Friday, May 24, 2013

Debra Lee Baldwins Super Succulents Simplified Giveaway

Hold on to your sun hats, kiddos because I have a terrific, stupendous, unprecedented giveaway for you!  Debra Lee Baldwin, author of  Designing with Succulents and Succulent Container Gardens is hosting a fantastic giveaway on Gardening Gone Wild.  This is in celebration of her new book Succulents Simplified, Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties!  It is now available if you click on the name.  But before you do that you need to go to Gardening Gone Wild and enter the for all the goodies.

Now ya'll pay attention please as the following is really important if you want to be a winner!   To enter, all you need to do is go to Gardening Gone Wild and leave a comment stating where you heard about the giveaway (Sweetstuff's Sassy Succulents) which prize you'd  like, and why.  Very important you follow these instructions!  You wouldn't want to miss out because you forgot something....right?

So what can you win?  The prizes are as follows!

Agave watercolor DLB

An original watercolor by Debra of an agave, 9-by-12, unframed.

Debra's book with inspiration

The winner also will receive a signed and personalized copy of Succulents Simplified.  Not the plants of course.  Those are mine, just for the photo!

Two hour private consultation with DLB at Oasis

Now this is my absolute favorite prize!  It's a two-hour private container workshop with Debra Lee Baldwin at Oasis Water Efficient Gardens nursery in Escondido, CA near San Diego, for one to four people. The winner also will receive a signed and personalized copy of Succulents Simplified.  OMG how fun!


A bouquet of a dozen succulent rosettes made by Debra herself, based on one of the book’s how-to projects. People often are amazed how rootless, wired succulents do fine without water for weeks. It's because the leaves contain all the moisture and nutrients the plants need. The bouquet easily can be deconstructed and planted as cuttings. The winner also will receive a signed and personalized copy of Succulents Simplified.

A mug illustrated with her watercolor of a graptopetalum, from Debra's online store. The winner also will receive a signed and personalized copy of Succulents Simplified.


Six succulent greeting cards from Debra's online store, featuring photos from her Succulents 2013 and Echeverias 2013 calendars. The winner also will receive a signed and personalized copy of Succulents Simplified.

Online library

In addition, she is presenting all five winners, as well as TEN runners-up, the link to her Succulents in Containers online photo library of design ideas.

You will get plenty of inspiration with these libraries let me tell ya!  Ok so now it's time to hit the computer!  And don't forget the rules!

1.  Go to Gardening Gone Wild for Debra's blog post!
2.  Make a comment on Debra's  blog that you heard about this from Sweetstuff!
3.  Tell her which prize you would like!
4.  Why you would like that prize!

Ok my Sweetstuff friends!  Start clicking and let the Sweet Succulent Force be with you!

And always remember!

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Succulents Simplified, Your New Go To Book

Have you ever started reading a book and got so entranced that before you know it hours have past and you haven't cooked dinner, posted on your facebook page (oh no!) and it's time for bed.  That is what happened to me when I received Debra Lee Baldwin's newest book Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties.  But I wasn't even done yet!  I even found myself reading the credits and browsing over the index.  I already have many pages tagged with sticky notes.  I am actually glad it is not a hard back, that means I can take it outside in my garden without worrying about the dirt

Debra's book with inspiration

This is Debra's third book.  Her first Designing with Succulent and second Succulent Container Gardens: Design Eye-Catching Displays with 350 Easy-Care Plants.  This book is meant to be a prequel to her other best sellers but has great information for beginning succulent growers as well as seasoned succulent gardeners like myself.  Her writing is informational with bits of her sassy wit thrown in to give you a giggle.   You will enjoy this book as much as the first two if not more.  

Succulents Simplified
is divided into three parts.  In part one: Enjoying, Growing, and Designing with Succulents Debra delightfully pops in sections such as Edible, herbal, and illegal succulents.  I found myself waiting anxiously for her to tell me what was illegal.  LOL  And I love the section How to refresh an overgrown container composition.  Obviously Keeping Your Succulents Fat and Sassy is a favorite section. So much great information jammed in part 1 you will be reading this information over and over.

Part Two How-To Projects That Showcase Succulents will have you making a list of items needed and running to the store asap.  Everything from Succulent-Topped Pumpkins, to make your own succulent picture frame.  One of my favorites in this section is the Succulent Topiary Sphere.  She made a video on this project and a couple other's in the book.  You can find them here.  I am so going to try this project. And how can I forget making a succulent bouquet!  Another have to!  Where's my list?

The last section is 100 Easy-Care Succulents.  Now you have to remember that these succulents grow like weeds in Southern California but here in Sacramento (Northern, CA) you may have to take some of them inside during the cold weather.  But she lists a lot of my favorites and gives you great information about each of them.  And the photos in this book (mostly taken by Debra herself) are incredible.  She has such a wonderful eye for just how to take the perfect photo.

So if you haven't ordered this great book do yourself a favor.  Set aside some time to read and then get ready to jump into the world of succulents.  Whether it be to tidy up your containers or start a new project from the book, you will be very busy.

Hope everyone is having a great week. Until next time remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day   

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Adventures in Potting

Have you ever started a project and discovered that you had a battle ahead of you and were determined to not give up?  Well that is what happened a few weeks ago when I decided to repot a planting I bought last year at the Succulent Extravaganza.  As soon as I saw this shell shaped pot at Succulent Gardens I knew I had to grab it before it got taken.  It was the only one.  I didn't really much care for what was planted in it but it did have a beautiful Aloe striata and Echeveria agavoides.  So when it came time to take the plants out and put them in different pots I really had my hands full!

The potting before I began to repot

This is what the pot looked like before I started.  Now that my ordeal is over I figure that Aloe must have been planted in this pot years ago.  I got the Echeveria out easy enough but when it came to the Aloe.....well let's just say, "Holy cow"!  It didn't want to come out of this pot.  So I dug and dug.  And yanked and yanked!  Very afraid that I was going to damage this precious pot.  I used every tool in my arsenal.  I finally realized I wasn't going to get all the roots with the plant.

It's out success

Finally I got that darn plant out.  Got most of larger roots so it will be fine!

Have roots?

But this is what it looked like when I got the Aloe out!  Very little dirt and mostly roots.  And the pot has a curve in it!

Digging out a rootbound pot

So I yanked and I yanked!  I stuck knives around the edge (not recommended).  But not much help.  And yes I was still afraid I would break the pot.  By the time it popped out I had dirt particles head to toe.


It's out!  Yahoo!  Wait till you see the rootball!

See how roots took on shape of pot!

Isn't this interesting?  The root ball has conformed to the shape of the shell planter!

Shell shaped roots

Here's a better photo where you can see the undulations in the pot.

Finished product  Newly planted

Here is the container all repotted with all different kind of crassula.  I added sea glass for top dressing and a couple of shells.  The aloe and echeveria went in two other plantings.  It was well worth the effort but so glad that is done.

What adventures in potting would you like to share?

Until later remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society Show & Sale

The SCSS show and sale took place on May 4th and 5th.  What a wonderful show it was.  Full of wonderful succulent specimens of every shape and size.  Gerhard Bock has already done a really great blog post on the show.  You can see it at Bamboo, Succulents and More!  Make sure you take a look at his post because I am going to show you some of the other things at the show that caught my eye!

Amazing pottery

Aren't these handmade pots incredible.  I got there on Friday in time to take these shots but by Saturday morning when I rushed over the best pots were gone.  I did grab a couple a of really nice ones and the darker wall planter on the third shelf.  Plan to go to her place and get more.

Wanted every one!

I really wanted that mermaid pot but alas it was gone.  I'm going to order one from her!  When I get the name of her company and all I will let you know.

 Donna Davis Taylor melted bottles

These great cut and melted bottles are made by Donna David Taylor, wife of Keith Taylor that makes the fantastic pots.  I will be doing a seperate blog post on these because they are very unique and very hard to make.  You would think, "Oh I can just melt a bottle and smoosh it."  But you would be so wrong and break every one.  She will explain this difficult process.

Hen Planter

And how adorable is this hen planter.  Very well planted.  I didn't see who planted it but isn't it cute!

Heavy load

This planting was called Heavy Load.  Really great in this Talavera burro.

Homage to Monet

I really liked this idea!  It was an homage to Monet.  A photo of his painting Water Lilies is to the right.


Isn't she beautiful!  Planted with a fabulous aloe!


The most amazing Ariocarpus retusus I have ever seen!


Digitostima Caput Madusae


My lily pond with water fall won second place!

E=MC 2 By Mara Aditajs

E=MC 2 a super idea that won first price by Mara Aditajs.

Second Place sea creature by Michelle Egan

I love this sea creature that took second place by Michelle Egan

Succulent Turtle

I have one of these turtles.  Really cool what someone did with it.

Best Dishgarden and 1st place Mara Aditajs

Best of show in the dish garden section goes to Get your Kicks from Route 66 by Mara Aditajs

First place planted pumice Alex Rigg

Well done planted pumice by Alex Rigg won First place

First place Ophthalmophyllum Group by Penny Newell

First place Ophthalmophyllum Group by Penny Newell

Second place Adromischus group by Penny Newell

Second place Adromischus group by Penny Newell

Honorable mention landscape Jim Yokum

Honorable mention landscape Jim Yokum

First place winner Michelle Egan

First place winner Michelle Egan

Honerable mention Sue Ballenger

Honorable mention Sue Ballenger

Second place Claire Bone

Second place Claire Bone

Manfreda undulata 'chocolate chips' by Marilyn Vilas

Manfreda undulata 'chocolate chips' by Marilyn Vilas

First place, can't read the name

First place but can't read the name of owner.

Euphorbia Loricata by Penny Newell

Euphorbia Loricata by Penny Newell

Schizobasis intracata

Schizobasis intracata that made second place. It really stood out to me!

The big winners

This is a whole bunch of the Best of Show winners. They each got a special ribbon along with a hand made pot by Keith Taylor.

Rows of great specimens

Just one of the many rows of beautiful succulent plants on display!

Echinopsis wersumanii

This beautiful flower was from Echinopsis wersumanii.

Mammillaria giselae crested

This is a really awesome Mammillaria giselae crested that won second place in it's catagory.  Wow!  Couldn't read the name of owner.

Varigated agave

And what about this awesome variegated agave.  Again no name.

Ok, what a great show and super turnout!  Next post is Adventures in potting.  Hmmmm!

Until next time remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Mother's Day Mom

This 'Christmas cactus' was my Mother's. I have fond memories of her living room full of giant pots of these beauties. All lovingly cared for and they grew huge and bloomed.  She had a couple different colors and they were her pride and joy! 

Happy Mother's Day Mom

As her Alzheimer's and heart disease took over through the years these plants got pushed to the side, taken outside and finally ignored. My sister took a couple (I wasn't into succulents at that time). She lived here in town at the time and they lived on her back patio.  They did pretty well out there but then she moved to Phoenix, AZ.  I don't think they have survived the hot weather.

Happy Mother's Day

  When her son moved out he took a clipping and put it in a pot. As a young man living in an apartment he put it on his patio and year round it was exposed to the elements. It became quite scarred as you can see but still stayed alive.  He gave this plant to me a couple of years ago and I coaxed it back to life. My Mom has been gone about 9 years now. This year the plant has new growth and with Mother's Day near is in full bloom.

To my Mom

So Happy Mother's Day Mom!  I love you so much and think about you every day!  Happy Mother's Day every day!

It's Another Beautiful Day