Pardee Street Calandrinia grandiflora in, shall we say, bloom.
These form beautiful mounds of blue-gray leaves. With more water and shade the leaves will grow big and full. On the other hand, if you blast them with sun and turn off the water then they bloom up a storm. Like so.
They’re also great in hanging baskets, for centerpieces, for lunch meetings, and in half-open VW Beetle convertibles.
Here we have an arm from a cactus that had so many blooms, it broke under the weight. I feel like there could be a fairy tale about the cactus that tried to bloom too much. We could call the cactus Pokey; and the other main character, the cactus that bloomed just the right amount, we’ll call Pimsey.
Maybe we should have an evil Queen, Vordella, and a shining Knight by the name of Silmark. Vordella controls the Cholla Army while Silmark, speaking in cactus, requests the help of the Hedgehogs. A battle ensues, but Pokey is more interested in playing with the snails and slugs and doesn’t realize when Vordella, using mind tricks, convinces him to help the nasty Chollas gain access to the Hedgehog store of gold.
Well, you get the idea. You can finish the fairy tale in the comments.
I caught this late in the day when the blooms are already starting to close for the evening. It’s pretty amazing what these hedgehogs can do. I counted over 2,000,000 blooms on this one, before giving up.
Grant Street Aloe nobilis with some Aeoniums in the background.
Some very scenic grass and rocks in the foreground. These aloes are just starting to send up bloomstalks, not yet visible in these photos. The rocks are just starting to sprout their own spring stalks, also not visible to the camera, or to the human eye. But what I like best about this photo is the child off-camera to the left who is riding her bicycle along the pathway created between 2 spectacular 25′ tall tree Aloes that have been growing here. clearly, for over 75 years. Wow.
Everybody loves the blue color these get in full sun. Dismayingly they go green in shade. So I would not recommend them in Bakersfield where they would need to be in light shade. Hah!
White flowers, puffy seeds, delicious alongside a sunny deck in the summer sun, dazzling in the brightness as I shade my eyes to watch the hummingbirds frolic in the aloe blooms, a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade at my side. Maybe with a touch of vodka.
Aeonium atropurpureum and a big beautiful Bulbine, not yet in bloom.
These aeoniums are the species that the more well known A. “Swartzkopf,” or Black Rose, are cultivated from. We have both of these at the nursery, and some other cultivars too. Subtle differences in color, height, leaf width, and sexiness are the primary determinants for our customers. Of course, these are the dark aeoniums. The green ones are pretty nice too.
Oxford Street Well, there’s an Opuntia ficus-indica, and I see some Aloe arborescens coming into bloom. When I took the photo, I thought I saw some A. nobilis, but i can’t find it now. Plus, there’s a giant redwood tree. That’s Berkeley for you.
Low-growing ground cover, spreads pretty quickly. Lots of yellow flowers. You could plant a field of them, and then you’d have a succulent green field.
…You know, I’m trying to add more garden-writing-style writing to go with these photos, but really, all I want to do is add some wise-a** comments. It’s a real tension in my writing. Which will win out this spring in the great snark vs. garden-writing smackdown? Well, I think we already know the answer to that one.
For instance, yesterday I watched Mulholland Drive on DVD and it was less confusing than I had remembered from when it first came out. Back then I thought maybe it was all a dream from the last moments before the blonde woman dies, but now that just seems ridiculous. She’s confused all the way through. Even when she’s clearly imagining the world as she’d like it to be, rather than how it is, that doesn’t mean she’s dreaming. She’s just a little psychotic, that’s all. She really believes not just that she should be on the verge of becoming a star, but that she is.
Well, I have failed again. No snark at all in that paragraph. No garden-writing either.
I love these sidewalk plantings. Succulents do really well in cracks and crevices. In this case, there’s a lot of soil behind that retaining wall, so the plants are fully rooted back there. But it does change the way the Aeoniums grow. These are usually a taller species, not one of the ground covers, but here in coming out of the base of a wall, they’re smaller.
Grant Street Spurges (Euphorbias). OK, so they’re not succulents, but they sure are a nice complement to any succulent garden. They’re low water. They’re deer-resistant. And the butterflies come by every day to pollinate away.
<img width="342" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/milvia02.jpg" /><br /><br />Aloe polyphylla and Cotyledon campanulata<br />Milvia Street<br /><br />That is a beautiful large spiral aloe. They’re very slow growing, and not hardy here in colder or wetter winters when they’re young, so often they don’t make it to that size. But this one was planted near some large rocks which can provide a bit of extra warmth and protection in the winter. <br /><br />
<img width="360" hspace="5" height="432" border="0" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/oxford08.jpg" /><br /><br />Oxford Street<br />In amongst the weeds we see an Echeveria, an Aeonium and an Aloe peeking through. It’s definitely weed season here – the oxalis are in bloom!.<br /><br />
<img width="432" hspace="5" height="344" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/grant07.jpg" /><br /><br />Grant Street<br />Agave attenuata and Agave parryi under a large Yucca plus a Dudleya clump too.<br /><br />
<img width="287" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/arlington01.jpg" /><br /><br />Arlington Ave.<br />Aloe arborescens. It’s a good time of year for the winter-blooming aloes.<br /><br />