Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Life Outside the Greenhouse: Steve and Claudia Casebolt's Garden

Yesterday we took a peek inside Steve's fabulous Cacti and succulent-filled greenhouse; (Did I mention that Steve also built that?)  Today we'll venture outside to the garden.

Water features are popular in gardens.  This one is quite impressive!  

The garden is large and there are wonderful wide open spaces, wooded areas,  intimate destinations and surprises to be found. 

A field mouse. 

What a view!

Carnivorous plant grower, Scott Valders (Bogs of Doom) did a brief presentation about these interesting plants at the Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society meeting we'd attended and he also brought plants to sell.  His influence as a neighbor of Steve and Claudia is evident in their collection.

Come on down.

 Members of the CCSS enjoying lunch.

The barely open  swath of sedum were covered with pollinators 

An orchard full of a wide variety of fruit trees was on one side of the driveway.

Oh the luxury of so much space!  

Into the woods behind the house, we wander through a shade area filled with pots of ferns, most of which Steve started from spores. That area is slated to become a stumpery, I believe.   Beyond that is the foundation of a house that was previously on the property.  Featured in Sunset Magazine in the 60's or 70's, the house burned to the ground and whoever owned it decided not to rebuild.  When last I visited the garden, nature had pretty much covered up this space.  Steve built steps down  to make access possible and has been decorating the space.

On a trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Casebolts were amazed that most of the beads being thrown around were just left as garbage so they set about collecting them and brought home pounds of them.  Steve build this stand to hold them.  Claudia  says that she doesn't think it'll be a permanent addition but it's certainly an interesting way to remember their trip. 

The plan is to create something that looks like a ruin utilizing statuary, some broken. and encourage moss to grow on parts of the concrete.

The view from the ruin is  to die for.   At the bottom of the picture, currently still decorated by Ma Nature,  is a lower level of the foundation, a perfect depth to install a flexible liner and add a koi pond.  However, when you already have part of Puget Sound in view, a pond in the foreground might seem redundant.  They may deck over the lower foundation making the upper ruin area larger.  Or, they could still do a liner of sorts and make a bog garden of carnivorous plants.  So many options! 
Thanks again Steve and Claudia, for your warm hospitality and for sharing your gorgeous garden!

Happy weekend all and Happy Gardening!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A Peek Inside Steve Casebolt's Greenhouse

I finally joined the Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society after having enjoyed attending their sales for several years and having members of the group visit my garden a couple of times.  Steve and Claudia Casebolt, members of the CCSS  invited me to visit their garden a few years back and I fell in love with the garden and gardeners. You can see posts from that visit here and here. Once again, I took too many pictures for one post so today we'll peek inside the greenhouse.

 Steve is a multi-talented man.  He not only grew many of these plants from seed but also made the pots in which they're growing.

His cacti and succulents seem very happy and I've started using the same soil mix that he makes for my own collection.  ( 1/3 soil, 1/3 pumice grit, gravel, or perlite, 1/3 Montmorillonite Calcined Clay AKA Turface.)

This variegated Agave potatorum (Japanese Hybrid)  caught my eye when Steve brought one to the CCSS Odd Plant Show and sale last year.  I'd been thinking about it ever since and today, once again, I had a chance to bring one home.

Here's mom.  Isn't she  gorgeous?

 There are a lot of agaves in my collection which have grown quite large and, because they look happiest when potted up annually, will get even larger.  Perhaps it's time to send some of  those to California where they'll be happy in the ground and concentrate more on diminutive varieties.

Pachypodium in bloom. The fragrance is glorious. 

Epiphyllum buds.

So close...

Epiphyllum fruit.  Perhaps it's a night-blooming variety.


Isn't the plant kingdom fascinating?  So many variations.  Gasterole, I think. 

Hope you enjoyed this look inside Steve's greenhouse as much as I did!  

If you're a fan of plants like these,  do visit this year's Odd Plant Show and Sale at Sky Nursery in Shoreline on September 8 and 9.