Friday, December 31, 2010

Haworthia truncata var. maughanii

I haven't had time to get out in the greenhouses with the camera. We're having another cold spell and - of course - one of the heaters is acting up - again! So, from the archives, comes this photo of one of my favorites, Haworthia truncata var. maughanii. This is from seed and it's just a fascinating plant.
Since I probably won't have time to blog tomorrow (it's New Year's Eve, the day after our grandson's birthday and the day before mine), I'll wish you all a wonderful New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sedum rubrotinctum 'Aurora'

I've been too busy to take pictures lately so...I guess it's time for some re-runs. So, here goes!
Sedum rubrotinctum 'Aurora' is a plant that I don't think gets enough attention as a decorative holiday accent. The common name, "Pink Jelly Beans", doesn't do them justice. They're an outstanding, easy to grow plant, which can be used effectively in a small dish garden on a windowsill, or as a temporary table centerpiece. They're a plant which seems to invite you to have some fun with them, arranging them with other small yellow or green succulents to great effect.

If this has been a holiday time wherever and whoever you are, I hope it was a good one, with an emphasis on the universal hope for peace, hope, joy and love.

Enjoy you plants!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Best wishes to all of you out there. I appreciate your checking out my blog once and a while. Thanks.
Enjoy your plants!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Greenhouse heater problems

I haven't had time to post for the last few days. The old oil heater we use in one of our greenhouses has a mind of its own, and it's decided to go on strike. As a result I've been wrestling copper fittings and flare fittings and cleaning out old equipment (soot everywhere). This is one of those miserable tasks which sometimes goes along with growing plants, especially if you can't afford to hire someone to do it. Besides, this stuff is so old, I doubt any repair people would have a clue about what to do.  I have to re-do some fittings in the a.m. and then pray that the float valve works. If it doesn't, we'll have to order a new one.

And then maybe I'll have some time to post some pictures before Christmas.

Feliz Natal!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mussonia jasminiflora (postulate form)

Massonia jasminiflora: These are winter flowering plants from the eastern Cape Province in South Africa. A great little succulent bulb with two leaves which can be quite variable, and - as the name hints - the flowers have the distinct aroma of Jasmine.
Our biggest problem is finding a way to maneuver down the aisles to get over to where these plants are!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adromischus herrei (Adromischus marianae fa. herrei)

Looking very much like a science fiction plant from outer space,  Adromischus marianae 'Herrei' is highly variable in color and texture. It's worth collecting more than one clone. We can never keep enough of these around, but we always keep some back for propagation and personal enjoyment.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oregon Cactus & Succulent Society Christmas Party Pictures

Tonight just some random shots from the Christmas Party of the Oregon Cactus & Succulent Society. We're small, but we had 20 at the gathering and I think everyone had a great time. A special thanks to Laura for hosting us.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pedilanthus macrocarpus crest

This is a plant we've had for a long time, a crest of Pedilanthus macrocarpus. We're going to be putting this up on Ebay soon, along with the two Haworthias we just posted. It obviously has a normal offshoot which will need to be removed, but we'll leave that to the buyer.

Commonly known as the Slipper Plant or Candelilla, it is native to the Sonoran Desert of Baja California and Sonora, Mexico. The crested form is highly prized and sometimes occurs naturally in the wild.

Actually, candelilla (meaning "little candle") is used for at least two plants in the spurge or euphorbia family (Euphorbiaceae). The other plant is Euphorbia antisyphilitica of the Chihuahuan Desert.
Enjoy your plants!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

X Astroworthia bicarinata

This is one of those plants which has been bounced around a bit: Aloe, Haworthia, Astroloba, Astroworthia ... and the list goes on. I'll stay with the later and call it x Astroworthia bicarinata. Whatever its name eventually turns out to be, it can be quite impressive in its own right.
Enjoy your plants.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oregon Cactus & Succulent Society Christmas Potluck and Party

For those in the Portland, Oregon area, the OCSS Christmas Potluck and Party will be this coming Sunday, December 12 at 2:00 pm. Please call me at 503.913.7123 to RSVP. The club will supply the meat dishes.

A Plethora of Pleiospilos - and Haworthia Updates

I couldn't resist taking a picture yesterday of this little bunch of Pleiospilos 'Royal Flush'. No need for flowers on these little gems...
Also, for those who check back occasionally at our nursery web site for new Haworthias, we posted new updated pages today. At least for a while they'll be up to date!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Epicactus 'Piland's Pride'

And then, much to our surprise, we looked up from our more mundane chores and there was Epi 'Piland's Pride' putting out it's relatively small but vibrant flowers. It just goes to show that, in the succulent nursery, there's always something wonderfully unexpected happening.
Enjoy your plants!

Haworthia semiviva

This is Haworthia semiviva, which means the "half alive" Haworthia. I posted a picture of this last year at about the same time of year, but I just couldn't resist. They're looking really nice right now.
We don't have any for sale on our web site right now, but maybe pretty soon. A new revision of the Haworthia pages should be up within a week or two. If you're interested, check back soon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Aloe krapohliana var. dumoulinii

Today we move from white to very bright: Aloe krapohliana var. dumoulinii. This aloe is reputed to be a bit touchy with water, though we haven't had any problems raising them. But even if they do prove difficult to some, this flower makes them worth it. All three of these shots are of the same flower yesterday in greenhouse #2.

Aloe albiflora

We've been taking quite a few photos and I'll post some of them pretty soon. But...not tomorrow. Tomorrow is Lynn-Marie's birthday, so we'll be doing something special.

So for tonight, just a quick photo of one of the flowers happening now: Aloe albiflora. Rather humble plants, they get their braggin' rights when the flowers show up. A native of Madagascar, this is a great addition to any succulent collection.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ariocarpus agavoides

Normally we expect to see blooms on our Ariocarpus agavoides in mid-summer, but they sometimes surprise us with a flower in November or December.
Highly prized by collectors, these are almost extinct in the wild due to over collection. It's a shame that this continues to happen as they grow quite readily from seed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lithops seedlings

Some more Lithops seedlings tonight. First some Lithops optica 'Rubra' C81A...
and then some seedlings of Lithops 'steineckeana'
We're quite happy with most of our seedlings this year.

Lithops lesliei 'Albinigold' ex. C36B seedlings

We don't do a lot of seed growing. We just don't have the space. But we do grow some, like these little seedlings of Lithops lesliei 'Albinigold' ex. c36B, seeds from Mesa Gardens.
Everyone should grow some Lithops from seed. It's so much fun seeing them mature from little tiny dots.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Echeveria 'Mauna Loa'

Another one of those fantastic, frilly-leaved Echeverias. We weren't sure the name was correct when we first got this plant, but it appears to be correct: Echeveria 'Mauna Loa'. And wow, what a show!
Unfortunately, most of the fancy Echeverias, being hybrids, don't come true from seed. We use both leaf cuttings and top cuttings to produce our plants, depending on the species. The following is a tray of leaf cuttings of Echeveria gibbiflora 'Decora'.
Enjoy your plants.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Cactus

It's that time of year and the "Holiday Cacti" (Schlumbergera) are showing their colors. We don't grow these plants commercially; we just can't resist them and they keep multiplying. Notice I didn't call them "Christmas Cactus" because they aren't. They bloom whenever it pleases them during early winter. And our care for them is pretty haphazard: they get placed under the bench where we forget all about them except to get watered once in a while. Until, that is, we glance under the bench and - lo and behold - the whole trays are filled with flowers.
Yesterday - or actually very early on Tuesday - I said I'd get back to the Echeverias today, but the photo I took turned out blurred. So...later.

I'll be getting up in about three hours to go check the greenhouses. It's quite cold out there and we're fairly low tech. Meaning that I get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to go check the heat in the greenhouses. Soooo...later.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lithops karasmontana ssp. bella

Just beyond this one bunch of Echeverias is section full of Lithops. This one's one of my many favorites, Lithops karasmontana ssp. bella. Like Rika in Germany, the weather hasn't really been cooperating here and sometimes it's hard to get light bright enough to get a good photo.
However, it's clear out now and the nighttime temperature will be dropping to levels much below the normal for this time of year. And tomorrow night we'll probably get way, way below normal, with temperatures dropping down into the teens (F) (about -8 C). But we only got a light dusting of snow.

More about the Echeverias tomorrow.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Grouping of Echeverias

It's way too late tonight to be posting anything, but here's a quick one anyway...a selection of Echeverias. These just caught my eye as I went past them on the way to photographing some Lithops in flower and to do some work on winterizing the greenhouse. I took some other pictures but they'll just have to wait.
It appears we're in for our first bout of Winter. Our first frost was last night. Tomorrow night it should get down in the mid-20s F (-1 - -3 C) and we'll probably get some snow showers. (I know, I know. You people in really cold areas are laughing your heads off! Winter???)

More tomorrow.  Enjoy your plants.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So much to do, So little time

It may just be my age, but there don't seem to be as many hours in a day as there used to be. I have about a six course meal of things to do each day, but most of the time I barely make it past the appetizers. And this blog has been getting shoved to the background. My apologies.

But there have been orders at the nursery to take care of, potting mix to mix, greenhouses to insulate. And we also have been trying to be very diligent about getting in at least 30 minutes of brisk walking a day. And then, of course, there's the room I'm building in the basement for our grandson to move into. Plus, it appears that I'll be taking on a quarter-time job as a Community Developer for the Woodlawn Community Resource Center.

And I admit, we do always - or at least almost always - take time out each morning to go out for a latte.

And, Oh yes, did I tell you...I'm supposed to be retired.

And I chose to do all this! (Are we insane???)

(Please don't send sympathy cards (:  --- I'm just venting.

I'll try to get back with some more photos soon!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Haworthia magnifica var. splendens GM452 seed grown

Here's another H. magnifica var. splendens, also seed grown. This one is from a different locality, GM452, another gem of a plant. It will also be going up on E-Bay soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Haworthia magnifica var. splendens GM447 seed grown

We have a couple of seed grown Haworthia magnifica var. splendens GM447 that are finally of size that we'll be selling them on E-Bay. We also have a H. magnifica var. splendens GM452 available. This is GM447. It's developing a nice porcelain-like surface which is so much desired and has some very nice markings. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Echeveria pulidonis

Some of the best plants for color in the Fall are the Echeverias. These are a couple of new photos of Echeveria pulidonis taken Sunday by Lynn-Marie. We have lots of photos of these, but each new image seems to catch something more of their character. Today was a very drab, gray day; a few minutes in the greenhouse with these plants helps make the day look a lot brighter!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor'

Another group of plants which gives us color when there aren't many flowers are the Agaves, and one of my favorites is Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor'. It's one of those plants which improves with age. And it stays relatively small so it doesn't crowd you out of house and home.
Enjoy your plants!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Delosperma floribundum 'Stardust'

This is a nice hardy ice plant which has gorgeous purple and white flowers - Delosperma floribundum 'Stardust'. Give it bright light and soil with good drainage and it can brighten up some bare areas in the landscape. USDA Zones 6, 7 & 8.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Haworthia truncata

A beautiful day today; almost like the summer we didn't get! And that got Lynn-Marie going with the camera. This clump of Haworthia truncata had just been watered and it's loving the (temporary, I'm sure) warm weather. This is a small growing form in a small bonsai dish.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Epicactus Fruit

At this time of year it's mostly mesembs and Lithops which are flowering. But there are other places to look for interest other than flowers. Some of the plants themselves begin to show their leaf colors better than during the heat of summer. And then there's the occasional seed pod, like on this Epie. This one is Epicactus 'Delicate Jewels'.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Titanopsis calcarea

And yet another mesemb is blooming...Titanopsis calcarea. Who can resist such contrast of textures and colors?

Aloe 'Wunderkind'

There are a lot of lovely new Aloe cultivars being introduced recently. This one's been around a few years, a Brian Kemble selection at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California. It was then introduced through the ISI. It's a gorgeous little plant, a worthy introduction to any succulent collection.
Enjoy your plants!