Tag Archives: Cacti

Have Succulents, Will Travel: Central California Coast

My husband and I took our first adults only trip right before New Years Eve to one of our favorite hotels, Apple Farm Inn, to have a few days of wine tasting and connecting with nature on the beautiful Central Californian coast. If there’s anyone that can make the most out of 60 hours it’s us. We hit the ground running and visited a few wineries on our way up. I HIGHLY recommend Turley Wine Cellars if you’re into zinfandels.  It’s almost embarrassing to admit how much fun I had. I’ve done a lot of very fun and exciting things in my life but this was fun in a different way than I had ever experienced. It’s so important to remember the fact that before all that we have and we’ve made it was just him and me.

The next day we got our 10,000 steps in before noon and picked up food to go from the best little pizza spot then took our favorite drive on Highway 46 out to the coast. We parked the car at one of our favorite vistas in Cambria, popped open the back door of the car, ate pizza, drank really good red wine and watched the sun slowly set. There was an elderly couple that had set chairs out right at the water’s edge, other than them it was just the sound of cars driving by on Highway 1. We sat on the back of the car for a good hour. Our fingers and toes were freezing but we were as happy as could be. There’s a liveliness you don’t realize you have when you’re singular (childless) that is hard to not lose a bit of when you have a baby and are raising children. But I love how hard we’ve worked to keep things special and adventurous and this moment helped restore that liveliness, for sure. In part because I was loving what I was doing and in part because I knew I would be home the next day. Love here and love back home, we’re so very lucky. As the flow of cars behind us slowly died down with the setting sun and the smell of campfires started to linger, we could finally hear the waves from where we sat. Simultaneously we said, “that’s the first wave I heard.” Ahh, yes. We needed this.

Okayyy, now for the garden shop review. We hit up two spots while in San Luis Obispo: Growing Grounds Downtown and Grow in Cambria.

Growing Grounds Downtown Plant & Gift Shop

This place is tiny. Think an alleyway or walkway between homes but it packs a punch. The walls are lined with a lot of plants but what I love the most is their selection of already potted succulents and houseplants. I loooove all of the weathered terra cotta they use. We went at the end of December so they had an amazing selection of very healthy, blooming Christmas cacti. I was walking around with one in my hand (see photo below) until my husband gave me the side eye, like realllly another Christmas cactus?? I promised it was for my mom but I don’t think he believed me 🙂

Growing Grounds Downtown is an extension of Growing Grounds Farm which is a wholesale nursery in San Luis Obispo. But quite frankly the best part of Growing Grounds Farm and Downtown Plant & Gift Shop is that they are a program of Transitions-Mental Health Association. The plant shop is non-profit and provides supportive work opportunities and training for the Association’s clients who wish to develop job skills and confidence while experiencing mental illness. The gift shop is located on 956 Chorro Street, right across the street from Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. It was a little busy in downtown on the day we went and in combination with the tight quarters, I didn’t get many photos but we will be back soon for sure.

Grow Nursery

This is a one-of-a-kind space. Located at 2024 Main Street in Cambria on a unique property with other locally owned shops. It’s hard to describe how cool and funky this place is so hopefully the photos below will do it justice. When you enter off of Main Street in order to get to Grow Nursery you have to pass through the Garden Shed, a garden merchandise shop with everything from unique pottery to books to hand tools to statuary. Then there’s an open courtyard where all of the shops on the property meet. Once at the doorway of Grow there’s a series of cool signs touting rare and unusual succulents. If you’ve been following me on Instagram for a while you’ll recognize me taking a pic or two under these signs every time I visit. 

Inside the shop there’s a great selection of interior decor, books, airplants and one of a kind knick knacks. Out in the back they have all of their plants displayed amongst artsy junk. I have access to some of the best nurseries around so it’s almost unfair to compare the selection I’m used to at California Nursery Specialties but they do have a really nice selection of plants. I think their airplant selection is the best that I have access to other than online. My takeaway is that I would come here to purchase one or two plants to pot on their own as opposed to leaving with a palette to do a big project in your garden. All in all, it’s just a fun shopping/browsing experience at this property. 

Any places is Central California that you love? Go to Instagram and leave your suggestions it in the comments.

xo, rootedinmoss


Have Succulents, Will Travel: Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California is a city where beautiful xeriscapes existed long before it was trendy or environmentally necessary. Driving down any street in Palm Springs is a succulent lover’s dream, as most shopping centers and street corners are landscaped with drought tolerant plants. If window-gazing front yards isn’t enough for you, there’s the Palm Springs Historical Landmark, Moorten Botanical Garden.

Established in 1938 by desert plant specialists Chester and Patricia Moorten. The grounds are still family owned and operated by their son Clark Moorten. Each time I’m at Moorten’s I love to take the opportunity to chat with Clark and listen to his stories about Palm Springs in the 1960’s or the interesting array of critters he’s come across on the property. Moorten’s houses over 3000 varieties of plants and a most impressive Cactarium, a greenhouse which is home to many rare plant species. For a very small admission fee you can walk the grounds and enjoy the scenery. I don’t typically go here to buy succulents but they do have a small selection for sale.(below: I purchased from Moorten’s in May 2015).
They also have an eclectic selection of pottery and garden decor. Every time I visit I always pick up one of their two-toned pots for future projects. You may have seen some of their pottery selection on my InstagramI’ve been to Moorten’s during winter and summer and I’ll say a trip during summer isn’t for those shy about sweating! I would definitely recommend visiting in either winter or spring. Hours of operation are limited in the summer so be sure to call ahead or check their website before planning your trip.

Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium

1701 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264. moortenbotanicalgarden.com

If you’ve been to Moorten Botanical Garden, I’d love to see your photos. Tag me on Instagram @rootedinmoss!

DIY Holiday Succulent Terrarium from JuicyKits.com

I spent the long Thanksgiving weekend relaxing, shopping online and leisurely working on holiday DIY projects. One of my projects from this weekend was assembling the cutest holiday-themed terrarium from JuicyKits.com. Below is a photographic step-by-step of what it took to assemble the terrarium and what I used to complete it.

I’ve partnered up with JuicyKits for a giveaway of their Winter Edition Big Ol’ Egg terrarium! Head over to my Instagram @rootedinmoss for more details and giveaway terms.

The JuicyKits website is so fun to shop on. Once you decide on a terrarium you can choose from their Succulents Menu to personalize your order. Since I’m assembling the Winter Edition, I chose a palette of red and green. The kit comes with pebbles and activated charcoal to create a drainage system for the terrarium as well as landscaping fabric to create the perfect base. I used the Terrarium Tool Kit which includes a long spoon with soil-packing end, long round-tipped tweezers, coarse hair brush, water pouring spout and paper funnels. The tweezers were perfect for putting the plants in place, especially cacti. I supplemented with a few stems of succulents from my own garden to create height in the terrarium.The long spoon from the Terrarium Tool Kit is perfect for adding more soil without disturbing the plants that were already in place.The Winter Edition kit comes with 1 lb. of white decorative sand- it’s snowing in this terrarium! The brush from the Terrarium Tool Kit is perfect for smoothing out the sand in tight spaces. One last finishing touch! 

Such a fun addition to my holiday decor! Head over to JuicyKits.com to take advantage of their 25% off Juicy Tuesdays sale! And don’t forget to enter to win a JuicyKits Big Ol’ Egg Terrarium on my Instagram account @rootedinmoss.

Happy December! xo, rootedinmoss

Have Succulents, Will Travel: Austin

If it’s not already obvious, I’ll admit it, I’m nostalgic about pretty much everything when it comes to traveling with my husband. We had spent some time living in Texas a few years ago and boy, was it good to be back! We were greeted with the most beautiful sunset. When I’m asked to describe my blog I usually include gardening, home decor, baking, nature in travel- and that’s where I’m stopped and asked to elaborate. I love to travel and I love to appreciate the unique aspects of nature wherever I go: nature in travel. That’s the inspiration for this new series within my blog, Have Succulents, Will Travel. I love to visit the local succulent purveyors in whatever city I’m visiting and now I’ll be sharing with my readers where I go and what I loved about it!

East Austin Succulents

Located on the same property as Tillery Street Plant Co., under the shade of pecan trees, East Austin Succulents boasts two greenhouses and several outdoor displays with a great selection of succulents and cacti (and soil too!). They offer their services to create arrangements and centerpieces in either your container or one of theirs. Speaking of containers, they have a lot of unique, funky and vintage containers- I wish I would have gotten a better picture. You can see a bit of their container selection on the left side of the above photo. Their motto is, “life is short, surround yourself with beauty” and they certainly deliver on this because the grounds are both peaceful and beautiful. I have followed @eastaustinsucculents on Instagram for a while and it was a pleasure to finally be able to stop by! 

IMG_2256IMG_2263801 Tillery Street, Austin, TX 78702  eastaustinsucculents.com

Do you have any shops or greenhouses you love in Austin? Let me know on Instagram @rootedinmoss!

Girl Behind the Garden

After my dad passed away without warning, I repeatedly thought about our unfinished business with each other. Those thoughts evolved into wondering what memories about myself and my life went with him the day he died. What had he seen or known about me that he hadn’t gotten around to telling me or that I hadn’t thought to ask? Afterall, how do you know what to ask when you don’t know what you don’t know about yourself? I suppose I expected that over the course of my life I would discover and learn everything I needed to know in due time, but sometimes life makes you grow even under a cloudy sky. Once my grief eventually subsided my thoughts took a different course. Who is expecting to learn something from me? What is it and would they be listening when I was ready to teach them?

I have one sibling, my sister, who is eight years my junior. Our age difference gives our relationship a special complexity in which I am a friend, her family, a mentor. Naturally, I am in the position to be an example and a role model and I take that position with great pride. In this day and age where we spend so much time being “social” it can be difficult to really connect when we already think we’re totally connected. Recently, my sister went with me on a trip to Palm Springs where we visited Moorten’s Botanical Garden and Cactarium. We spent the morning walking around the grounds in the sweltering August heat, she was a great sport. As we were walking, to my immense delight, she pointed out and named plants or directed my attention to something I missed that she knew I would want to see. It was amazing to see that in her own way she was interested in something I love so much. I managed to take this child, raised in the digital age, and have her love something in a way that only one with an old soul could. My work here is done!

That day at Moorten’s, as I reflect back on it now, is a reminder that knowledge is an evolution in which your original sources fade into you becoming the source and those you teach become your teachers too. The unfinished business I once thought I had with my dad has become my current business with my sister. I’ve found that it’s not about talking about yourself or even sharing family memories it’s about getting out and doing. It takes effort to pass on your passion but when you do it’s wonderful to see what someone else can make of something you love. I can’t exactly put my finger on a single passion that my dad directly passed to me but I know I feel his spirit when I work with my hands. That’s why I love to share the things I create with everyone who reads this blog. A full circle connection that brings me joy. But you just can’t underestimate unplugging from the computer or the phone and teaching those around you, in person. It was the original way to be social, before the media. And that day that I got out with my sister confirmed the direction of my path that she knows the garden and the girl behind it too. moortens2moortens3

In Love With A Country

It’s an all too familiar story of a foreigner in love with a country she’s been to. But it’s different for me, in Mexico, I don’t entirely feel like a foreigner.

The final years of my husband’s career as a professional athlete were spent in Mexico. North, south, east, west, the interior and coasts, both or either of us have been there. During that time, I was always welcomed like a neighbor, a friend. A blind kindness I’ve not always felt in my own country. This post is not intended to make a statement about the drug war or to dismiss it’s presence, but I just haven’t seen it or felt it, ever. What I have seen is the great amount of land and life down there between and outside those news stories. I’m talking about the regular folks like you and me, they exist down there too and I’ve met a few of them. I have always been on the receiving end of their kindness. This kindness plus so much more has left me in a permanent state of nostalgia about the country. Coming back now, no longer for business, has continued my curiosity that countless trips couldn’t solve. A fascination that a border can separate such different worlds, realities. Crossing that border gives me a better understanding of both worlds. I have it within me to love something I am not native to and can put aside my own patriotism to fantasize about what it would be like to live permanently in a land not my own. The smells, the people, the nighttime walks, even for me it’s tough to explain but I just love it. And I’ll come back, always.

Bosque de ChapultepecIMG_1060IMG_1064Botanical Garden2



A fun challenge for me when I travel is how to capture and share the nature adventures I experience with my rootedinmoss community. Most of the photos from this trip were taken with my iPhone. Where is your favorite nature adventure, at home or abroad. I’d love to know!

Best of Instagram with LeafandClay.co

I’m so excited to be chosen for the ‘Best of Instagram’ series with leafandclay.co ! Leaf & Clay is a collaborative blog, bringing together succulent enthusiasts of various areas of expertise, with the goal of developing the most comprehensive succulent resource available anywhere. On there today, you’ll find my Q&A where I discuss how I got into drought resistant gardening, my favorite places to shop for succulents and my photography style. Make sure to go follow their blog and Instagram (@leafandclay) where I’ll be guest blogging soon!