Tag Archives: solana succulents

Why the A is worth only one point

Succulent flowers

Zoey the Cool Cat, Jim, and I moved back in July to a ground floor house that actually has property surrounding it. We had been in condominiums from 2007 to 2017 because we liked having a pool and spa without having the maintenance on a pool and spa.

Now that we have property surrounding our house again, I can get back to serious gardening. Serious gardening means spending lots of time again reading through the plant books in my gardening library as well as spending time at the plant nurseries throughout San Diego County.

Most of our property will be dedicated to non-cactus succulents—my body has decided to move on from thorny cactus.

My time at nurseries led me to Solana Succulents, a cool little nursery in Solana Beach, California, which I discovered 15 years ago. A couple of weeks ago as I was wandering around the nursery, the owner, Jeff Moore, was on the phone and telling the caller that he would have to be closed the next day because he was traveling up to Los Angeles to speak to one of the botanical societies there. After he hung up, I told him that I was retired and if he ever needed someone to keep the nursery open for a day while he was gone, he could call on me. Well, he called on me as soon as I finished my sentence, and I got to work the nursery all by myself the next day. Pretty cool. Even though I was in a nursery, I was pretty sure I was in Heaven.\

Jeff has written two books on Succulents: Under the Spell of Succulents and Aloes and Agaves In Cultivation, and has a third book, Soft Succulents, coming out in a couple of weeks. In my continuing conversation with Jeff, I commented on his book as to its design and text fonts. He sent me a PDF of his not-yet-published Soft Succulents to read through and offer comments. I did. I did the same for his first two books in case he gets to reprintings.

It’s been a joy reading his books because of his knowledge, the pretty pictures, and his sense of humor. Some of the pictures almost—almost, I say—convince me to give some of the agaves a try, but they are mean, spiny creatures which have no problem sampling a taste of your blood. That, however, doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the pictures—they don’t bite—and sharing them with you.

The little one in the following picture from Wikipedia has some serious spines and is quite pretty, but it’s the name that caught my attention:

Agave guadalajarana

It’s the reason why the A in Scrabble is worth only one point.

Agave guadalajarana

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Under the spell of succulents

Out & About

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, I left all of my beautiful plants in the gardens back in Texas. Since I lived pretty much in hot, dry areas of Texas, and I intensely disliked paying water bills, most of my gardens and plants were cactus and succulents. So I had to start all over again in San Diego.

I didn’t get that start until November 1995 when the consulting job I took in April 1994 stationed me permanently in San Diego. My first task after moving into the new digs was to find the cactus and succulent nurseries in San Diego County.

One of my favorites was Solana Succulents, 355 N. Highway 101 in Solana Beach:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Map location of Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Solana Succulents is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and Noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Those are Daylight Savings Time hours. During Standard Time, they close at 4:00 p.m. on all days.

Solana Succulents is where I bought my first Stapelia. Looked like this when it bloomed:

Stapelia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The plant is so unlike most cactus and succulents that I took an immediate liking to it. But when it bloomed, I became Stapelia’s greatest fan. Here are some other pictures from my Stapelia collection throughout my years in San Diego:

Stapelia

Stapelia

Stapelia flower

Stapelia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Succulent chess set at the San Diego County FairWhen I started my home inspection company in October 2001, I stopped by Solana Succulents because they always had a stack of 10% discount coupons at the front entrance. Pick up a discount coupon and use it ten minutes later!

I wanted to know if I could include a discount coupon with each of my home inspection reports. They said yes! So each of my Clients got a 10% discount coupon. I know from follow-up conversations that many of them used the coupon, and that made me happy.

Yesterday I went to Carlsbad to get a picture of the new Cecil the Lion mural (see yesterday’s post here: I’m going to call animal abuse on that). On the way home, I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway with the specific intent of stopping at Solana Succulents. I spent nearly an hour talking to the owner, Jeff Moore, and taking pictures.

Here are twenty pictures taken on August 19, 2015:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Can you guess which picture is my favorite?

NONE OF THEM!

It’s this one:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sadly, all of my Stapelias got left behind when I moved from Spring Valley to La Mesa in June 2001, and gardening then took a back seat to the commencement of my home inspection company just a couple of months later.

Stapelias are difficult to find in nurseries here, which puzzles me because they are so easy to grow, are drought tolerant, and have such beautiful star-shaped flowers.

Yesterday, Jeff was kind enough to give me a piece of that Stapelia in the very last picture. My life is complete again now that I once more have a Stapelia!

Jeff has a newly published book about succulents, a copy of which he also was kind enough to give me yesterday. The cover looks like this:

Under the Spell of Succulents by Jeff Moore

There are 244 pages with over 800 color photos in an 8″x10″ soft cover book for just $29.95! Contact Jeff at 858-259-4568 or solanasucculents@sbcglobal.net for your copy!

I can highly recommend “Under the Spell of Succulents” as an absolute necessity for cactus and succulent lovers, and for those who simply love beautiful pictures of beautiful plants.

Jeff also said that I could create a 10% discount coupon specifically for my wonderful followers here, so when you stop by Solana Succulents to choose YOUR special succulent or display, give Jeff the coupon below.

10% off coupon for Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post