Friday, December 30, 2011

x Pachyveria 'Claire'

In order to make more room in one of the greenhouses, Lynn-Marie brought in some trays of Pachyveria 'Claire' and placed them on the table next to the front window. It added a nice touch to the otherwise traditional holiday decor.
And this year, for the first time, all the lights on the tree were LED, noticeably reducing the energy consumption.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Epicactus 'Piland's Pride'

No, Piland's Pride isn't flowering yet. This is from our archives, but buds are beginning to form. So I'm posting this photo as a kind of encouragement to those buds.
And with the weather the past few days, this may be all the encouragement they need. Our expected low tonight is about 50 F...and our high tomorrow is expected to be about 53. And rain. Well, not lots of rain, though there is a flood watch for a few areas. Let's just say it's wet! Normal, Oregon wet for this time of year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cactus Chatter posted in Argentina Blog

Since I had included some photos from her wonderful blog (Cecicactus) in the December issue of the publication of the Oregon Cactus & Succulent Society, I thought it only appropriate to send a copy to Ceci as thanks. Little did I know that she would post the entire newsletter on her blog. Thanks Ceci! You're a dear friend.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


A bit of a diversion from plants tonight. This is one of our two companions on our various trips, Osita. She's a Belgian Tervuren (Le Belge Berge) and along with her mother, Kiani, she's always in the middle of things around the nursery and tags along with us in our travels throughout the Southwest deserts.
I hope I'll have time to take some pics pretty soon, but in the meantime I'll be posting a bit less often. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Aloe bakeri

A quick post tonight on Christmas Eve, a photo taken by Lynn-Marie the other day of the flower of Aloe bakeri. It and another narrow leaved Aloe, A. albiflora, are blooming right next to each other in the greenhouse, a veritable forest of small "grass" aloes.
It's now time for this old Santa to hit the sack, 'cause there are a lot of packages to be wrapped in the early morning. Hope you have a wonderful day. Back at you next week. Peace!

Lithops optica 'Rubra' C287

A couple of days ago I took a picture of this 4 year old, seed-grown Lithops opitica 'Rubra' C287. Such lovely and striking little flowers on such impressive little bodies.
Our best wishes to all of you for a joyful and blessed
Christmas and a bountiful New Year in which more and more of the people of the world receive the resources needed in order to thrive. May God bless you all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Aloe deltoideonta var. candicans

I've posted this plant before but Lynn-Marie took a new photo. It's a really cool Aloe in my opinion...and, besides, they've been growing nicely.
Just the photo. Not much to say tonight. Too tired. Family over tomorrow night and then again Sunday afternoon for Christmas.
Enjoy your plants!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice

Well. The Winter solstice is here and the days start getting longer. I'm all for that. So far we've had a really mild winter and December has been especially mild... and dry! Palm Springs, California has had more rain than we've had. I'm not complaining, mind you. I know there's plenty of time for the rains to arrive and I'm sure we'll get them. But, nevertheless, it always feels good to know that things are heading back the other direction. Just like it's done every year during my almost 72 years on this earth. Some things do stay the same.

Enjoy your plants!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mammillaria hahniana 'Superba'

'Tis the season, so I guess instead of calling this the "Old Woman Cactus" - an old common name for it - we could call it the "Mrs. Santa Cactus"! I never took a liking to the common name anyway, and this can hardly be any worse...or, we can avoid it all and call it by it's real name: Mammillaria hahniana 'Superba'.
The tree is up and all lit up. The rest of the seasonal decorations are up, included Christmas lights on the Cephalocereus senilis in the front room. The gifts are mostly purchased, including yesterday's annual gift from the nursery to the Oregon Food Bank. Final preparations are being made for a busy weekend.

And I wish all of our Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah (חנוכה), the festival of lights, which began this evening!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Aloe krapohliana var. dumoulinii

And, of course, there are the Aloe flowers. This one is Aloe krapohliana var. dumoulinii. Easy to grow if you don't water it too much, especially during the heat of summer.
Enjoy your plants!

Echeveria 'Aquarius'

I know. I've posted pictures of this Echeveria before. But Lynn-Marie was out in the greenhouse doing some photography yesterday and couldn't resist this beaut. With a plant form like this, who needs a flower?
Sorry my posts have been a bit sparse lately. It's just been extremely busy. But this next week will be devoted to Christmas preparation and events. No work (except Monday). Two orders need to get in the mail.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pachypodium lealii var. saundersii

I just haven't had time to do any photography lately. So, from the archives, way back in 2004, comes these photos of Pachypodium lealii var. saundersii. Beware! Pachypodiums can be addictive! Especially with flowers like these.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Aloe erinacea

We've had this old plant around for quite some time. It's been at least seven years since it survived  our big garage fire seven years ago when it was literally seared to a crisp on one side. Most would have given up on it. But here it is, growing strong and healthy. It helps that Aloe erinacea is such a nice plant no matter what.
Sometimes we're like that. Tough times can make us better people. It's not automatic and it's not a test from God. But it's possible and it's worth the struggle.

This is now considered by some to be a white-spined form of Aloe melanacantha. It's very slow growing, remaining pretty much the same size for a long time. It sometimes goes by the common name "Hedgehog Aloe."

Epicactus Portrayal by Lynn-Marie Kara

Lynn-Marie has another new art work finished, this one of an Epicactus. It's not one particular Epi, but rather an image which seeks to portray the beauty and impressiveness of these plants in general. I think she does a fantastic job!
Lynn-Marie has been essentially self taught over the years after retinal detachment surgery forced her to leave art school. You can find out more about her as an artist at her (unfinished) website:  It's my job to get her webpages up and going. I promise to all of you...I'm going to get it done before Winter is out...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Echeveria 'Super Star'

Late afternoon sun can refresh one's image of a plant we see every day. The sun, being so low in the sky, brings out new hues and shadings that are often overlooked in the bright light of summer. This is located right next to the Lithops in the small greenhouse and, as I was gathering some Lithops to ship with an order, it caught my eye. So out comes the camera. It's Echeveria 'Super Star', and I've posted it several times before. We don't know where it originated, but it's a lovely plant.
We had an enjoyable, relaxing day today. But tomorrow it's back to orders and, for me, the annual visit to the cardiologist. And it's going to be a busy week.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lithops helmuthii

I won't be blogging tomorrow. We'll be off to the Oregon coast for a little break and to celebrate Lynn-Marie's birthday ... and a worthy birthday to celebrate it is: 70. It's hard to believe we've been around that long. And we don't hide our years; we're proud of them. Yes, we still do stupid things - or at least I do (can't speak for Lynn-Marie) - I believe we've gained a little wisdom over the years.

In the meantime, here's a picture of L. helmuthii doing its thing. The flower's a little past its prime, but still impressive. It's one of my favorites.
And please, enjoy your plants!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Echeveria setosa

I don't have a flower to post tonight, but it might as well be. On plants like this the flower is almost an anticlimax. We were sitting in the greenhouse this afternoon, enjoying an Irish coffee, and this plant was right there on the table just asking to have it's picture taken.  And here it is.
Back to Lithops tomorrow.

Titanopsis calcarea

I was having some problems posting tonight, which apparently others were having also, but it seems to be fixed. This is another plant which is flowering, Titanopsis calcarea. I've always liked this warty little plant, and the flowers just add to it's charm.
Too late to write much right now, but more tomorrow.