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Are you ready to fall back?

And just like that, we are a month into Fall 2020. I was just informed that we are expecting our first below-freezing night next week. AH! Time to stop watering and start to monitor closely those tender succulents and cactus, Folks! It’s been a while since the last post, so read on to find out where Suburban Succulents is now.

New Greenhouse! Slowly filling the new greenhouse

October 2020 is going to mark an important milestone for Suburban Succulents in the coming years- It’s the month I took a giant leap; put my notice in at my full-time, stable-income job to focus my efforts fully on Suburban Succulents. It has been many hours of work to prepare mentally and physically to get our shop space ready to invite customers into- and we are almost there! We even have regular open hours on the weekends.

Now that I have gained 50 hours in my week, I’ve been able to get to more on my Trello to-do lists done… the lists are actually getting checked off instead of only adding to! Currently, the plants are flourishing and our collection is growing like crazy. We are working with several local artists to offer unique gifts as well! I’ll post their information on a vendor page on our website soon. My concept of running a plant & gift shop is coming to life and it feels like the perfect time.

Cactus seeds have been started in the workshop, succulents have been propagated in the nursery, houseplant starts are growing too, plans are being made to keep the greenhouse warm this winter, the chickens are now laying eggs, and the ground of the trash piles that we inherited at the house is in sight- almost 10 months later, we have made tremendous progress!!

With winter hanging its cold head over us- we are getting serious about our winterizing plans for this year. Every other year we’ve lived in WA State we have suffered a loss of some inventory due to freezing. I am trying everything (bar bringing every single plant inside) to keep all succulents & cactus alive this year. I have read about using bubble wrap- I think I have enough in storage to wrap the entire greenhouse- if it comes to it, so be it!! 🙂 We have completed our last watering and will only spot water the hardy cacti and succulents from now until Spring.

Adriane & Chickens Adriane feeding some of the chickens an ear of corn we grew!

I am absolutely loving the chickens. In my opinion, they are the best “back-yard pet” ever. They provide us amazing eggs and they are cute as all get out- if we had less space though, I am sure I’d feel differently- dodging all the shit piles is a challenge but certainly keeps life interesting!

We are raising another three chicks that will be added to the rest of the flock in another 2 months or so- currently, they are living in the workshop under their heat lamp and seem overly excited to get out of there. It’s too soon, ladies!! 😉 I take them outside occasionally to see their sister-hens from a distance. I think it is important to introduce new animals to the rest of the family as soon as possible- we don’t need any problems when the time comes to integrate the different age groups.

The front yard garden is still producing fall crops- small bits of broccoli, carrots, and radish with overwhelming amounts of kale and chard. Fava beans are coming in and our cover crops are taking over. We’ve planted 3 different kinds of garlic for next year. Amazingly to me, the wildflower bed is still flowering- my diligent deadheading has indeed helped. Brett and I are even working on an extensive seed catalog for next year to bring to you all!

in the garden Fall garden bed

That’s all for now from our garden- even though there is so much more to share! Comment below any questions or maybe ideas of ways to keep the greenhouse warm, or anything else you’d like. Happy Fall and hope to see you in the shop soon!

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Times have changed.

Hello to you all! It has been a hot minute since our last post- yes, over a year. But, here we are, with exciting news.

We have a permanent space for Suburban Succulents! Our new home in Vancouver, WA boasts a lovely converted garage that will be the store front. We have planned an outdoor area for growing as well as for plant displays and social gatherings. We can’t wait to open this space to the community- we have gathered a wealth of knowledge of many types of plants and look forward to being the local source of all things plants!

We are aiming to open at the end of May when hopefully life as we knew it can resume in a safe fashion.

Currently, Suburban Succulents just got the last of its drywall up and is ready for the first fresh coat of paint in what we assume is 35 years. Upon purchasing our home, we knew that we had a lot of work in front of us- the previous owners were hoarders, lived here for 35 years and left most of their trashed items behind for us to dispose of. With that, we still have copious amounts of trash piled on the side of the house waiting to go to the dump (they have advised us not to go to the dump in Vancouver unless absolutely necessary) and yes, it is necessary to get the old shower off my front yard but not so necessary to risk the health of myself, family and others. So for now, it sits. I should mention we have already taken 7 truck beds full of trash since February. Lately, I have been dreaming of how I can incorporate these leftover items into my plant displays— Brett has had to bring me back to earth a few times. 🙂

Until we see you in person or over the ether- be well!
~Adriane & Brett

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The Great Organization of 2019

As promised, more so to myself than any particular person, here is an update on our growing situation in the garage and house for this 3rd week of 2019.

We have officially moved 95% of our succulents inside the house due to cold weather conditions. About 75% of these reside in the garage and the rest on our windowsills scattered throughout the house. I can’t wait for spring to get all the plants back outside and growing under less stressful conditions. I find I am spending more time cleaning up after dropped leaves than I ever have before. Has anyone else noticed that their succulents stretch and drop a bunch more leaves when living inside the house? 

Slowly but surely, I am organizing all the propagated succulents in trays in the garage, see the pictures below. This attempt to keep all varieties near each other will make it a bit easier to organize later on when the plants are larger. Beyond that, we are planting out new leaves to grow more baby plants, and potting up teenaged succulents into 2″ pots (these will be our succulents to use in the spring & summer). Although we probably have close to 1000 succulents, the number of succulents we have still will not last us very long with our spring/summer markets coming up. We are preparing for this by acquiring more succulents and ramping up the amount of light & fertilizer we are giving.  

The succulents that are outside are VERY hardy mother plants; some crassulas types, leather petals, and a few extra-hardy echeverias. We are keeping our eyes on these succulents though as we are facing another cold snap and don’t want to lose these mother plants. How sad that would be!?!

Brett ordered more lights for use in the garage. They are red/blue LEDs that, according to his research, should promote root growth. Our plan is that once spring hits and we temper the succulents to be outside again, the natural exposure to sunlight will make the body of the succulents grow extremely well, especially since we will have focused these past few months on root growth. I’ll keep you posted on this as it progresses. 

Beyond organizing and cleaning up the succulents in the garage, we are prepping succulent products for the Night Market coming up on 2/1. Sweater weather pots and red rocks will be used to make the living succulent pots more festive. The 3D printer is employed full time now, it’s busy printing new pots and key chains. I can’t wait for their debut!

We are looking forward to being at the Vancouver Night Market again, this time at the new location, Warehouse 23. Stop by and say hello on 2/1 from 5-10pm.

Thank you to everyone who continues to follow along with our journey. Let us know if you have any comments or questions, we are here to help any way we can. Have a great day!