Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The California State Fair 2014

I really enjoyed the California State Fair.  It ran from July 11-27th.  I got to attend three days but now wish I had gone more.  Yes there was fried food, rides, animals and let’s not forget those cinnamon rolls.   But what I really look forward to at the fair is the garden areas or anything plant related.  Even with the drought this year it was super green. And I had a blast!

Funnel Cake

The food vendors were all bright colors and large letters trying to get you to come taste their fried goodness. I saw a lot of people with funnel cakes. They were very popular!

The Farm

The Farm presented by Save Mart supermarkets was very interactive.  It’s three and a half acres is filled with over 70 different crops.  When you first enter you picked up a “passport”.  The map leads you to different stations to collect stamps and when all completed you got a free apple or orange.  You learned about California crops and healthy eating.  I loved it and so did the kids.

Cool container gardening

Vertical gardening

I loved the Urban Garden area that featured innovative container gardening.  One of my favorite displays was the painted used tires that were stacked and planted with edible crops.  These would look great in my garden and a great way to make a raised planter and recycle.  There was even a really cool little greenhouse made up of empty water bottles.

Waterwise flowers


Next to the Insect Pavilion which is always interesting was the Department of Water Resources Water Wise gardens.   They were beautiful!  But I kept looking for the succulents.  I did find some but not as many as there should have been.  I left my card and maybe next year they will give me a call to help.  Since succulents hold moisture in their leaves, stem or base they are the most water efficient plants there are.


I did see this little agave next to some Senecio Kleiniiformis.


Then I found these Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' and Senecio Blue Chalk Fingers. But there really should have been more. I talked with the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society group at our last meeting. We should get with whoever puts together the Farm area next year and help with the succulents.


Sunflower and Sunshine 

Water troughs

Usually they have rows of sunflowers and corn but because of the drought I just found a couple planted in water troughs.

Butternut squash

I think this is butternut squash but I'm not sure.

You could visit the greenhouses, talk with Master Gardeners and even learn hydroponics.  They show’d how to grow plants in sand, gravel or liquid with added nutrients.  But no soil.  It was really fantastic and the lettuce was absolutely perfect.  And the water was all recycled.  


These grapes aren't ready for picking but looked really cool.


There were rows of Watermelon, cucumber, zucchini and tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes!



Isn't this fantastic!



It was really hot on two of the three days I went to the fair.  It was in the 100'sF.  So you looked for any shade you could.  They had these pretty wisteria covered wooden gazebos.  It really helped.

To the Beach

The Beach Buddy Adventure garden area was really pretty and loaded with beautiful plants.  It was funded by the California Coastal Commissions's Whale Tail License Plate Fund.

To the Beach

This was another interactive area for adults and children.  You get a beach buddy map and go to various stations and learn all kind of great stuff about our beaches.  At the end you got a Beach Buddy badge.

Split leaf philodendron


I found this beautiful Sansevieria tucked up against rocks surrounded by color!  Lovely!

Love the leaves

There was a lot of multi colored portulaca growing all over.  Hmmm, full sun and loving it.  Didn't know it was this hardy.  I wonder how it will do in a rock garden?  And I don't know what the other plant is but the shape of the leaves is really cool.  Any helpers?


And then I came upon this big patch of Tradescantia pallida.  Wow, so pretty and purple.  I have tried to grow this but it burned.  Wonder how they did it.


So there was so much more going on but I have to stop somewhere.  I will post more photos to my Facebook page.  It really was great though and I'm glad you could see a bit of it here.  Maybe next year you should check it out!

Have a great week and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Succulent Celebration Was Fantastic

I know this is really late since it has been a month since the celebration but better late than never!  This 2nd annual event was held on June 6-7th of this year.  It was held at Waterwise Botanicals in Escondio, CA.  I made the trip down by myself in my new Subaru Forrester.  And I had a blast!

There were fantastic speakers to listen to and beautiful succulents to drool over.  Garden Design was there to share in the reinvention of their beautiful magazine.  Lots of vendors shared their fabulous creations be they organic or inorganic.  And there were even potting workshops!  It was a fun filled, jammed packed two days!

Waterwise Botanicals

View of a section of display garden and plants for sale!

Tradescantie palida purple heart

Let's look at a few photos of the display gardens and growing ground.  This purple patch of Tradescantie palida was so beautiful.

Mural at Waterwise Botanicals

This beautiful vertical succulent mural met you at the entrance.  It was huge!

Waterwise Botanicals map

I loved this map of the nursery!

Waterwise Botanicals garden

These Tiki were here last year.  They look so cool!  The aloe in the foreground is a variety called 'Little Gem'.  It is suppose to bloom all year and should do great in Sacramento.  I got 3 of them.  They make pups like crazy!

Pond and growing grounds

Isn't this beautiful!  This is "The Hill"!  There are two ponds.  Each one holds the biggest black cat fish I have ever seen.  Tom Jesch, owner of Waterwise always gives a talk at these ponds while he feeds them.  What a wonderful man he is with the greatest sense of humor.

Display Gardens

To the left is the huge tent for the speakers.  Don't you just love this pouring pot!

Debra Lee Baldwin

Debra Lee Baldwin presented both days.  During both she did potting demos.  I think this is my favorite.  She stuffed this beautiful Talavera pot from the Madd Potter full of colorful succulents that went so well with this pot.  Madd Potter was one of the vendors and I went home with a few Talavera pots from them!  Next time I am down South I am going to pay them a visit.

Created by Debra Lee Baldwin

Ta Da!  The finished product!  Man I sure wanted to sneak this home!

Created by Debra Lee Baldwin

This is another incredible arrangement put together by Debra.  This time it is in a hanging planter from Pot Incorporated!

Waterwise Botanicals

This is just a small section of plants you could snatch up.  It was great, there was always a wagon rolling around and would take your selections to a holding area.  That way you didn't have to fight over wagons or lug the heavy pots around.  Waterwise was so thoughtful!  And get this, they had air conditioned portable bathrooms.  Really awesome!

Fat Plant Co.

Laura Eubanks company Fat Plant Co., had a booth with great things for sale.  I love this rusty old potted tool box!

Fat Plant Co.

And these succulent earrings were fantastic.  They were snapped up pretty quick!

Succulent Perch

Cindy Davison of The Succulent Perch had a booth with stunning arrangements like the above!

Succulent Perch

A pot in a pot!  Sensational!  Cindy's arrangement are amazing.  Wait till you see the next one.

Succulent Perch

Isn't this fish planter whimsical!

Keith Kitoi Taylor shared a booth with his girlfriend Donna of Melted Bottle and her new company Succulent_Pottery.  They came with many incredible pots, wall pockets and cut bottles for sale.

Aren't these amazing!  She holds clay workshops too!  The next is this weekend the 12th and 13th of July!  You can contact her on Facebook.

Kelly Griffin at Succulent Celebration

Time for another presentation and Kelly Griffin did not fail to impress us with his immense knowledge.  You know all those really great little aloe hybrids you have been seeing lately?  Well he is responsible for most of them!

The presenters were fantastic.  Jeanne Meadows gave a great talk on how she transformed her garden.  She even had photos showing every step.  Robin Stockwell was also a super speaker as usual.  Poor man had a terrible cold but flew all the way down South to attend the event.  He is such a fine man.  And we also heard from Peter Loyola the owner of the Succulent Cafe in Oceanside, CA.  He brought an old door than he turned into a piece of succulent art work.  See photo below:

Succulent Cafe

Stunning isn't it!

Created by Candice Suter

I wore this hat on day one!  I changed it up a bit from the Sunset Celebration.

Created by Shirley Kost-Haskell

I wasn't the only one sporting succulents!  This creation is made and worn by Shirley Kost-Haskell.

Susan Morse creation

Susan Morse made some fantastic succulent artwork!

Created by Katie Christiansen

Katie Christensen works at Waterwise and has some fantastic ideas!

Created by Katie Christiansen

Katie planted this piece of driftwood. And don't you just love that slag glass!  A vendor was there selling lots of driftwood that had holes drilled into it.  I bought some and will plant and share soon.

Care for a dip

Let's go back to Waterwise and their great plants!  Don't you just love this planted bath tub!

Waterwise display garden

I wish, I wish!

Euphorbia snowflake

Check out the Euphorbia 'Snowflake'!  So many in one pot!

Sedum praeltum 'green apple snap'

This is Sedum praeltum 'Green Apple Snap'.  I brought a few of these home and hopefully they will do well planted in front of the house.  Making plans to dig the lawn out.  Very exciting.

Kalanchoe marmorata

I should have brought one of these Kalanchoe marmorata home with me!

Waterwise for sale

Ok so yes I was drooling about now!


So many varieties of  Bromeliad and so many colors!  It's way too hot to grow them here and the cold would get them also.

Succulent lovlies

Feast your eyes!  LOL


The Euphorbias were so big and full!

Waterwise Duck


For sale at Waterwise

The color on these Agave quadricolor were so intense.  I will be planting these in front of the house.  They are eye popping!  And they do well here in Roseville.

Succulent goodies

And yes there were little ones to purchase too!

Agave colorata

Agave colorata looking all gnarly and cool!

So there you go folks!  Hope you enjoyed the pics and hope to see you there next year!

Until later:

It's Another Beautiful Day!