extra room upstairs and planter cover ups.

Until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Growing Succulents in Glass

I made the coolest discovery recently.   I had heard that succulents could grow without dirt but had never tried it.  I have set cutting's out for an extended period of time and seen roots growing.  I know that many of you have found cuttings with babies laying on cement like I have.  Succulents are so cool aren't they!  And I have seen succulents growing in driftwood at different nurseries.  The roots burrowing into the soft wood.  But I have never tried to grow in a non organic material.  

A couple of months ago I was asked to speak at a woman's group.  I brought some succulent potting's and as just a pretty addition I put a cutting of Graptosedum 'Ghosty' in some purple glass that filled a shallow glass like vase.  It really looked pretty so when I brought it home I kept it.  Since the glass container didn't have a hole in it I didn't water it very often.

Graptosedum Ghosty

This is what it looked like right after I brought it home.  So I have kept it under the gazebo in my backyard all this time and just watched it.  It only got filtered light all day but the plant I cut it from gets more light and gave off tons of babies.  But before I knew it this cutting started to grow!  Since I am starting to put succulents away for the winter I needed to pop out this cutting and put it in the ground.

Empty vase

Here is the shallow vase after I removed the cutting.  I can still use the glass but there is some missing because I had filled it almost to the edge.

Craptosedum Ghosty

So here is the extra glass.  Look how much the cutting has grown!  It is a little elongated because it wasn't getting as much light.  But it is very healthy!

Roots entangled in glass

So wow!  Look at how the roots just grabbed a hold of the glass.  Simply amazing to me and now I think I will take the experiment a bit farther.  I am going to plant a few succulents in a bunch of glass and see what happens.  I would like to know if they will act the same.  Would this keep mealy bugs at bay?  Will they give off pups?  And just think, it makes the drainage excellent.  Pretty interesting don't you think?  I will let you know what happens.  But may have to wait till spring to start this experiment.

Have a great weekend!  Remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Revamp your Outdoor Planters

Have you ever done something and when you finished you weren't really sure if you liked it or not?  In October of 2011 my husband removed huge bushes of iris from a side planter in the front of our home.  We dug out all the roots and old soil and replaced it with new.  I added a lot of dry stall since it was going to be a succulent bed.  I added a bunch of plants just in time for winter to set in.  Here is what it looked like and the post from back then.  The next year I added more plants and changed things a little!

March 2012 New planter

This was in March of 2012.  I don't know what I was thinking when I planted the cactus in a circle.  I guess I should have added a bunch of rocks and placed them more naturally.  So to me they stood out.  And I didn't like plants in the pouring pot . So I yanked up all the plants I used and put just Echeveria imbricata.  I knew that would do really well there.

Nov 2012 looking pretty good

This was November of 2012.  We used the lava rocks to weigh down the frost cloth when we put it over the planter.  Still not sure what to change except that I like the pouring pot better.

3/15/13 front planter

March of 2013 and the aloe is blooming and things are getting big.  But the cactus aren't really doing very well.  The rest of the succulents want more water and these are just not compatible with the rest.  Should have mounded the dirt here or something so the water would drain.

3/15/13 planter

Another view at this time.  I love the Sedum Adolphii in this bed.  It still looks glorious and I take many cuttings from it.

3/15/13 flowing pot

The pouring pot had filled in and I liked the look.  The Sempervivums I planted in this bed did not do good at all.  I believe it got too much sun.
3/15/13 part of planter and flowing pot

Not long after this photo was taken the two barrel cactus died.  I should have seen they were in distress and pulled them out.  I did pull the other ones out and planted them elsewhere.  And as you can see the sedums to the left of the pouring pot are starting to invade the stream.

Yanking it all out Nov 13

So last weekend I decided that before the cold set in I would redo a big part of this planter.  My back is doing so much better so I have been in the garden a lot.  I have decided to put a lot of plants in the ground so they will be safe from the cold.  So far my planters do really well covered with the frost cloth.  Better than in the garage.  So I started yanking out and thinning plants!

What a mess Nov 13

What a mess I am making!  I laid some plastic on the grass beyond the planter so I could put plants on it that I dug up.  As you can see I removed the Agave stricta.  This succulent will multiply like crazy so I wanted to get it out before this happened.  And once I was able to get into this planter more I found out that the Aloe saponaria had multiplied like crazy.  So I pulled out five babies and put them in separate pots to sell.

What a mess working on planter Nov 13

I worked on this project for two days!

Front view almost done Nov 13

I yanked a bunch of sedum from the left of the pouring pot and put cuttings of Echeveria imbricata in there to make it larger.  I filled in some spots in the back with Echeverias, a large clump of Faucaria tigrina and a beautiful Crassula falcata 'Propeller Plant'.  Then I started to add rock to form my 'river'.

Flowing pot expanded Nov 13

Here is a view of the pouring pot with the extended left side.  Hopefully the newly planted side will catch up with the right pretty quick.

Finished revamped front side planter Nov 2013

Here is the planter completed.  The river is made up of white rocks with alternating Echeverias Elegans and Morning light.  I used a dark smooth river rock as top cover on the rest of the planter.

Part of revamped planter Nov 13

Here is a photo of a section I really like.

Finished revamped front planter in Nov 13

All done!  Wheew!

Working on planter Nov 13

Time for a short break and then it is time to revamp another planter.
So do you have a planter not to your liking?  If do it!

Until next time:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Monday, November 4, 2013


As many of you know I have a you tube video entitled How to Drill Holes in Pots.  And I have drilled countless pots with this method.  I had only broken one pot until the other day when it happened again.  And darn if it didn't happen to a really cool pot.  So if you watch the video you can see that at the end you pretty much hit the vessel with your drill.  It's hard to avoid this.  It's normally not a problem but this vessel had a very thin bottom as compared to the rest of the vase (pot).  So oops, I broke through the bottom!

It broke the whole bottom!


You can see the the top of this vessel is a bit smaller than the bottom.  So I really didn't want to throw it away, I really liked the color and shape.  And on the side (which you can't see here are handles).  What to do, what to do!???  Then it hit me!  Patch it!


I keep all kind and types of saucers handy.  Not sure why except that I can't seem to throw them away.  Now I know why.  They could be good for something.  The first one I tried was too big to go in the top and then I found this one.    So I popped it in the pot to see if it would work.


Can you believe how well it fit!  But.....still some areas around the edge where dirt could go through.  And you can see that I drilled a hole in the saucer.  Still need that drainage.  But what am I going to do about the leak around the saucer?


I used some screen door material over the hole first!


Then I placed the saucer on top of the screen.  Now we are in business and no leaking!


Dirt, plants and Walaaaa!  Now would you have thrown this cool pot away?
There is always a solution if you just use your imagination!


It's Another Beautiful Day!