Thursday, February 6, 2014

Signs of Spring and How Far I've Gotten Sucked Into Succulents

Even though the temps this month so far have been cooler than last month, there are still signs of Spring popping up all over.  The roses and succulents are blooming and veggies and flowers are coming up all over the gardens.

Climbing Don Juan is now over 6' tall

The hollyhocks are over 2' tall and look fuller that last year.

The Eureka Lemon keeps putting out new growth and more flower buds.

Radishes are coming up in the ladder planter

Right below them are Uba Tuba peppers

I don't remember planting this snapdragon, but I'm not complaining.

Euphorbia obesa in bloom; I'm trying to hand-pollinate them.

Another Euphorbia sending up inflorescences

The Gasteria liliputana are sending up inflos as well.

And speaking of succulents, ten years ago I received Stapelia gigantea as a gift from a friend and was content to keep it as my only succulent until 2012, when I rescued an old wheelbarrow my neighbor was going to pitch.  I wound up creating a succulent garden in that wheelbarrow and for a while, I was content.  Then at the 2013 Spring Swap, I got 3 more succulents, two of which I killed, making me realize there was more to taking care of succulents than I thought.  I didn't add any more that year, but last year, my mild attraction became a full-blown obsession and I added many more plants to my collection, continuing this year until I now find myself with 23 stapeliads, 28 other succulents and one cactus.  This week I added four more stapeliads, all of which came from the same nursery and all of which were unmarked.  I bought one when I was out looking for a trailing type succulent for this great little vintage wall planter I found.  I was hoping to find Burro Tail sedum, but wound up settling for Sedum album chloroticum 'Baby Tears'.  As I was talking to the nurseryman, I asked if they ever bought stuff from locals, and he said yes, and they also did trades.  I kept running the idea of a trade around in my mind and the next day I went back with some of my rooted cuttings and a "surplus" Stapelia asterias hoping to trade it for some of the other stapeliads they had.  I wound up with 3 unmarked staepeliads in one gallon pots, which I promptly took home and repotted; when all was said and done, I had enough plants for my personal collection and lots more for future trading or sales.

A vintage 1950's wall planter

Mounted on the front porch wall and planted with Sedum album chloroticum 'Baby Tears'

The stapeliad I bought

Trade booty

The 1st one potted up for my collection, plus extras

The 2nd one potted up for my collection, plus extras

The 3rd one potted up for my collection, plus lots of extras

In 2012, I built a tipsy planter and have struggled ever since to keep flowers alive in it, so today I replanted it with succulents, figuring they'd be better suited to the conditions. working from the bottom up, I planted some cuttings of 3rd stapeliad shown above, then Cotyledon 'White Sprite', Aloe 'Walmsley's Blue', Donkey Tail Sedum 'Burrito' and finally Kalanchoe beharensis 'Felt Plant' 'Fang'.

The replanted tipsy pots

Unknown stapeliad

Cotyledon 'White Sprite'

Aloe 'Walmsley's Blue'

Donkey Tail Sedum 'Burrito'

Kalanchoe beharensis 'Felt Plant' 'Fang'

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