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'Art of Succulents' inspires creativity

Green Acres hosts Instagram Live event Friday

Succulent bowl
Create a living masterpiece with succulents during
Green Acres' Instagram Live event Friday.
(Photos courtesy Green Acres Nursery & Supply)

Succulents inspire creativity. Their sculptural shapes and unusual shades of foliage bring out the artistry in any gardener – or garden. “Paint” with them in the landscape or a tabletop arrangement.

Learn how to make the most of these colorful and interesting plants during “The Art of Succulents,” a special Instagram Live event hosted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply.

Set for 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, this free and fun-filled garden party features a live guest DJ (plant fanatic Lani Love) as well as a signature cocktail (The Smoky Agave). Find the links to join instantly here:

Star of this party will be succulents in all their fleshy-leafed glory. Green Acres experts will demonstrate how to create a “Monochromatic Masterpiece,” using succulents of similar hues.

“Succulents come in all colors, shapes, and textures; you can grow them both indoors and outside; and with a little bit of knowledge about what they like, succulents are generally easy care,” Green Acres posted to its blog.

“During our live event, we'll show you how to build your own monochromatic masterpiece and the basics of caring for your succulents. So gather your supplies, select a palette that you like, and plant right along with us.”

To plant along with your host, you’ll need a container or planter, cactus and succulent potting soil, starter fertilizer and (of course) an assortment of succulents.

As for the cocktail, it’s more involved. True to the succulent theme, this drink uses three ingredients derived from agave (which does grow in Sacramento). Here’s the recipe:

Cocktail on edge of container plant
The Smoky Agave is the signature drink of Friday's
Green Acres event.
The Smoky Agave

Makes 1 serving


1 ounce tequila blanco

1/2 ounce mezcal

3/4 ounce mango juice

1/2 ounce pineapple juice

1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

1/3 ounce agave nectar syrup

1/16 teaspoon smoked chipotle chili powder

1 extra large ice cube

Paprika salt mixture for rim (recipe below)

A chili powder-dusted dried mango for garnish

Recipe for paprika salt:

2 tablespoons good quality sea salt or kosher salt

1 tablespoon black volcanic salt (found at high-end specialty grocery stores)

1/2 teaspoon paprika


To make salted rim mixture: Combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and mix. If the salt crystals are large, it is good to crush them into smaller pieces using a muddling stick, pestle, or wooden spoon.

To make cocktail: Taking a glass tumbler, rub a piece of lime across the rim of the glass to moisten it. Dip the rim of the glass in the salt mixture to coat it. Drop one extra-large ice cube into the glass and set aside.

Combine tequila, mezcal, all three juices, agave syrup and smoked chipotle chili powder in a cocktail shaker with a good amount of ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Strain into the glass tumbler and garnish with a piece of the dried mango.

Recipe courtesy of Green Acres

More details: .


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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