Sunday, September 30, 2012

Euphorbia milii 'Fireworks'

When we first obtained these plants they were unlabeled, but we've been told by others that it is the cultivar 'Fireworks'. The red color various according to the time of year and the conditions.

It continues to be dry with no rain in the forecast, but the nights are beginning to get cooler (mid 40s F). Tomorrow, though, we should have another nice, sunny day in the mid to upper 70s (F). Ideal.

Yellow Canary tomato

A brief diversion:
To give you perspective, this tomato plant ("Yellow Canary") is being grown in a 4 inch diameter pot (about 10 cm.). As you can see, it's very small...and very prolific. As a plus, the tomatoes are  luscious.

Echinopsis arioles and spines

It isn't just the flowers which attract me to cacti and other succulents. For some, this may just look like so many bugs, but to me, it shows the strange beauty of these plants and the amazing ways in which they have been able to adapt to a difficult environment.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Trichocaulon flavum (Syn.: Hoodia flava)

This came to us as Trichocaulon flavum, but it appears that Hoodia flava is now favored. No flower to show off, just the new growth. We've also had lots of Pleiospilos flowers lately, but I haven't been very good at having the camera handy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Agave 'Creme Brulee' - again but larger

Yesterday I posted a picture of a small offset of this plant; this is a larger, more mature plant. The pink edges vary with the growing conditions, of course, and with the time of the year.

I think tomorrow I'll have to get the camera out an take some more photos. There's plenty to observe, but I always end up having something else to do. Like, tomorrow, we have to go out and get some plants from a wholesaler. Not a lot. And they're all plants which will be going out with orders very soon. (I know, we're on "vacation", but there some orders which have been hanging on and just have to get!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Agave guiengola 'Creme Brulee'

Even as tiny little starts, the coloration on this cultivar is already amazing.

Fall is definitely in the air. It's staying dry with no rain forecast for the next five days, but the days are getting cooler (50C). Daytime temperatures are staying very comfortable - in the low to mid 70s F (21-24C), but the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter. And as a sure sign, not only are Halloween items in the stores, but Christmas supplies as well. I halfway expect to see Valentine's Day candies on the shelves any day now...:(

Agave attenuata 'Ray of Light'

Unfortunately, Agave attenuata isn't one of those hardy agaves that we can grow outdoors, but this relatively new cultivar is worth growing as a potted specimen and providing some winter protection.
It's called 'Ray of Light'. There are A. attenuata plants with more splashy variegation, but in my opinion this one has just the right amount of white, giving it a real elegance.
Enjoy your plants!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Echeveria 'Aquarius'

 Lynn-Marie got more pictures than just me bending over in the pond. But continuing with the water theme, she took some new photos of Echeveria 'Aquarius' which I thought you might enjoy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Self Portrait...

Well, OK, it's not really a "self" portrait. Lynn-Marie sneaked up on me a couple of days ago when I was installing a new waterfall pump in the pond. She told me I had to include it on the blog because having someone in the picture increases the interest. All I've got to say is ... tables can be turned!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Echeveria colorata seedlings

Today, back to succulent plants.
Without much of any sign of what it's going to become, these are Echeveria colorata seedlings. They've been getting some nice growth this summer; our mild summers are actually helpful for the Echeverias. The cold and wet which will be here soon enough...that's another thing. We'll face that when it arrives.
In the meantime, we're enjoying another week or more of nice summer weather, with daytime highs in the upper 80s F (31-32 C).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Powell's City of Books

No plants today. Didn't even go into the greenhouse other than to turn on the exhaust fans. After going to church this morning we went downtown and spent the afternoon at Powell's - drinking lattes and browsing books (cactus books, of course). I know, the picture above doesn't really look like much, but this is the old entrance and it's a little deceptive. Described by most as the world's largest new and used bookstore, I don't have any doubts. It takes up a whole city block (+ technical books across the street). It's so large, you need a map to find your way through it. And it's one of the largest tourist attractions in Portland. Here's their own description:
"Located in downtown Portland, Oregon, and occupying an entire city block, the City stocks more than a million new and used books. Nine color coded rooms house over 3,500 different sections, offering something for every interest, including an incredible selection of out-of-print and hard-to-find titles"  It then goes on to say:
 "A few facts about the City of Books:
  • 68,000 square feet packed with books.
  • We buy 3,000 used books over the counter every day.
  • Approximately 3,000 people walk in and buy something every day.
  • Another 3,000 people just browse and drink coffee.
  • We stock 122 major subject areas and more than 3,500 subsections.
  • You'll find more than 1,000,000 volumes on our shelves.
  • Approximately 80,000 book lovers browse the City's shelves every day in Portland and via the Internet.
So is our mother ship the world's largest bookstore? Heck, it may be bigger than your whole town."
When you're in Portland - especially since our nursery isn't open to the public - you'll have to spend some time at Powell's! So...when you coming???

I was just tired...really

OK. I now know how to get a plethora of comments: get very tired and frustrated and threaten to just throw out all those tired old succulent plants. Honest, friends, it was just a threat from a tired old man. I promise, we will not toss any plant which would not be better served as compost than as a plant. Really. And if we ever do decide to have a fire sale or give'll be the first to know. So, please, I didn't intend to cause any anxiety for anyone. You can relax.

And regarding the weather, I should have noted that our lack of rain at this time of year is pretty much normal. From mid July through mid September, we seldom have any rain. I assure you, we will get our rain...lots of it. That's why I'm building a wooden walkway to the shed (hay and tool storage), so I don't have to slog through the mud during the winter months.

And, so...
I'll conclude today with a picture of one of our Aloe polyphyla plants, also known as the "Spiral" Aloe. Enjoy your plants!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Summer's last gasp

This is just a sample of some of the plants which are still outside and will need to be moved back into the greenhouses ... somewhere in the greenhouses! As always, there's just not enough room. We will be tossing some plants, ones which we have plenty of and which people don't buy, no matter whether we like them or not. This is very hard for us to do, but sometimes it's just a necessity.
The weather is continuing to be dry and beautiful, daytime temperatures in the upper 70s F and upper 80s (21-32C), nighttime around 55F (12.7C). We've only had a trace of rain since the beginning of August (and 1/4 inch [.65cm] since the beginning of July). But soon the rains will return.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Echeveria agavoides 'Red Edge'

I think it must be, at least in part, because of the high demand for these plants that the cultivar names multiply like rabbits (or mealybugs! - on other people's plants, of course). These particular plants had more intense and deeper red when being grown in Southern California, but are a little less intense in our climate. Whatever their names, they're deservedly popular.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rebutia albipilosa

I posted this earlier this summer when flowering, but now, just a closer look at the spines.

Nursery Vacation

For those of you who follow the nursery, you may have noticed that we've decided to take a "vacation" from orders for a bit. We're not going anywhere ... unfortunately - but we're just swamped with too many things right now, and we can't do justice to the nursery. We're still working in the nursery, cleaning out and getting rid of many plants which we no longer wish to have in our inventory. But we'll also be taking some personal time for renewal...maybe even do some camping or a small trip. We'll keep you updated. And I'll have some more photos pretty soon.
Enjoy your plants!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ariocarpus retusus var. furfuraceus

This species is seen as highly variable and this has led to many names. "furfuraceus" is no longer accepted as a variety by most, but these are grown from seed of plants thus identified.

Today has been an unfortunately eventful day. Our main means of transportation is a 1994 Ford Aerostar van. The van's alternator appears to have failed and so it goes to the car repair shop in the morning. At the same time, we have some plants being inspected for shipment to China. And so we'll be delivering plants to the post office in our trusty old, but in need of some work, orange 1964 VW bug. And, we have company arriving on Tuesday.  Help!!!!  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis

There are those plants that are so easy to reproduce that become viewed as "common" and therefore are ignored. This is one of those plants. Each new "thimble" can easily break loose and root, thus forming a fast growing mound of cacti. But just because it's easy to grow doesn't mean it should be ignored. Even the experienced cactus grower can enjoy the challenge of creating a showy mound of these plants, presenting it in an appropriate pot and making an impression on even the most jaded cactophile!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rauhia peruviana

A bit of an oddball for a houseplant, but if you tend toward the strange, this is one of those. Noted for the single set of two large, semi succulent leaves. The bulb is generally raised up for additional interest. And, as a plus, it's very easy to grow.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gasteria 'Fuji Yuki'

This is a wonderfully easy plant to grow, doing just as well on a windowsill as in a greenhouse (or, outdoors, where that's possible). According to internet sources, this is a cultivar of Gasteria obtusa and the Japanese name means "Snow of Mount Fuji".
There are many variegated Gasterias, but this one is quite distinctive.

In the yard

Just a miscellaneous shot of some plants in the back yard. Nothing special. I'll try to get some new photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Copiapoa haseltoniana

We've been growing cacti for over 40 years now and my interest in the Copiapoa genus has grown with the years. Copiapoa haseltoniana is a good example of why. The yellow to gold spines with a amber-yellow crown of wool and flowers from a young age are all elements which recommend it. It also clumps with age, making a great exhibition plant. Keep the plants warm and dry in the winter, avoiding any frost, and giving it plenty of light. Provide a potting mix with very good drainage and it will reward you with years of enjoyment.

Late Summer Raspberries

A little break tonight with a photo of some late season raspberries which are coming on strong right now. I have a lot of them to pick tomorrow, plus our farrier will be out to trim Ladybug's hooves and I have to work with some orders we have received. It's going to get warm in the next couple of days - probably our last gasp before Fall. However, September is often our best month.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Avonia quinaria var. alstonii

These wonderful small succulents are impressive, even at a young age, but as they get older, they produce a caudex which makes the plants even more impressive. For small plants, they surely can steal the show. Check out these additional photos from our nursery list.
Enjoy your plants!