Old Newsletters 9

Special Message from Robin
We had a wonderful Extravaganza event, and then, just like that, it's winter! The Nursery has winter hours in effect until April 2, 2013. With the holidays approaching, we also have some closings to report. I would like to say a few things about the recent disaster on the East Coast. My friends, family, and the Succulent Gardens staff all send our good wishes to everyone affected by the disaster wrought by Hurricane Sandy. As a farmer of succulent plants, I'm always keenly aware of the issues of weather and how it can affect my crops. As we watch the news unfold our hearts go out to those caught up in this tragedy.

While there are bigger issues to think about right now, I would like to suggest that the community of succulent enthusiasts come together to help re establish some of the succulent collections lost to this event. I will be open to suggestions and will plan to prepare succulent care packages for shipping in the spring. I have no idea what the various botanical gardens have experienced, or what personal collections were lost, but I pledge to work this winter to help those whose succulent
collections were affected. Please contact me if I may be of assistance.
Robin Stockwell
Succulent Gardens
[email protected]
Winter Hours and Holiday Closings

The Nursery has winter hours in effect until April 2, 2013. With the holidays approaching, we also have some closings to report.
--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
Thanksgiving Hours
Closed Wednesday, November 21-Sunday, November 25.
Christmas Hours
Closed December 23-January 1
Wreaths and Holiday Decor: Order Now
Robin with Wreaths Photo by Sara Shoemaker Lind

This year's wreath crop is limited as orders have been early and brisk.
To ensure that you get your wreath, place orders now even if you want us to ship nearer the holiday.
The last shipping day is 13 December for all planted products.

Items shipped from 14 to 19 December will require upgraded shipping.

The absolute last shipping day is December 19.
Retail Details: Great Holiday Gifts from Succulent Gardens

The store at Succulent Gardens has something for everyone on your list. Get started now before the rush with these charming and inventive gifts.



Living Picture

Purchase a pre-planted picture or a kit. (Plants in kits need to be unpacked immediately upon arrival.)

Purchase Now





Succulent Wreath
Beautiful "holiday" decor that lasts all year.
Little and Big Hearts
Say "I Love You" with plants!


Bird House
Even the birds deserve a green roof!

Purchase NowBird House


Vertical House
A charming vertical garden.


Vertical House


Planted Cross
A traditional favorite.




Gift Certificates
A perfect fit for everyone on your list.
Browse all of our online store offerings:


The spirit of Succulent Extravaganza 2012
Wow! Perfection? Not by a long shot, but we will keep working on it. By all measures this year's Extravaganza was a BIG success.
The speakers were much appreciated for their expertise and generosity of time and information.
Flora Grubb
Robin with Speaker Flora Grubb
Photo by Sara Shoemaker Lind
Speaker Baylor Chapman shows off one of her Creations
The volunteers were everywhere supporting the event with food prep, package check, customer support, logistics, and information dissemination.
Shucks! These volunteers were great!
The A/V Volunteers!
My staff prepared the nursery and met the challenges an event like this brings on and, believe it or not, the nursery still looks as good as it did the day before the event.
Tiffany and Alicia
Alicia of the Monterey Bay Master Gardeners, and volunteer coordinator extraordinaire (left) and Tiffany (right).
The customers turned out in droves and were fun, enthusiastic and so supportive.
Happy Customer
Happy Customer!
Photo by Sara Shoemaker Lind

Attendees were wearing succulents every which way:
Laura Eubanks Gracie the Dog
Laura Balaoro rocks her succulent hat, and Gracie the dog has a collar adorned with plants.
Will we do it again next year? Absolutely! We have already signed up our first speaker--that's a secret, and a band has volunteered to play for us at next years Bar b Que. So, yes, we are on for 2013. Mark your calendar for the last Friday and Saturday of September, 27 and 28 September 2013. I'm working on the perfection thing!
Extravaganza T-Shirts


Two amazing volunteers model the Extravaganza T-shirt. Photo by Sara Shoemaker Lind


Did you love the Extravaganza T-Shirts? You can own one! Please send a check for $25 and your mailing address to:
Extravaganza T-shirt
Succulent Gardens
2133 Elkhorn Road
Castroville, CA 95012
Tiffany Celebrates 10 Years with Succulent Gardens
This summer marked my 10 year anniversary working at Succulent Gardens. My mom and I used to go into the store in Carmel when I was little. On my 7th birthday I gave away cactus as favors to my friends. My Dad still has mine on his deck at home.
Tiffany Tiffany (left) accepting her award for the annual coloring contest Robin used to hold at the Carmel store.
I was going to college part time and was looking for work. I saw an ad in the Monterey Herald and responded, was interviewed that day and by dinnertime had the job!

The first Christmas I worked for Robin he made us breakfast at the store on Christmas Eve. Over the years we have shared meals, recipes and cooking tips, when not discussing succulents.

We have been through a lot over the last ten years, births (his grand-daughters), weddings (mine and his daughter's), deaths (my paternal grandparents)--you name it, we've been through it.

Robin is not just my boss, but truly a great friend.

I took a brief hiatus from December 2008-January 2010. I had wanderlust. Thankfully destiny pointed right back to Succulent Gardens.

Robin hired me to bring the retail area at the Nursery up to par. I am very proud of the way it looks today! Ari, Simone, Cody and the rest of the crew have each played a role in that. My goal is to make sure every person who walks in the nursery leaves with a good feeling, hopefully some plants and wants to return and bring their friends or family when they do.

I am blessed to work for someone like Robin, I am grateful for my job with Succulent Gardens, and I am happy to share just a little piece of me with all of you.

It was great to see everyone at Extravaganza! I look forward to another ten years with Succulent Gardens!
Deck the Halls with Succulents!
Holiday Open House
9am-4pm Saturday, December 6


Join us for a festive day at the nursery on Saturday, Dec. 6. We'll share some ideas for making holiday decorations and gifts from succulents, give you tips on helping your garden succulents through winter, and have holiday gifts and crafts for sale.


Throughout our regular Saturday hours, 9am to 4 pm, you can sip hot cider as you shop for holiday gifts and visit our craft stations, where instructors will have materials on hand and show how to make charming holiday decorations accented with succulents. They include miniature Christmas trees, a living ornament in a glass jar, and a traditional swag of greenery made bolder with succulents.

If you haven't yet seen the display gardens that were installed before September's Succulent Extravaganza, the Holiday Open House is a great time to see them, established and thriving.


Julia Bell, who designed several of those spaces, will be among the craft instructors, along with several talented member of our staff.

Robin Stockwell and Dennis Rodkin will lead tours of of the nursery where they emphasize winter care advice and observations on how the succulent garden changes during the cold season. The tours are at 10 am and 2 pm.

Don't leave your kids at home. We'll have a potting station just for them, where kids can create a cute succulent gift. (Like these succulent Christmas trees made by a four year old and a six year old.)


We hope to see you Saturday!

5 Ways to Winterize Your Succulents


As vigorous and tolerant as they are, succulent plants in the garden often need a little special attention to come through winter ready to dazzle again in the spring.


If you live in an area where winter frosts are routine, one of the best ways to prepare your succulents for winter is to start at the very beginning: buy only those varieties that are proven survivors of cold weather. These include some sempervivums, sedums and even a few agaves.


But the palette of succulents is so broad that choosing only the cold-tolerant ones can feel limiting. If your succulent collection wasn't selected strictly on cold-hardiness, winter could cause some damage. Here are five tips on how to support your succulents through the colder months:


*When frost is in the forecast, cover succulent plantings with frost fabric. Depending on the type, it can wrap plants in as much as eight degrees of additional warmth. At Succulent Gardens, we use it on all plants that are outdoors; last winter, we had one cold spell where the coverings stayed in place for a full week.

If possible, frost fabric should be kept from touching the plants, because anywhere it lies on the leaf surface, cld and moisture can get trapped and damage the plant.

*There's a second kind of protection that frost fabric can offer. Hail sometimes causes spots or pockmarks on the surface of thick agave leaves-it may not show up immediately, but within a few days, the marks become visible. Frost fabric placed over agaves and other thick-leafed plants gives the hail something to bounce off of that it can't harm.

The thick leaves of this Agave americana are nicely tattooed with its own 'teeth marks.' Don't let hail stones ruin the look by denting the leaves. Drape frost cloth over this and other agaves if hail is in the forecast.

*Move container plants close to a house's walls, where they benefit from the warmth of the walls.

*In areas with very hot summers, such as California's inland areas, gardeners know to put their succulents in shaded or north-facing areas, to protect them from the effects of oppressive heat. Winter is a great time to let those plants bask in the sun, which will bring out their best coloration. Because intense heat isn't a threat in winter, consider giving containerized succulents a winter home out in a higher-light environment.

But please, be sure to return them to their protected havens in spring, before things heat up again.


*Be vigilant abut snails and slugs that appear during rains. The bites they take out of thick, fleshy succulent leaves will be visible for a while, so when weather reports call for rain, deploy whatever snail-beating technique you prefer. That might be putting down cups of beer or snail bait, or it might mean hand-plucking snails out of your garden.

Plant of the Month: Succulent Houseplants


There are many succulents that work well as house plants. Some of the best I have found are from the Haworthia family. Haworthias do well in low light conditions and work well in a variety of interior environments. Along with the haworthias, there are a number of miniature Aloe hybrids that have been introduced by hybridizers like Kelly Griffin, who's well known in California for his work.

All of these plants grow well in small containers, so they lend themselves well to windowsill-type environments. They require little care, minimal water and little to no supplemental nutrition.
If you are going to be spending lots of time indoors during the long nights of winter, consider playing around with some of these Aloes and Haworthias. There are many to choose from and to enjoy.
Haworthia fasciata

Haworthia reinwartii


Aloe aristata


Aloe 'Christmas Carol'

On the Road with Succulent Gardens

As soon as the new year begins, Succulent Gardens goes into roadshow mode, as we take our plants and our expertise to assorted winter events, spreading the word about the many creative ways to use this plant palette that we love.

Look for us at any of these events:

Feb 11-15: Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, where Robin will unveil a new creation that's sure to make hearts beat a little faster.


Feb 12: Nor Cal Landscape & Nursery Show in San Mateo, where several of us will staff a trio of booths and connect with landscaper professionals from all over the region. This year, we'll highlight our offering of specimen-sized stock.


March 18-22: San Francisco Flower & Garden Show in San Mateo. Our greenhouses are brimming now with the wide array of succulents we'll have for sale at this year's event, where the theme is 'Going Wild.' Combining display gardens and sale areas like ours, the show is a don't-miss!

Pictured above: The 2013 ASU display


June 20: Monterey Greenhouse Growers Tour. For this one, we're not on the road, you are. This all-day event spotlights the vital role that plant growers of many kinds play in the Monterey area. Visitors can drop in for backstage tours at several growers' sites throughout the day, including not only always-open retailers like Succulent Gardens, but some growers that are usually closed to visitors.

Around the Nursery


Centerpiece Class

On Saturday, Nov. 15, our crafty Simone LaJeunesse led a seminar in making succulent-topped autumn centerpieces. About a dozen people attended, and went home with creations like this to adorn their Thanksgiving tables.


Big Blooms!

The seven-foot bloom stalk on this Agave 'Super Nova' has been a spectacular sight in our garden boutique area for the past week.


A Succulent Thanksgiving Happening Here

We spotted this next to one of the greenhouses in late November. Which is it, an agave coming into bloom or a turkey hiding out on our site in hopes of evading its Thanksgiving fate?

More Succulent Flowers

These vibrant blooms in our greenhouse last week were hanging from a Kalanchoe tubiflora. It's easy to see why this beauty's common name is "Chandelier flower."