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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lithops karasmontana 'Micksbergensis'

Today I did get out to take some pictures and the greenhouse rewarded me with some nice Fall/Winter flowers. First up is Lithops karasmontana 'Micksbergensis', still putting on quite a display. The sheen on the petals doesn't quite come through, but impressive nonetheless.
Enjoy your plants!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Willamette Valley views

Once in a while I'll depart from photos of succulent plants. I was browsing some old pictures on the  computer and came across these shots of scenes in the central Willamette Valley here in Oregon. We know this area so well we seldom take pictures, but on this April day, we did. This is an area just south of Albany where there's a lot of sheep raising. The third shot down shows the Three Sisters in the background and the last shot shows a stand of old Valley Oak trees.
Lynn-Marie's folks owned a farm not far from here but on the other side of the river and north a bit.
Back at you with succulent plants next time.

Hatiora salicornioides

As they say, "There's no rest for the wicked." Therefore, I must be wicked, as we've been swamped recently, with orders to China and South Africa, as well as various points within the U.S. Haven't had time to do any photography, not that there are a lot of flowers right now. But there's always some interesting plants. I'll certainly try to make time to take some new photos in the next few days.
In the meantime, here's a photo from a couple of years ago of our ancient old plant of Hatiora salicornioides, AKA "Drunkard's Dream". We've had it for many, many years, and it's survived a huge variety of different settings and still thrives. And dependable as you can get.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lithops optica 'Rubra' seedlings

A couple of shots of a couple of batches of our 'Rubra' seedlings. The top batch was seeded in February and the others in the previous year. It's great watching them grow up and get their own personalities.

Enjoy your plants.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winter in the Greenhouse

The days are getting shorter and shorter and on an overcast, rainy day we sometimes worry about the plants getting enough light. The the plants do better than we do sometimes. We've had a really heavy bout of rain in the last week, but it finally let up today. That's good, 'cause I'm getting tired of slopping through the muddy puddles to walk the dogs and care for Ladybug, let alone prepare plants for shipping. I'm native to this area, but I admit that there are time that I can hardly wait for Spring.
But, no, that yearning will have to wait 'till January. I really enjoy the Christmas season too much. But after that, the sooner Spring comes the better!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a brief note to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who are observing this holiday at this time. We'll be celebrating quietly by ourselves tomorrow and having our family Thanksgiving gathering on Saturday. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Echeveria 'Culibra'

I just couldn't resist taking this photo. It's the end of a leaf of Echeveria 'Culibra'. Sort of like something out of a 1950s science fiction movie! But hey, if you didn't like a little bit of weird you wouldn't be doing succulent plants. Seriously, would you?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tiger Jaws

It's late, so I'll just post a couple of photos taken today by Lynn-Marie of an old clump of faucaria (Tiger Jaws) that we've had seems forever. It doesn't get preferential treatment; therefore, it often goes without water for long periods and gets placed wherever we can find room. But - as you can see - it doesn't seem to mind.
Enjoy your plants!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Orostachys japonica

This has been one hectic day. Earlier today I discovered that our nursery website wasn't working properly. But after a few calls to the server's tech staff, I finally got it all sorted out. I hope. I have no specific training in this sort of thing (my training is in philosophical theology, existentialism...even logical empiricism ... but nothing about html, web site design, etc., anywhere to be found!) So I sort of stumble my way through it.
 With that said, here's a cute little plant. And "little" is an apt description. It's Orostachys japonica ex Tsushima. In this case the plant is infinitesimally smaller than the flower. This is a 2.75 inch pot filled with young seedlings. And one is flowering. And like sempervivums, the plant will die after the flower is finished. I guess it wears itself out!

Aloe 'Jimmy'

The final post in the series of Aloe hybrids this week is Aloe 'Jimmy'.  It doesn't say "Hey, look at me!!!" as much as some of the others, but in its simplicity it stands out.
Enjoy your plants.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aloe 'Silver Ridge'

And we continue on today with another Kelly Griffin hybrid, Aloe 'Silver Ridge'. During the summer, with more and brighter light, these have more  of a silvery cast to them, but they're taking on more green with winter's overcast skies and with the sun quite low in the sky.
The weather forecast for the next few nights is for it to be considerable colder, probably getting below 32F (0 degrees C) for the first time this winter. We'll see.

Aloe 'Marco'

Another of the newly listed (at our nursery site) is Aloe 'Marco', another Kelly Griffin hybrid. Not as heavily textured as some of the others, it stands out in its own way. I'll be posting a couple more of these this week and then on to some other plants.
Enjoy your plants!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Aloe 'Vito'

The next one in the series is another Kelly Griffin hybrid, Aloe 'Vito'. Like many in this series it is characterized by raised lines on the leaves and a distinct jagged edge.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Aloe 'Rico'

The second Aloe cultivar which I'm posting is Aloe 'Rico', another one of the Kelly Griffin hybrids. It doesn't take much to understand why these have become so popular.

Aloe 'Pink Blush'

I haven't posted for a few days; it's just been too hectic. And I've been busy posting new plants to our nursery website, specifically to the Aloe list. So what I'll do in the next few days is post a few of these plants.
First up, Aloe 'Pink Blush', a Kelly Griffin hybrid that I describe as living impressionist painting. Really impressive.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Orbea hardyi

I understand that in its natural habitat in northern South Africa this plant tends to grow in dense shade and it tends to be more a speckled green. In our greenhouse it turns out to be much more red. It's a rambler and kind of looks like worms squirming all over the potting soil. So, of course, we grow it. Need I say more?

Crassula 'Tom Thumb'

I posted this plant last year but the flowers were so profuse, I couldn't resist. So, here it is. An old time favorite: not rare nor hard to grow, but certainly worth having around. As I mentioned before, we've had this plant around for 40 years or so and, even though it tends to get ignored much of the time, it thrives in spite of us. What more needs to be said.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Aloe deltoideodonta var. candicans

This is a lovely, small growing Aloe from mountainous slopes in South Central Madagascar. Its 6-8 inch long, 2" wide, leaves are streaked with white and the leaves are edged with small triangular teeth. It clumps from the base, eventually forming a small mound.
Enjoy your plants!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mammillaria hahniana 'Superba'

Lynn-Marie just potted up a few trays of one of our favorite cacti: Mammillaria hahniana 'Superba'. It has a lot of pluses going for it; it's easy to grow, not prone to rot, and eventually makes a magnificent show plant, with clumps of plump, white-haired beauties.
The picture below is the normal form, showing the flowers, but also the relatively small amount of white "hair". Still an interesting and beautiful cactus, but it doesn't have the "wow" factor of 'Superba'.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Miscellaneous Succulents

This is a view of a miscellaneous group of plants on a side table in one of our greenhouses. It just caught my eye so I took the photo to share.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Haworthia 'Manda's Hybrid'

A nice, stocky hybrid Haworthia that's quite easy to grow and is quite attractive, it appears that the parentage is unknown. However the name -Mandy - seems to be a reference to a New Jersey grower and hybridizer of some time ago.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mammillaria gracilis 'Arizona Snowcap'

No, it's not flowering now. This was taken last March of little thumb sized starts of Mammillaria gracilis 'Arizona Snowcap' (Syn.: Mammillaria vetula ssp. gracilis 'Arizona Snowcap'). These will be forming nice clumps of this very unique cultivar of gracilis, which makes an outstanding, easy to grow, pot specimen.
They've had their summer growth spurt and now they'll get their winter dormancy... not that we're really getting Winter weather yet. We've had a couple of mild frosts (37 F) but no killing frost yet. And certainly no snow like in the Eastern Rocky Mountains and in the Northeast. Brrrr.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More Haworthia truncata crassa

A couple more of the same seed batch of Haworthia truncata 'Crassa'. Some very nice plants came out of this cross (a cross of two large growing truncatas).
We spent a nice quiet Halloween with our grandson handing out candy to the trick-or-treators as they came to the door. The majority of the children in this community head up a few streets to a large Victorian house which gets transformed into a Haunted House on Halloween. Admission is a couple of cans of food for the Oregon Food Bank and they must bring in thousands of cans for this good cause.