Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mammillaria marksiana

The buds are just beginning to push their way out. Hopefully they'll all open up before we head out on our road trip!

Greenhouse Tour III

And yet another part of the Haworthia growing area, with - as always - a few other things mixed in as well.

Haworthia kingiana variations

These two plants of Haworthia kingiana were grown from the same batch of seed collected at the same site in South Africa. The second one is the "odd ball out". It's part of what makes growing from seed so much fun.

Greenhouse Tour II

Part 2 of the greenhouse tour. This is obviously an area mostly dedicated to haworthias - with a few other things thrown in...

Raised bed progress II

It's done, and the strawberries are planted - along with some onion sets. Actually, there's one more step before I'll be through. I'll be placing a seating bench around the top to finish it off and then treat the cedar with a protective stain.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stenocactus (Echinofossulocactus) crispatus var. xiphacanthus flowers

Another one of the plants which is flowering now is this, Stenocactus crispatus var. xiphacanthus. (This may or may not be a variety or form, but for ID purposes we'll keep it.) I posted this earlier without flowers, so now that it is flowering, here it is.

Greenhouse Tour I

During the next several days, I'll be posting a selection of photos of some of the growing areas in our greenhouses. Don't expect a HUGE operation. We're small. But I don't know anyone who crowds more into a greenhouse than we do. We really do need another would just get filled up again, so...
Here you see some Echeverias, cactus offsets and miscellaneous other things in the main greenhouse.

Mammillaria albilanata

Mammillaria albilanata. Another photo taken yesterday in one of the greenhouses. Not exactly one of those "show offs" that some of the other cacti are. But in it's own way, spectacular. The tiny carmen flowers create the perfect accent for the fine white spines.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Raised bed progress

This is the new raised bed I've been building. This is yesterday. I finished today in the rain and I'll post a photo tomorrow. It serves two purposes: a planting area for some strawberries and some onions and a place to put some of the decomposed horse manure that our mini produces! The manure goes toward the bottom, old potting mix next and then some top soil on top of that. We also use a couple of beds like this for summer planting areas for some cacti and succulents that need some root room.

Echeveria 'Aquarius'

And one more from today's (actually, now yesterday's) camera venture into the greenhouses - another frilly plant - E. aquarius. Now all we have to do is write the fantasy novel that the plant deserves!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Echeveria leaf

I just couldn't pass by this Echeveria leaf without a quick photo. Yes, I added the black background, but the afternoon sun was just making it glow. Almost like something from another world.

Another X Pachyveria 'Claire'

I was out in the greenhouse today - with my camera - so...Here's a couple of larger Pachyverias 'Claire's that I thought I'd share.

Friday, March 26, 2010

X Pachyveria 'Claire'

Since we're on the subject of intergeneric hybrids, this is also one of my favorites: X Pachyveria 'Claire'.
I really like this plant.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More about Grim...AND Cremnosedum 'Crocodile'

As I posted earlier today, this plant is indeed an X Graptoveria which was developed by Robert Grim (note the correct spelling) of California. It appears that there are a lot of "unnamed hybrids" out there which were developed by him. And the one's which were named to honor him, X Sedeveria 'Robert Grimm' and this Graptoveria, both misspelled his name. We continue to use the misspelling, since this is the name which has been in circulation, until we are told it has been properly published with the corrected name.

By the way, another hybrid developed by him is X Cremnosedum 'Crocodile':

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Graptoveria 'A Grimm One'

Thanks to Zeynep in Turkey for pointing out my error. Yes, this is an intergeneric hybrid and is correctly noted in our nursery catalog. We originally received it labeled as an Echeveria but were sure it wasn't and after some research, changed the name in our catalog. But late at night things kind of slip in that shouldn't. More tonight.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Echeveria 'A Grimm One'

I'm sure I've posted about Echeveria 'A Grimm One' before, but they're looking so good right now that I just couldn't resist posting again. Named for its creator, Mr. Grimm, this is an outstanding cultivar. It's easy to grow, flowers readily, and is compact and sculptural. What's there not to like? (My apologies. I see I posted some of the same photos last month. I did take some new photos today, but they're still on the other computer.)
The weather here has been delightful. The trees are growing new leaves, the magnolias are covered in flowers, the hostas are pushing up through the soil and the smell of Spring is in the air. I even got some work done on a new raised bed (which will be home for some new strawberry plants). And then there's the greenhouses...:)

Turbinicarpus ysabelae

This isn't a new posting. I posted it two years ago but I thought it worth re-posting. Turbinicarpus ysabelae isn't that common in collections but is well worth seeking out. Which all goes to show that this blog isn't just about promoting our plants at our nursery. We don't have this one for sale, though I certainly wish we did. We have this in our personal collection and we have some seedlings growing on, but - hey - we'll probably be too old to run a nursery by the time those seedlings are large enough! Enjoy.
By the way, it's also known as Gymnocactus ysabelae and Pediocactus ysabelae.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mammillaria saboae

Been a bit busy and haven't gotten much posted lately, but today I was wandering through one of the greenhouses, checking out what's happening, and I noticed that Mammillaria saboae is setting blooms. In another few days I'll have some flowers for you, but for now it's just buds...
I'll try to get more posting done in the next couple of weeks before we head out on our trip to New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. We plant on visiting at least 13 or 14 succulent nurseries along the way as well as visiting a dear friend in Los Lunas, New Mexico, horseback riding with a friend near Phoenix, revisiting some great habitat, and enjoying a cafe latte overlooking the Pacific Ocean. And of course we'll have our two dogs along with us! Now all we have to do is stay healthy. Last year we had to cut our trip short as we both got sick along the way!  :(

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Echinocactus grusonii crest

This old "Golden Barrel" crest has been through the war and back - and like Timex, keeps on tickin'. You may notice some damage to this plant. That's because seven years ago it survived a blistering fire. Our old garage burned down in the middle of the night and this was on the side of the greenhouse next to the garage. The greenhouse plastic melted all over everything, including the plants, and this was no exception. Now it just gives it that extra character!

Gasteria armstrongii

This is a nice old specimen of Gasteria armstrongii. We received it with the notation "Aker Clone". This a very hard bodied plant that's quite impressive. I took these photos yesterday next to our kitchen window.

It has an almost abstract quality about it when you get in close.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mammillaria schwarzii

Another cactus begins to bloom! This time it's Mammillaria schwarzii.  This plant is very much at risk in it's native habitat due - mostly - to over collection. Such a same, as it has been widely available as a seed grown plant for some 40 years. It's one of our favorites, but it is touchy about overwatering. Provide very good drainage, judicial watering and setting with bright light.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Discocactus placentiformis

This is a fairly young plant of Discocactus placentiformis (syn: D. crystallophilus) in our greenhouse. Their natural habitat is Minas Gerais, Brazil, where they are fairly widespread. As much as Lynn-Marie and I enjoy this genus, we shied away from them for many years when we didn't have an adequate greenhouse or space with adequate light in the house. They're a little touchy when it comes to our wet and chilly winters. But given a nighttime temperature of 50F or more during the winter, they're very rewarding. And like I said, I'm a sucker for plants with woolly tops...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thelocactus bicolor ssp. schwarzii

Another cactus is blooming early for us...Thelocactus bicolor ssp. schwarzii. These are really amazing flowers, and they re-open for several days. These are from Mexico, east of the Sierra Madre Oriental in the Tamaulipan thorn shrub vegetation.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crassula perfoliata var. minor (AKA Crassula falcata)

Another crassula. Another plant which was among the first we ever grew. Can grow quite tall (2 feet or more!) and has a bright red inflorescence in mid-summer. And we still call it Crassula falcata, no matter what the taxonomists say...
Certainly not rare, so the collectors of rare can turn up their noses. But somehow or another, through all our attempts to reduce the number of plants we have, this one is still hanging around...actually more than one. Must be something even more important than rarity!

Talk about the Weather

The weather took a turn to the strange here today. A bit of a cold front entered the area - the kind which, during mid-winter would bring arctic cold - and tonight's temp may get down to a light freeze. In the afternoon a brief little storm brought some sleet and light snow along with localized, very high winds...enough to cause the top of our backyard cedar tree to snap and break off. It could have caused a bit of damage if it had fallen the wrong way, but as it is it's resting on the top of our rather large variegated English Holly tree. Another job for this summer that I wasn't planning on.

Yesterday the weather was so nice I was considering getting out the rototiller in the garden area - key word: "considered" - and planted an Agave 'Green Goblet' into our curbing strip next to the street. The chill is expected to last a couple of days.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Silinderplakkie" - Crassula columella

Another one of those "old-timey" plants. At least they seem that way to us since we've had one or two of these plants around for many, many years. Quite easy to grow if you remember not to over-water in the Summer when they're taking their rest. They're from the Winter rainfall area on the West Coast of South Africa, up to Namibia. And what's not to like with these columns of tightly packed leaves?

Crassula 'Tom Thumb'

I haven't posted much about Crassulas, so I'll start a brief series with a few of the plants we have in our menagerie of succulent plants.

So first up is Crassula 'Tom Thumb'. It's a small growing plant, so it's ideal for a windowsill growing area. We've had these plants for forty years or so, even if they do sometimes get lost in the mix of other, more rare plants. But the fact that they're still around and, in spite of some neglect, looking pretty good, is testimony to the easy culture of these plants. Plus...they bloom in the Winter and have bunches of small fragrant flowers. It likes semi-shade, but gets some red on the edges of the leaves in bright light.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ordering Seeds

We've been putting together a seed order and the hardest part - by far - is keeping the size of the order down. De we really need to order all those seeds.

I know there are some new photos on the camera, but there's just not the time. Never is! O well, I'll find a photo to post anyway!

Parodia subterranea

This is one of the plants in the Parodia maasii complex, we received this as Parodia occulta but the consensus is that it should be included within Parodia subterranea. From Bolivia, Chuqisaca (Culpina, Cinti) the flower color can be quite variable. And I'm a sucker for woolly plants!

Mammillaria matudae

In the 41 years we've been growing cacti we've seen various plants go in and out of favor. It's been that way with Mammillarias. True, the flowers on some Mams aren't especially flamboyant. But flowers aren't everything. Take Mammillaria matudae. The flowers are purplish-red and about 12mm long. Certainly not flamboyant! But taken together, as a ring around the plant, they stand their own.

The plant itself, however, is to this old man's eyes, quite outstanding. There's a symmetrical beauty here that has always fascinated me. And, for the life of me, I can't understand why they ever go out of favor.

But then again, I'm that old man with a beard who thinks it's no big deal - just another day in Portland, Oregon - to accompany his wife for a drive along a main drag (overlooking the city) behind a miniature horse with a couple of Belgian Tervuren dogs along for the jog!