Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 Succulent Extravaganza plant porn (1 of 2)

The 2016 Succulent Extravaganza at Succulent Gardens in Castroville, California has come and gone. I’ve been so busy this year that I completely forgot to advertise it here on Succulents and More. I did remember to post an advance notice on my Facebook page so I’m hoping many of you knew about it and attended.

Succulent Extravaganza started in 2011 when Succulent Gardens, Northern California’s largest succulent grower, was still owned by the legendary Robin Stockwell, plantsman and surfer extraordinaire. In October 2014, just after the fourth Extravaganza, the nursery was bought by brothers John and Dennis Rodkin, and John's wife Megan. The 2016 Extravaganza was the Rodkins’ second, and even though things that used to be free (like the Friday evening BBQ, and coffee and donuts on both Friday and Saturday morning) are no longer free, the event is still compelling for its lineup of speakers and, of course, for the extraordinary plants in the demo gardens (and for sale). Personally, I think the nursery has never looked this good—and the demonstration plants this well cared for.

Even though I was there for all the previous Extravaganzas (2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015) and have taken thousands of photos at Succulent Gardens, I managed to add 300 more this time. The wonderful thing about gardens and plants in general is that they are in a constant state of flux. Nothing ever stands still, and plants that you thought couldn’t look any better sometimes get even more attractive over time.

I have very little self-control when it comes to taking photos (or editing them) so I will regale you with a cornucopia of photographic treasures from this year’s event. I’m aiming to spread out the wealth over two posts but I’m not done working on my photos yet so there may be more.

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

This is one of the first sights you might see as you walk up to the nursery:

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_001

This row of agaves is truly impressive. In addition to Agave ‘Blue Flame’ and Agave parryi var. truncata

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_002

…there is Agave weberi ‘Arizona Star’ (and yours truly):

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_003

I’ll have more photos of this bed in part 2.

From here I took a circuitous route to check out the demonstration gardens installed for the 2014 Extravaganza as well as the growing grounds. There is so much to see, photograph and be inspired by, that it’s easy to lose track of time even though the nursery is only three acres in size.

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_005

Leaning Flagstone Succulent Bench by Andrea Hurd of Mariposa Gardening & Design

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_007

Agave attenuata ‘Ray of Light’ and Aloe arborescens ‘Variegata’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_008

Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ and Agave attenuata ‘Ray of Light’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_006

A Living Heart Through Succulent Art, created by Robin Stockwell in cooperation with Gary Snyder of Gary Snyder Fabrication

Unbenanntes_Panorama1

Speaker tent,8:15 a.m.

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_216

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_014

Agave attenuata ‘Ray of Light’ next to the speaker tent

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_175

Agave attenuata ‘Ray of Light’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_013

This combo got everybody’s attention

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_140

Agave attenuata

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_074

Senecio vitalis and Agave attenuata

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_015  160924_SucculentExtravaganza_017

Rustic Rampage by James Pettigrew & Sean Stout of Organic Mechanics

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_039

Agave attenuata ‘Ray of Light’. It flourishes in the mild coastal climate of Castroville while struggling in my backyard in Davis.

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_075

Tumbled glass

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_073

Old metal pipe

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_016

Cow horn agave (Agave bovicornuta) at its absolute best

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_076

I believe that’s Aloe ‘Blue Elf’ there in the middle in yet another old metal pipe

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_038

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_021

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_072

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_138 160924_SucculentExtravaganza_210

Now you know why Agave bovicornuta is one of my favorite agaves

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_018

Another pipe repurposed as a planting container

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_022 

Aloidendron ‘Hercules’ with Ferocactus peninsulae

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_143

Ferocactus wislizeni

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_078

Agave ‘Kichiokan’, thought by some to be a cultivar of Agave potatorum while others think it’s a form of Agave isthmensis. Whatever it is, the plants at Succulent Gardens are out of this world.

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_079

Agave ‘Kichiokan’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_145

Agave ‘Kichiokan’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_030

Echinocactus grusonii

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_032

Springs from an old mattress, planted with tillandsias

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_034

Tillandsia xerographica

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_033

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_057

More Aloidendron ‘Hercules’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_045

Aloidendron ‘Hercules’, Agave ‘Blue Flame’ and Agave ‘Blue Glow’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_043

Agave ‘Blue Glow’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_049

Meditative agaves

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_052

Agave geminiflora

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_054

Aloes and grasses in John Greenlee’s demonstration garden

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_055

Aloes and grasses in John Greenlee’s demonstration garden

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_064

In-ground plants ready for digging. Talk about instance impact in the the landscape!

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_063

Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’, the largest and most stunning specimens I’ve ever seen

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_062

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_065

Agave flower spike towering about this pickup truck

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_172

Boxed Agave attenuata along the fence

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_066

Agave attenuata ‘Kara’s Stripe’

160924_SucculentExtravaganza_067

Aloe vanbalenii in Danielle and Michael Romero’s undersea demonstration garden installed for the 2014 Extravaganza

Go to part 2 to see a whole lot more succulent goodness.

RELATED POSTS:

All Succulent Extravaganza posts

10 comments:

  1. I have never seen a succulent garden I liked better than this one! But I think most of it is due to your excellent photography!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane, that is the nicest compliment I've received in a long, long time. Thank you!

      Delete
  2. Beautiful specimens. I've got to get to the extravaganza one year - by car of course so I can load up the trunk!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! The Extravaganza is usually the last weekend in September. This year it was one week earlier for some reason.

      Delete
  3. What utterly pristine, happy agaves -- especially Boutin Blue, not an easy one to grow unblemished in my experience. Looking forward to more reporting!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I wonder, do you still get a thrill when pulling up to places like these, the way I would feel whenever pulling in to Needmore Bamboo a few years back? Familiar yet still so exciting. :)

    Also, I love the wave in the photo in which your shadow was unavoidable. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I still get a thrill because I never know what I might find. I only make it to Succulent Gardens once a year.

      Delete