Fair exhibits are one of my favorite things. Took a break from potted plants this year, and had 11 entries… floral arrangements, the usual scarecrow, wreaths, a fairy garden and more. Was honored to receive second place for the two arrangements below. The ‘Saints’ class is a vase inherited from my maternal grandmother. The ‘Seasons’ class is a vase hand painted by my paternal grandmother. I could feel them looking down on me…
First time entering in the Home Arts division, with these two decorated gourds.
Heart shaped succulent wreaths, full of cuttings will last all year long. 14 inches $50 each Also smaller round wreaths 10″ for $35 and one larger 16″ for $60 Handmade with love, these felt keepsakes show them how much you care. 3″ $8 each Mini pots with floral foam, moss, pepper berries and succulents. $4 each Wood signs: felt flowers for inside and ceramic embellished for garden 10″-18″ $20 each Original watercolor card creations. Blank inside for your own message of love. $5 each or one free with purchase.
Starting off the fall season with lots and lots of succulent pumpkins!! These living arrangements last for weeks because the cuttings are glued onto to the top. When Thanksgiving is over, simply leave out in the rain to dissolve the glue, so the cuttings can be planted… to enjoy for years to come.
It’s always fun to enter things in the county fair and see what everyone else is doing… here are this year’s winners.
The succulent side table won First Place AND Best of Show!! It was our first year entering the Compost Challenge… took 1st place and won $50 prize money. The scarecrow competition was pretty tough in the ‘Shake your tail feathers’ theme catagory… but we took home 2nd place.
Checking out the exhibits at the fair every year is always so interesting. This was my first year with entries in the Santa Cruz County Fair… and brought home eight first place ribbons! County fairs are always a fun competition and a chance to meet other plant lovers.
These small terra cotta pots with mini jade ‘trees’, sedums and cute tools & furniture make whimsical little gardens… the perfect size for fairies. Water wise and easy to care for succulents, these fairy gardens will thrive for ages.
I’ve always loved pretty dishes and hate to hide them away in the cupboard. This is a nice way to enjoy them every day. The salvaged dish racks are lined with moss and filled with potting soil and dishes. The succulents that I’ve chosen for these will stay compact and are meant to look like bubbles overflowing the sides. The silverware adds the finishing touch (and support for flowers).
Recently, I accepted the challenge of planting a terrarium for another member of AHA… and I just love the container! With the recessed area in the middle of the stone-like pottery base, it’s obviously made to be a terrarium. Great design – it’s stable and will not tip over. So this is how it came together… First I filled up the recessed area with 3/8 inch gravel mixed with some activated filter carbon (to filter the air and water). Then added a piece of fiberglass screen cut to fit, (or you could use moss), to keep the soil above the gravel. Gathered together some ferns, mosses, pretty rocks, and one of the ceramic frogs that our friend Marcella makes. So perfect for this piece! I mixed and moistened approximate equal parts peat moss and potting soil and shoveled in a few inches. Then carefully added the plants and arranged the rocks and frog.As an experiment, I added a small tillandsia (air plant) and bromeliad… just to see if they will thrive in this new little ecosystem.
Nest Egg Gardens made a splash on stage in Pivot: Art of Fashion last night. The model, Emma, looked beautiful wearing the outfit made out of living tillandsias (air plants). Male model, Coty, braved wearing the living briefs… and looked good doing it!Shelly joined them on stage as the ‘designer’ for the finale. What a great night!
We’re excited that Nest Egg Gardens did so well at the fair this year! Participating is a fun way to showcase special projects and living art as well as a good way to meet other plant collectors. We brought home the special award for Excellence in Horticulture (aka grand prize). Two entries won both first place and Best of Show for their category: 1) our big staghorn fern that looks like a moose and 2) the double brain cactus in the head vase pot. The succulent frame won 2nd place. The frame is one of the many works of art being donated by Aromas Artisans to the Art Raffle drawing November 22nd at the AHA Holiday Art Fair in Aromas.
I got a few frames for free and thought I would try using them for succulents…. here’s how I did it: First I sprayed the inside edge with sealer to help it repel water and hopefully last longer. I built a box to fit using a composite decking board (it’s made with plastic and won’t rot).
Sprayed one side of a piece of hardware cloth black (the dark color blends in better than shiny metal until the plants cover it up) and stapled inside.
Lined the hardware cloth with a layer of moss and filled with potting soil (packed tightly).
Stapled some shade cloth and plastic fence over the potting soil into the back and added wires for hanging (either vertical or horizontal). Inserted succulent cuttings by poking roots into the moss with a skewer or stick. Lie flat and water regularly until the cuttings are rooted well before hanging.
Combining fresh flowers with succulent cuttings looks great in baskets. These were perfect for Easter. After the flowers fade, the succulents will last for months, growing into the floral foam. Or they can be potted up or planted in the yard.
When I found this camping kit at a yard sale, I thought it would make a cute succulent display. Since it’s aluminum, it won’t rust and drilling holes in the bottom was easy. I really like how the cups hang off the side just like a punch bowl.
Love the view from the patio of the new garden wall in back. It provides a nice shady spot to hang Staghorn Ferns and Epiphyllum, and hides the view of the neighbor’s garage. The evening sun shines through for a short time before setting, lighting it all up nicely.
When you cut back succulents that have grown tall and leggy, leave the stem long and you can use them just like flowers in a table arrangement. To extend the stems, you can use florist picks (green wooden sticks w/wire on one end) like the jade cutting on the left. It helps to use florist foam with water in a container to weigh it down and hold the stems securely, but a vase would work. Think out of the box because the cuttings really don’t even need water. The bouquet will last for weeks, sprouting roots and eventually growing into the florist foam. The cuttings can be planted in the ground or a pot at any time… or you can take more cuttings from the new growth and start again.
Succulents bloom at different times of the year… all year it seems. The small form of Crassula radicans starts blooming in January. Dainty white clover type flowers look even better when planted in full sun, because the leaves will be more red in color. Mature Jade plants and Aloe have been blooming since the end of November.
The Queen Protea has been the most prolific producer of all this year, one bush bearing more than 50 huge flowers so far… providing arrangements like this for Driftwood Boutique every week since mid-October. Other types of Protea and Leucadendrons are also blooming this time of year:
It’s easy to refurbish succulent containers when they get overgrown and leggy. Almost as easy as arranging flowers in a vase.
Take cuttings of the succulents that you want to replant and set aside. They can be stored face up, in a shady spot, for up to a month.
Trim up any succulents that are left or start fresh with new potting soil.Â Poke holes in the soil and stick in the cuttings where desired.Water once a week and provide at least half sun. It only takes about a month for the succulents to fill back in nicely. This method also works for succulents in the ground. Take cuttings and stick them right back down in the soil. Dig out or trim the old stem… it will often come back with new growth.
Mounted a couple of salvaged fan blades onto wood slabs that needed a little ‘something’. They fit in nicely on the greenhouse courtyard in the shade. The intent was to mount staghorn ferns on the slabs. But the wire guards are perfect for holding tillandsias (air plants). Just in time for the first Epipyllum (orchid cactus) bloom of the season… just beautiful!
Found this metal vanity at a yard sale… and thought it would look great planted with succulents.
I attached a basket of wire to hold the moss and soil.
Planted with succulents and cuttings… along with a small side table. Parked under the shade cloth arbor, and watered once a week or so.
Two months later…
For two to four weeks, the wreaths have laid flat where they get 2-3 hours morning sun, and dunked into rain water when dried out (about once a week). Stuck a few more cuttings into the bare spots and they are ready to go.Â They sold that day – at a bargain price of $60 = 14″ $45 = 10″ to a returning customer. See How to Part 1 & Part 2.