Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Garden Party at Waterwise Botanicals

A fabulous event is coming up that you won't want to miss!  On Friday Oct. 25th and Saturday 26th Waterwise Botanicals in Escondido, CA is hosting a Fall Garden Party!  You will see beautiful succulents, hear great speakers and if you would like, attend fabulous workshops.  Attending the Fall Garden Party is free!  Please make sure that you go to this link and RSVP!

Tom Jesch

Tom Jesch founder of Waterwise Botanical will welcome you with a wonderful introduction, tea and coffee when the nursery opens at 9 a.m.


My succulent buddy Debra Lee Baldwin will be there to get the event started with a wonderful presentation on her Favorite Succulents.  The rest of the day will be loads of fun and more speakers!  Don't forget if you want to participate in a DIY project that you pre-register.  Space is limited.  For the Holiday Succulent Centerpiece Workshop with Lois Walag pre-register and pay using this link!

Waterwise Botanicals

In between speakers be sure to check out the beautiful landscaping around the nursery.  It's really fabulous!

Waterwise Botanicals

Such great landscaping ideas for a Waterwise yard.

Rebecca Sweet

You are in for a treat on Saturday.  Rebecca Sweet starts off the day with her presentation entitled Refresh Your Garden Design.  This is the title of her new book that she is launching during the Garden Party.  Rebecca is a garden designer and owns a company called Harmony in the Garden.   She is a wonderful writer and also co-authored another great book entitled Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces.  Please also check out her great blog Gossip in the Garden!

Rebecca's book

She will be signing her new book during the Garden Party!

Laura Eubanks succulent topped pumpkins

Next up on Saturday is a DIY workshop with Laura Eubanks from Design from Serenity.  Learn out to make a succulent topped pumpkin from the sweet gal who designed them.  Please make sure you pre-register and pay for the workshop via PayPal using this link!  You will love it and have tons of fun!

Succulent Perch pottings

There will be many vendors selling their wares around the nursery.  Please make sure that you check out The Succulent Perch.  She will have many beautiful and innovative pottings for you.  Cindy Davison combines succulents with the eye of a great florist.  She combines colors and textures in ways that will make you want to take them home to enjoy.

Waterwise Botanicals

So two days of gardening love await.  It's always wonderful to attend such events and speak with folks that have the same interest.  I wish I could go but am having a hard time as of late with my back.  So I hope that many of you go and report back to me.  So I send my Sweetstuff love and I will be there in spirit!

Have a great time!  Remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Succulent Extravaganza 2013 - Day One

I was so looking forward to the Succulent Extravaganza at Succulent Gardens this year!  And I was not disappointed!  I posted a blurb earlier letting you all know it was coming and I have been so excited.  The theme was Passion and so many folks like myself that are crazy succulent fiends were asked to participate.  I can't wait to share the fun and beauty with you.
First I have to tell you that I took over 500 photos during the two day event!  Holy cow girl!  And....I didn't get photos of everything I wanted.  Guess I will have to go back!  What a shame.  LOL  But that means that I will be doing a couple of posts on the event because I want to share with all of you that couldn't go to this wonderful event.  To see even more photos go on over to my Facebook page!
Please also go to Gerhard Bock's blog Bamboo Succulents & More.  He posted about three or four different times on the Extravaganza.  He took some great photos and it's always super to see a different perspective.
Before I continue I would like to personally thank Robin Stockwell owner of Succulent Gardens for putting on this spectacular two day event!  And for including me as a presenter, I am so grateful and sincerely honored that I was chosen to take folks on photo walks both days.  It was one of the highlights of my life.  And a big thank you to Tiffany and the entire staff at Succulent Gardens.  I love you all to pieces!

Succulent mailbox

Among the pots of succulents at the entrance to the garden is this cute succulent planted mailbox!

Succulent fanatics and globe

After the free coffee and donuts at the entrance a bunch of us from the Facebook page Succulent Fanatics ran over to the Succulent Globe designed by Robin Stockwell (in front) and took a group photo.  Laura Balaoro founder of the group was also a presenter later in the morning.
At 8:30 you could take a morning stroll with Brian Kemble of the Ruth Bancroft Gardens.  He knows so much about plants it will blow your mind.  At 10:00 a.m. was Debra Lee Baldwin and Plants that Drink Responsibly.  I started watching her presentation but had to take off to prepare for my photo walk.  I wanted to read over my notes because I was kind of freaking out!

Metal Ostrich

I hung out in my car reading my notes and relaxing and then I headed out for the Winnie the Pooh mural in the entrance.  We were suppose to have about 15 people on the walk but when I got there I saw about 35 folks with their cameras ready to go.  So what did I do?  We just got started and it was a blast!  I think I was a little manic the the first day but I calmed down on Saturday.  And the cool thing was that Robin let us go into two forbidden greenhouses!  AND we got to go under the yellow taped off area.  No buying but they could look and photograph to their hearts content!

Winnie the Pooh

We met here at the Winnie mural.  Isn't he the coolest!  The best time to take a photo of him was in the afternoon when he was in the sun.

A study in contrast

We talked about contrast like in the color and lines in this shot.  The Euphorbia firesticks looks pretty cool against the horizontal lines in the dark wood siding of this shed.

Aloe bloom

This is looking under an aloe bloom!
During the walk we talked a lot about filling your frame with your subject, light, the rule of thirds, the golden hours and perspective.  I am sure I hit a lot of other subjects as the walk went on.  I can sure yak.  I felt like the Pied Piper leading everyone through the first greenhouse to our next photo destination.

Photo walk with Sweetstuff 1

Here is a large part of the group taking photos between greenhouses two and three.  This is my favorite spot.  I'll show you why!

Agave blue glow and Agave blue wave not backlit

To the right is Agave blue wave and to the left Agave blue glow.  They definitely are beautiful but one big point I stressed with the photo group was back light.  Most succulents are absolutely beautiful when the sun is behind them.  Since they have a lot of water in them sometimes they put out the most beautiful glow.  And in this case the edges of the Agave blue glow shine like Christmas lights.

Agave blue glow and Agave blue wave backlit

This is a view from the other side just cropped in a bit.  Even without cropping the light jumps of the succulents in the most beautiful way!  So first I show'd them the plants from the first direction then backlit!  You should have heard the ooh's and aaah's!  It was so cool and they just started taking tons of photos!  I felt like Santa Claus just giving out a present.

Photo walk with Sweetstuff 2

In greenhouses two and three the photo gang had a blast going under the tape and taking photos!

Photo walk with Sweetstuff 3

I really wish I could see all their photos.  I did have some folks come up later in the day and show me what they had done earlier.  I even got some emails with photos attached.  They did so great!

Greenhouse agaves

Rows and rows of Agaves!


Get up close and personal with your subject!  Get the textures and shadows cast by the light.  It was so fun taking photos in the greenhouses!  Thank you Robin!
People got so engaged in taking photos I had to tell them it was time to out from behind the yellow tape and go to lunch.  Lots of yummy street tacos were ready to be eaten!  But I still had time to see the end of Laura Balaoro's presentation that started at 11:30 on Accessorizing with Succulents.

Laura Balaoro

She was working on decorating a beautiful straw hat with Aeoniums and other succulents.  She can decorate anything!  Earrings, necklaces, hats....you name it!  And the succulents live for a long time and can be replanted.  So cool!  Everyone loved her presentation!

Succulent globe

This year Robin decided to hold the presentations outside which was a fabulous idea.  He had a huge cover and speakers set up.  As you were listening to the speaker you got to see this view from the background.  Robin's amazing spinning globe of the Earth!  A beautiful breeze would come through every once in a while and it was delightful!

Succulent Fanatics table

I wandered back into the main greenhouse and checked out the Succulent Fanatics table.  Robin gave the group a couple of table that we could put together and show off our succulent creativity!  What a great variety of super ideas!  Lots of people were checking it out!  If you get a chance join our Facebook group.  Great bunch of people all willing to help with succulent problems and you can post photos of your work

Laura Balaoro 2

This as made by Laura Balaoro founder of our group.  She even has succulent swizzle sticks!

Nancy Nygaard 1

.Love this cute girl with frilly skirt by Nancy Nygaard!

Nancy Nygaard 2

Had to show you her backside!

By Katie Christensen

My wonderful roomie Katie Christensen put together this photo frame for the table.  Photos on the left and right are Succulent Fanatic group photos from the Succulent Celebration in June.

Visor decorated by Ellyn Holloway

Don't you love this succulent visor by Ellyn Holloway!

Danielle & Michael Romero design

This beautiful potting was designed by Danielle and Michael Romero who drove all the way from Southern California for the Extravaganza!

Debra Lee Baldwin 1

Debra Lee Baldwin was nearby at a table of her own selling and signing books.

Kim Jordan Bryce and Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin and fellow Succulent Fanatic Kim Jordan Bryce.  She made a bunch of us the great magnetic name tags you see her wearing.  Thank you so much Kim!  And thank you for the beautiful Sculpey succulent necklace for my birthday present!  OX

Long lines to check out at Succulent Gardens

Look at this check out line!!!  Everyone chatted while waiting.  The line went very fast.

Desert Mandala

Still lots of cool things to see while you are waiting in line.  Like this Tillandsia holder by Desert Mandala!

Succulent cupcakes

You could even buy some really cool succulent cupcakes at the end if you wanted!

The yellow house with Aeonium sunburst and agave attenuatta 'Kara's stripe'

While I was messing around I missed the presentation by Tony Krock on coring Agaves.  But I hear that it was a fantastic talk.  So I decided to wander some more and take photos until it was time for the presentation by Marialuisa Kaprielian at 3 p.m.

Agave flower

I found this beautiful Agave bloom.  Don't know the species but I bet someone can tell me.

The yellow house with Aeonium sunburst and agave attenuatta 'Kara's stripe'

I love the filterted light on this shot of the yellow house with Aeonium sunburst and agave attenuatta 'Kara's stripe'.

Crassula ovata 'Gollum and friends

Love the red tip of the Crassula gollum.

Beautiful pots

I so love this adobe wall leading to the retail courtyard.

Aeonium wall

More shots of the grounds for you to enjoy!


Echeveria elegans

Echeveria elegans!

Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick'

Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick' ready to go home with you!

Variegated Pony Tail Palm

Sure wish I would have bought one of these.  I think this is a variegated Pony Tail palm.

Aloe bloom art

Trying to be artsy!

Succulent love

So many beautiful plants to buy!

Aeonium Zwartzkof

Aeonium Zwartzkof!

Large Aeoniums

Rows and rows of beautiful dinner plate sized Aeoniums.

Ferocactus peninsulae

Beautiful flower of Ferocactus peninsulae.

Echeveria hybrid

Beautiful curly edged hybrid Echeverias!


I love this courtyard beyond the adobe wall!  So pretty!

Aloe polyphylla 2

The very photogenic Aloe polyphylla!

Aloe polyphylla 1

So many of them and all in rows!

Donalyn Dow

Succulent Fanatic Donalyn Dow and myself waiting for the next presenter.  It sure was nice to meet up with people I've talked with for so long.

Marialuisa 1

Time for Marialuisa and making bridal bouquets.  I learned so much and it was so interesting.  See the mirror up above her.  You could  easily see what she was doing.  Really great idea.

Marialuisa 2

This is our view from the mirror.  Isn't that bouquet gorgeous!

Robin Stockwell explaining panels

Last before the free BBQ was owner Robin Stockwell talking about his innovative vertical murals.  He is great in a crowd and they asked lots of questions!

Wall mural

Isn't this beautiful!  You can stand and look at it for a long time.

Details of wall mural

Here's some details of the panels growing together.

Succulent Garden girls

The Succulent Garden girls!  A special thank you to them.  Robin's right hand girl Tiffany Polli is in the middle.  On the right is Katie Elzer-Peters, Simone LaJeunesse (back left) and Angie Reynolds were all super helpful to everyone at the nursery!

After the amazing BBQ we all headed back to our hotels for a cutting exchange.  It was really fun and I was so pooped I had to leave early.  Boy did I need some sleep to get ready for the next day of fun.
Stay tuned for day two!

Now to start on day two!  Until then remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!