Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Handmade Pots and Planting with SC&SS

I am having so much fun at the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society meetings.  What a great group they are.  Starting in August of 2012 a great friend and member Keith Kitoi Taylor brought in clay so we could each make our own pots!  He makes the most amazing pots himself you would believe it.  And what a great idea to get members to attend the meetings.  Got me there!  LOL

So the first thing that happened was the making of the pots.  Keith brought a pound of clay for everyone.  White or red was the choice.  If you wanted more (like me) you paid a couple of bucks.  So you all know me.....I wanted a bigger pot!

Finished molding with my hands

So here is my finished wet product.  Looks like a pie plate doesn't it.  Must have been hungry!
Keith took these all home.  He let them dry for a couple of weeks then fired them in his kiln.  Then we came back so we could paint our pot.

Gerhard pot #1

This is Gerhard Bock's pot all painted.  He has a great blog called Bamboo, Succulents and More.  If you click on his blog name you will find a super post by Gerhard on our planting of these finished pots.

My painted pot side

I painted my pot with who knows what color.  But it was fun!  Keith then took these home and fired them.  He brought them all back this past Monday.


We were told to bring soil, plants and anything else we needed to plant our finished pots.  So I brought screen for the hole, my homemade dirt, plants, gloves, tiny rocks for top dressing and a paint brush.

Making a mess

So I actually thought about this ahead of time and went to Lowe's and bought plants accordingly.  In the center I put Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire'.  Then I bought three Pachyveria glauca 'Little Jewel'.  Then I got Sedum 'Angelina' for in between.

Work in progress

Here is a look at my pot all painted from the side.  The red will go good with the red in the plants!

My finished pot

All done!  I like it!  Let's see what other people did!

Gerhards  Dyckia fosteriana hybrid

This is Gerhard's Dyckis fosteriana hybrid all planted and pretty!

Gerhard and his Euphorbia decaryi var. spirosticha

Don't you love Gerhard's pot?  He got some extra clay also but instead of making one pot he made two.  This one is planted with Euphorbia decaryi var. spirosticha.  The leaves on this succulent are very hard to the touch.

Doing a great job planting

Here a member has planted a beautiful Euphorbia and a sempervivum.  I love the shape of this pot.


Now this member brought a beautiful succulent and a big rock for his planting.  It looks like a bonsai planting!   Great job!

Agave utahensis that belongs to Mara

This is one of my favorites!  Mara planted Agave utahensis in this super pot that she made by actually rolling her clay.  I really like the paint job also.  The color is really great!

Gasteria liliputana in beautiful handmade blue pot

This pretty blue pot is planted with Gasteria liliputana.

Cool euphorbia

Love how she matched the colors so well by planting this Euphorbia.


This pot had a very rough edge that I liked.  Looks like a darker blue was used on the inside which was brilliant.


Monigue and Clifford are really proud of their final plantings and pots.  And they should be because they are awesome!

Yucca you think it will fit?

A member brought in a chopped off branch of his Yucca gloriosa for anyone who wanted it.  I snapped it up because I need something to replace the frozen dead cactus that was a great vertical element in my front planter.  Gerhard said I should plant this in my pot so that is why he took this silly photo!

What a great time this whole process was.  And I would like to thank Keith Kitoi Taylor for doing this for us.  And guess what?  He announced that we are going to do it again!  OMG I am jazzed!  Now that we have done one I have more ideas!

Just to let you know I will be visiting Succulent Gardens this Saturday to take a ton of photos of Robin Stockwell's Succulent globe!  Click to see an article from Succulent Gardens.  Very excited and will be doing a big post on it.  If you haven't bought your ticket to the San Francisco Flower and Garden show you should do so now.  Robin will have this 10' diameter globe of the earth on display.  I am so excited to see it. Debra Lee Baldwin as well as many other great gardeners/designers & landscapers will also be giving great presentations.  Also keep in mind that Debra's new book Succulents Simplified will be coming out in June.

Wow, lots of information for you!  Have a great week and until next time remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Aeonium blooms are really slow but beautiful

I have been wanting to show this little succulent miracle for a while.  I finally got all the photos together to show you the transition of Aeonium to the Aeonium bloom stalk flower.  The plant needs to be mature before it will bloom.  I planted this big blue pot in 2008.  The first bloom started to appeared in the winter of 2011.   It's been so cold here that the Aeonium's in my big blue pot got cold burned.  It looks pretty bad.  It did try to bloom in two places.  But it got too cold and the flower stalks are coming out deformed.  I think I will be cutting off every Aeonium stalk, dig out the old roots, put in new dirt and replant.  That would be a good idea for another post wouldn't it.

Aeonium just starting to flower

This first photo shows the Aeonium starting to extend from the apex (or growing point) of the plant.  This started at the beginning of December 2011.  The fifth to be exact.  But as you can see it had started a few days before but I didn't catch it.

Aeonium happy and starting it's first bloom

See the Aeonium on the right hand side starting to extend in the middle.  If you look at the center closely you can see that the plant produced a bunch of leaves right at the center.  It needs the plant material because you won't believe how far the bloom will extend.

Aeonium bloom elongating

And it continues to push out as the days go by.  December 18, 2011 and it is going strong.

Aeonium bloom stalk

It's January 29th and the bloom stalk completely extended.  It now has to complete it's internal growing so that it can bloom.

Aeonium buds

I wanted to show you a close up of the bloom stalk with all the buds.  As you can see all the little flowers are going to be yellow.

First flowers to appear

Even more flowers open up on February 11, 2012.

Just a few buds open

February 15, 2012 and a few more are opened.

Almost done opening

So now it's March 1st and they are almost all open.  It takes a long time for it to bloom.

Close up of Aeonium bloom

I wanted to show you a close up of the blooms.  Aren't they beautiful!

Aeonium bloom in full bloom

All but a couple are open now and it's March 12, 2012.  It still goes on for another few weeks before looking shabby.  When it really starts looking bad I cut it off way down near the dirt in the pot.  Yes they are monocarpic which means the plant dies after blooming.  But with this pot another Aeonium was ready to take it's place.  Don't you love the red color the plant has at this time of year?

So if you have been keeping track this has been going on for about 3 months.  It was glorious and can't wait for it to happen again.  Looks like I will have to wait till next year though.

Have a great week everyone and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!