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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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For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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