Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mammillaria elongata

This is Mammillaria elongata, one of the easiest of cacti to grow and probably the most common species of Mammillaria. But just because it's readily available and easy to grow doesn't mean it should be ignored. Every collection should have this plant. Perhaps every collection does! The challenge should be to grow it well and to display it at its best. We have a couple of very nice clumps and they are quite striking.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Aloe 'Kelly Blue'

This may be the same as Aloe 'Vinnie. At any rate, it's a Kelly Griffin hybrid and they're blooming like mad right now. The plant itself is outstanding, but the flower...wow! We don't have may flowers right now so these really stand out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rhipsalis teres f. capilliformis

It's been a while since I've posted any Rhipsalis, partly I just haven't kept up with the all the name changes and will most likely come up with the wrong name.  We have a couple of old plants of this species, which we always knew as Rhipsalis capilliformis. My understanding is that it's now correctly referred to as R. teres f. capilliformis. We first saw one in the Conservatory at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco while on our honeymoon in 1967. We fell in love with it and have been growing them ever since.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Echeveria flower

This is a "Quick draw Mcgraw" picture. I didn't stop to get the name of the plant. An Escherichia I presume. It caught my attention and I snapped the picture. Then on to other things. Like getting ready for the next round of things that will tie up our time.
We did take some time the other day to actually go to the theater to watch "War Horse". Well worth seeing on the big screen.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Echeveria 'Cumbre'

The Echeverias are looking especially good right now. This is Echeveria 'Cumbre', a plant that's not commonly available.  During the Summer they take on a pinkish blush.
Enjoy your plants!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ornithogalum concordianum

Sorry about the blurriness of these photos,but the closeup lens wasn't readily available. This is a plant which isn't readily available: Ornithogalum concordianum (syn.: Albuca concordiana, Albuca concordianum). We've had these little cliff-growing jewels for quite a while and for us, they're rather slow growing. But of course, the are small growing anyway. It's very similar to Albuca spiralis, but the flower color is different. It grows on stony flats from southern Namibia through the northwest Cape to the Karoo and the southeast Cape in South Africa.
As you may have seen in some news reports, we've had more than our share of rain here, with some isolated flooding. It's been nice today but we're supposed to get another 1 to 2 inches of rain tomorrow and periods of rain through the end of the week. Be assured that, though we occasionally get drenched and the clay soil is turning to muck, we're no where near the flooding, sitting on a bluff far above the Willamette River. But I assure you, we're ready for some sun again.
Enjoy your plants!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Graptopetalum amethystinum

This is Graptopetalum amethystinum, a plump lavender beauty. I find these to be simply amazing in form and in their ease of growth. As always, however, don't let the potting mix remain wet too long and allow the mix to mostly dry out between waterings.
Our snow lasted all of about 12 hours, then turned to rain and more rain. Forecast calls for rain for at least the next 7 days. Time to get out the wading boots!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

snow 2012

We finally got our first snow tonight. This is me out in the backyard getting ready to feed Ladybug the mini horse. It's really very pretty, but I'll be glad when it's all gone in a day or two.
I'll be changing my picture for the blog soon. Lynn-Marie took a couple of good photos the other day. This is one of them, taken when we were having our morning coffee in the "sun" room. That's in quotations because it's on the Northeast side of the house and rarely gets any sun, especially in the winter when it would be nice to have some extra light.
And, no, those orange strings aren't coming out of my ear!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oregon Cactus & Succulent Society meeting

Oregon Cactus & Succulent Society meeting announcement: the date and time have been changed for this month. Now scheduled for next Sunday, January 22, 3 pm. Please check this link for more details and directions to the meeting site. Thanks.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday is Martin Luther King Day in the U.S., and we're having our local celebration tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 1425 NE Dekum St. We'll be packaging food for those less fortunate and then celebrating through word and song. As in past years, I'll be bringing my guitar to lead the group in the concluding song, "We Shall Overcome!" If you're in the area, please drop by.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Echeveria elegans and Echeveria elegans crest

One of the classic echeverias is Echeveria elegans, easy to grow and still always impressive and striking. Sometimes called the "Mexican Snowball" or the "Mexican Gem", the top picture shows the normal plant and the bottom picture shows a crest, in this case over 20 cm. across.
The plants are native to the Chihuahuan-Tehuacan desert area of Northern Mexico.
Enjoy your plants.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Haworthia emelyae var. comptoniana

As we look forward to our expected first snow flurry of the year, my attention goes back inside the greenhouse. Actually, I wish I could have been out in the greenhouses with the plants, but had to spend my time packing plants for shipments to California, Florida and here in Portland. So Lynn-Marie did all the photography, catching these beauties. Wonderful plants with lovely markings.
Of course we still take time most days to have a short break in the afternoon for an Irish coffee or a latte. Yesterday it was lattes made on our little home "espresso" machine. I like to make them with the coffee and milk separated and a little whipped cream along with the foam...plus some dark chocolate shavings and a little cinnamon. Mmmmm.
Enjoy your plants
...and your latte, or...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Agave montana 'Baccarat'

Finally, I'm back, computer problems behind me.  Tonight the featured photo is of Agave montana 'Baccarat', with its distinctive leaf imprints and showy spines.

We have always been drawn to agaves (not too close!) and even though we don't have enough room, our collection keeps growing. About half of them are on our unheated enclosed porch because there's no room in the greenhouses. It hasn't gotten extremely cold yet this winter, but we've had several hard freezes, and they're all doing fine.
Enjoy your plants!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


There's a reason I haven't posted anything lately. A few days ago my computer monitor went dead. I've managed to borrow one for the time being, so after I finish some computer updates I'll be back up with more pictures. Things are beginning to perk up a bit in the greenhouses so I should be able to get some good photos.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Tylecodon buchholzianus

This is one plant I can't get enough of: Tylecodon buchholzianus. This isn't a pretty plant by any stretch of the imagination. Don't expect any fancy, frilly leaves anytime soon. In fact, it's a down right weird plant. I don't know what that says about me, but I don't really care. I am who I am and I like what I like.
So, as always, enjoy your plants...even the weird ones!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dioscorea elephantipes

We don't have a lot of flowers right now. (Actually we have one rose bud which has been trying to open for the last month or so and hasn't been hit by the couple of hard frosts we've had so far.) But even when we don't have flowers, we have the plants themselves. Our eyes are especially drawn to the pachyform plants such as this Dioscorea elephantipes.
This is the famous "Elephant's Foot" from southwestern South Africa. Not a difficult plant to grow if you remember to hold back on the water when the plant is dormant and the vine dies back during the heat of summer. Also, patience is a virtue as the plant isn't especially fast growing. But they'll live for up to 70 years in cultivation.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a blessed and prosperous New Year for all who read this.
This is a January 1 photo of our house - eight years ago. There's no snow this year; and besides, it's still dark outside. It's 1:10 am and when you turn 72, you just can't stay up to those wee hours of the morning as easily.
And so I send my greetings from this old, gray-haired (what few hairs are left) man and from his still young and beautiful wife of 40 some years: Happy New Year!
And...enjoy your plants!