Saturday, January 10, 2015

Winter in My Garden

Winter in my garden can be pretty boring.  Except when I am running around throwing frost cloth on beds when the temps dip below 32F.  During the winter I get a chance to reflect on the past year.  The accomplishments and yes some failures.  But isn't that part of gardening?  

I like to take photos during the winter and plan what I'm going to need to do come Spring time.  Because beds always outgrow the design and need to be redone.  The plants grow and multiply and before you know it you have more plants than you know what to do with.

And that is where my beautiful sister comes in.  I'm happy to say that she will be retiring and moving in with my Father the end of February.  She will be moving from Phoenix to help care for my Dad and join me in my Succulent adventures.  I am excited to have a Succulent Sister!

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This bed is against the fence and at the end of my new yard project.  It used to be this beautiful flowing river of Echeveria's but some got burned out.  So this area will be redone!


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Don't you love that aloes bloom at all times of the year!


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The Aloe delta lights has tons of babies on it.  The Echeveria aquarius developed three large heads that have tried to smother out my aloe in the corner and some aeoniums against the pot.  They will be split up!


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My patch of Echeveria imbricata had become so outgrown that last year that I pulled them out and started new.  Looks pretty good.  I have these guys growing everywhere.


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I love this corner and my varigated opuntia has become so large.  I believe it is called Opuntia Joseph's coat.  I received one pad as a gift from a friend a few years ago and it is growing well.


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Kind of blurry pic but this water trough is doing well.  Hopefully we won't have many more freezes so I lose the hanging varigated elephant plant.


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With most of my plants in the gazebo or greenhouse things look so sparse outside.


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Standing out my back slider looking left you see my gazebo greenhouse and new greenhouse.  Then the start of my planters all around the back fence.


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That opuntia on the right is sooooo huge.  Too big.  I will either get rid of it completely or trim it tons!  Ugh!


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Still a lot of red fruit on my Cereus Peruvianus Monstrose .


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Right after the last big rain my beautiful Opuntia robusta just fell over.  So I will be removing a lot of pads and standing it back up.  Before you know it I will have lots of new pads.


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I have a lot of leaves in my front garden.  They help keep the succulents warm.  I will remove them in the Spring.


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My wagon full of succulents is doing pretty well along the side of my house.


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The wonderful rains that we had really jump started my succulents.  This patch was actually sparse and you could see lots of dirt before the rain.  The succulents loved the benefits of the rain and grew like crazy.


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Yes underneath the mass of succulents is a beautiful blue birdbath.  The plants are growing like wild weeds in here too.  And look at Graptoveria Fred Ives.  They are so huge and tons of them.  I need to pull out the Eche's that are hiding underneath so they won't get forgotten.  But where will I put them?  LOL


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This crazy sticks on fire is in a really cool ceramic fish planter that you cannot see.  In the spring it may need to be transplanted.


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One of my beautiful Christmas cactus is still blooming!  I love the color.


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This is my front planter.  And it is quite a mess.  I have leaves all over it to hold in the cold.  Potted plants are in the walkway to be covered in case of cold.  I have decided to redo this whole planter in the spring.  The Echeveria's are so crowded now I am afraid of a big mealy bug outbreak.


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Here is a closer look at those E. Aquarius that will be split up.  Aren't they gorgeous!


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This pot is in the new planting in the front yard.  The Portulacaria afra variegata Rainbow Bush froze a bit since this photo.  But there is new growth underneath.  I will leave the dead leaves on the plant to help keep it from getting hurt any more.  The aloe is a new one for me called coral fire.

So what is happening in your winter garden?

It's Another Beautiful Day!












Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year....Brrr it's cold!

Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a great new year and got home safe and sound.  We spend a quiet evening with friends and watched the new year on TV.  Doesn't sound exciting I know but it was nice.

California is experiencing it's first really cold weather.  December was wet and warm which was nice but now we are really cold.  Last night was in the 20's and same is expected tonight.  Hopefully the deep chill will stop soon.  I know you East coast people are probably laughing.  But hey, we just aren't used to it.  And neither are the plants.

This is some of the precautions I take.

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For the past few years I have wrapped one of my gazebos in 5 mil. plastic.  Inside are shelves stuffed with potted succulents.  Then other's on rolling stands are rolled inside.  I have a table set up inside with a small heater.  This year so that we wouldn't have so many in the garage we bought a small greenhouse.


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This is what the gazebo greenhouse looks like inside all stuffed!


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The new greenhouse.  I should have gotten a couple more sets of shelves for the sides.  Next year.


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I still needed to put plants in the garage.  Geez!


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Not at many as normal thank goodness.  I have grown that Madagascar palm from a 4 inch baby.  Wow!


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I have a lot of hanging planters this year.  We hung many in the gazebo but the rest are on the table in the garage or hanging like this with the kayak's!  LOL


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Outside the plants in the ground are all covered up with frost cloth.  It's crazy!


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Now really who does this?  LOL


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Water trough cover up!  You can use sheets and blankets in a pinch.  But if it rains they will do more harm than good.  They will absorb the water and freeze.  Then you will have this frozen cloth laying on your plants.  Not good!  Believe me I tried this method and lost a lot of plants.


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I resorted to small paint cans to hold down the frost cloth.


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I was given this umbrella greenhouse by a vendor at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.  It was a thank you for buying many tillandsias.  I am curious as to whether it will keep these succulents safe.  They are cuttings so time will tell.


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These plants are now all covered up with frost cloth.

So I hope you all are keeping warm.  And I am curious to hear of any new year resolutions you might have.  I want to lose weight and get rid of excess (stuff) in the house.

It's Another Beautiful Day!