Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Potting Bench!!!

When I started my succulent adventure many years ago my husband took an old typewriter desk and moved it into the backyard so I could use it for potting.  Every year I put a plastic cloth over it to keep water out but it always went through.  So soon the doors began to warp and the draws didn't want to pull out.  It was also small and low so I had to sit in a chair to work on my pots.


And it looked like a mess.  Whenever I had anyone over it was an eyesore compared to my beautiful garden.  I got a call one day from one of my Bunco friends asking if I would like her old double sink.  Absolutely I would love to have i!.  I had seen many potting tables on Pinterest where they incorporated a sink.  So it began!

I asked a retired kindly neighbor if he might want to tackle this project.  He said yes and I will be forever grateful!



  It took the poor guy over an hour just to cut up the old thing!




It's going to take forever to get rid of all this wood.  Just a little bit at a time in the garbage.




We painted all the wood with two coats of primer before he put it up so that it should be pretty weather proof.  He laid in the sink and we are looking good.  The wood on the top right is from the old desk.  He left it so I could pot up some plants while we looked for what to use on the top and the shelves.




We decided to use some really good treated wood for the top.  Reason being that I will be running my hands over this a lot and don't want splinters.  For the bottom two shelves we used something cheaper.  So now it was time for me to paint it all.  I wanted a bold color because.......well, that's just me.  I used a floor and patio enamel so it won't scratch off and should resist the rain.  This is the first coat.




And here we go all done.  I painted the shelves up top and the whole thing again.  That means it has about 4 coats of paint.  I had to find bins that would fit the 11" space so that was tough but I finally found them.  Then got a couple of longer purple ones for under the sink and all.





The sink is amazing!  It's great to have dirt handy.  These sinks are really huge so they hold a lot of dirt!  The best part is that the potting bench is now as high as my waste.  So now I don't have to hurt my back potting plants.  And I'm so organized it is disgusting!  I love it!

My carpenter won't accept money so I am paying him in food.  I just took him over a really large apple pie.  Hey, that's how they used to do it in the old days!

Thanks for visiting and tell me about your potting area!

And remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ruth Bancroft Garden

Last Saturday the 12th I was invited by my friend and fellow blogger Gerhard Bock to attend Ruth Bancroft Garden spring opening and plant sale.  Gerhard is author of the popular blog Succulents & More and already has a couple of posts on our visit.  I jumped at the chance even though I had to get up early and meet him at 8 a.m. in Davis!

We met for breakfast then headed to RBG in Gerhard's van but ran into a problem when we encountered traffic from an accident.  The sale was from 9 to 11 for members of which Gerhard is one.  I was really honored that he would ask me to go.  But because of the delay we didn't arrive until 9:30 and we had to park pretty far away in a residential section.  I brought a garden wagon with hard plastic wheels.  You could hear me coming from a mile away!  It was pretty funny!




When we first entered there was a couple of tables set up with the most incredible succulents.  This is Opuntia sulphurea.  A clipboard was next to each plant so you could place a bid.  It was a silent auction.




Here is a closer view.  Aren't those spines crazy?!




Hmmmm, which one will she choose?




There were rows and rows and tables and tables of plants to choose from!  It was awesome!




Ruth Bancroft is 105 years old and is still going strong.  She made up some special pottings decorated with shells she has collected from all over the world.  What a special lady.  I would love to meet her.  She still has classes of about 6 people.  She started this beautiful garden in the 1950's when her husband gave her 2 1/2 acres of land to do what she wanted.

While we shopped I took a bunch of photos of the garden.




Opuntia Robusta



Agave 'Mr. Ripple'




Large unknown Gasteria!




This is Aloe striata.  Gerhard was lucky enough to find one.  I hope it makes babies and I can get one from him because they didn't any more.  Waah!




This was a huge clump of Euphorbia resinifera.  It was so pretty!




I love the color of this Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue'.




Ruth Bancroft is a visionary and I love how she planted such a variety of contrasting shapes and colors.




I loved the shape and colors on this Agave Cornelius.




Outstanding red blooms on this unknown cactus has me almost sitting in the dirt to take photos!




This clumping patch of Notocactus magnificus was tucked under a large tree.




I so loooove this Agave Colorata!  Had to show you a close up too!




Isn't this cool!




Shot of the day!  Don't the just love the colors, shapes and lines in this photo!  The light was magnificent.




There were many columnar cactus of many kinds next to the spear like Agaves.  I love this contrast in a cactus garden.




My favorite succulent of the day.  It is a type of Euphorbia called Euphorbia inermis var. huttonae.  And it was blooming!  So that called for another close up!




Isn't this scrumptious!  I bought a Euphorbia that is listed as ssp. which I hope means this one.  Brian Kemble who is extremely knowledgeable on succulents says that when the seeds are ready on these succulents they actually pop and spread all over the garden where they take root.  They then dig some of them up and sell them.  How awesome is that!




This spiraling blooming cactus is Astrophytum ornatum!




Look how huge those Golden Barrel Cactus are!




I love the blue chairs in the shade of these Yucca carnerosana!




This is Agave paryyi but not sure which one.




I have one of these Agave lophantha v. quadricolor.  Can't wait for babies like this!




In the back near the propagation area they had vertical plantings like this for sale.  They were beautiful!




Echeveria Malaco in a perfectly matched pot.




As you can see this was a sample and not for sale because it was not rooted.  But they would have rooted easy enough and I loved the staging!




Another incredible vertical planting!



This metal spider gave me the creeps!  But it was really quite a show stopper.

So if you have a chance place make your way to Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, CA.  You will love the garden and may go home with some succulent goodies!

Till next time remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!