Old Newsletters 3

What's Happening in 2013?
We have big plans at Succulent Gardens
But first, the weather:
It's winter, just after the turn of the calendar to a new year and Succulent Gardens has so much going on. As I write this, there is a pretty serious freeze warning for Northern California. We try to send out "heads up" notices when we are aware of these weather events and to include suggestions for how our customers can protect their plants.
Frost Cloth
Succulents Make the World Go 'Round

This year's BIG project has been the preparation for the 2013 San Francisco Flower and Garden show. If you have not heard about it yet, Robin has been planning and implementing the "Globe Project". This has evolved from Weston Cook's suggestion of a globe almost two years ago, through the manufacture of the structure and the planting. A few days before the garden show opens we will deliver and assemble the globe with our fingers crossed and if all goes according to plan, we will all get to see a 10' diameter sphere rotating above the show floor. Keep your fingers crossed.

Here's a sneak peek:

Globe 1

moving the globe

Read more about the Globe and see more photos on the SG Website Here.

Visit the Garden Show Website Here.
Encyclopedia Preview!

We've been working on the format for the plant encyclopedia and this is a preview. At this point I will be selecting photos and writing copy for Katie to clean up and upload. Once we have a representative number in the new encyclopedia, we will make the encyclopedia a part of the SGplants website for all to use. The timeframe necessary to do this is directly related to the winter surf, so please bear with me!


Here's a preview of the main Encyclopedia page. More preview pictures will appear as we add more plants.You can see the search functions on the right.





This is an example of an individual plant page with details and more pictures for the plant.


Individual Plant Page



Succulent Gardens in Pacific Horticulture
Pacific Horticulture Cover This winter I worked on an article for Pacific Horticulture, and I'm pleased to say that the issue is now available!

The article focuses on landscaping with succulents, one of my great passions. There is a bonus photo gallery online that shows different succulent combinations to try at home, too.

Big thanks to Lorene Edwards Forkner and Brian Kemble for their help with the article!
Vertical Gardening Takes Center Stage in the Retail Corner
With the help of Brian Merrill, a new display has been
created for all of the vertical gardening products. We
are researching some new products to compliment
the plants we grow and adding some new products
to our online store. With the expansion of the retail
area, plant labeling has also been expanded. We will
continue to let customers browse for plants outside
the retail display area.
New Retail
Happy New Year!
I hope all of you had a restful and festive holiday season. We all had the pleasure of a week off and I spent mine with family. Now I am glad to be back at work and share what we have all been working on for Spring!

Before Christmas we had a beautiful wall built in our Retail area that just looks awesome! Its a showcase for our vertical items and just for me makes the retail area feel more complete.

I have painted the old bookshelf from the store in a Southwest theme and will be doing more painting in the coming weeks. We also will be painting our tool shed out front!

I am looking forward to ordering some new and more colorful fun pots (bigger pots!) If you have any pots you would like to see let me know.

If you're in the neighborhood come by and see what we have done so far. I think you will be impressed!

The Nursery has winter hours in effect until April 2, 2013.
--We close the nursery during high winds. Please give us a call if you're planning to head our way to make sure we're open!
Regular Winter Hours
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-3:30 pm. We lock the Nursery promptly at 4pm.
Monday-Friday 9am-3:30pm

Succession Planning
Succession Planning, the really BIG project for 2013: In April it will be twenty years since the growing grounds was established at the Castroville facility. What an incredible project this has been and continues to be. After operating my two businesses, Acme Plant Co. and Oceanside Cactus and Succulent Nursery, Succulent Gardens was created at the Barnyard shopping center. It was intended to be a demonstration area for how to display and use succulent plants. That was in 1981, ten years after beginning my nursery career. The concept had mixed results at the Barnyard, but has exceeded my expectations in the Castroville location. Looking back, it's clear all these years and experiences, good and bad, have just been a training ground for creating the Succulent Gardens of today.
Brian and Robin
Brian: Why would you want to retire someday, Robin?
Robin: I want to be able to surf without worrying about frost warnings.
So what is this about succession planning, and the really BIG project for 2013? I believe Succulent Gardens has a future that goes beyond me. If Succulent Gardens is going to continue to play a role in promoting the use of succulent plants, then it is time to begin the process of finding a successor, someone who can take over and expand on what I have begun.
I've given a great deal of thought to this and must admit to some mixed feelings. Going public with something like this is somewhat daunting, but I have embraced social media as an important tool for my business, so it seems fitting to use my social media program to find the right person to take over.
Succulent Gardens is not a simple business and finding a successor and making a transition will most likely take some time. My original goal was to be retired at the age of 70, so this being my 66th year, it seems an appropriate time to get started. So, if anyone is out there who is interested, this is the time to step up. Finding a successor is my BIG goal for 2013.
Around the Nursery
The crew has been planting crops non-stop and the nursery is filling up for the spring push. We've been cleaning everywhere and have even managed to plant some new succulent beds.
Along with beautiful crops of 2", 4", 6" and larger, there are several new murals growing. Ari had a design he wanted to create for the gazebo and it will be ready for Sunset's Celebration Weekend and on display at the nursery around April.


Always look both ways before you cross the road. You never know what you're going to see:


Hummingbirds Galore
The nursery is a hummingbird haven. This Aloe bainsii is this hummers' park bench, providing a bit of rest.


Hummingbird 1



Winter Flowers
There are so many plants in bloom! This is a Sedum nussbaunianum getting ready to open it's star shaped flowers. Aloes are blooming everywhere, along with some very spectacular Agaves.
Aloes along the road putting on a show!