Bloom Day December 2014

The garden is in transition this month from the rich colors of autumn roses to the Aloe spires of winter.  'Rozanne' goes on and on in all seasons.
She never stops:
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'Molineux', spotted by the rain
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'Little White Pet' stayed clean
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The HOA garden has a 'Rhapsody In Blue'.  This cultivar doesn't like Southern California, producing only a handful of flowers per year on a sad, gangly plant.  On those rare flowers, though, marvelous greyish purple color.
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'Yves Piaget'
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'Gruss an Aachen'
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Aloidendron (Aloe) 'Hercules' looms behind 'William Shakespeare 2000'
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Aloe arborescens always marked the beginning of prime Aloe season here.  I removed our yellow version because of a massive gall mite infestation.  At least the orange version is plentiful in the neighborhood:
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Compare the flower of Aloe arborescens...
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...to the longer, slimmer Aloe vanbalenii:
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Aloe vanbalenii's flowers tend to angle every which way, but each rosette can produce multiple flower stems and a clump in bloom is impressive.
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Aloe capitata is all charm.
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The bees love it, too.
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A. striata's flower has just appeared.
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The same goes for A. ferox:
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'Hercules' is beginning to dominate the front slope.  It has grown so much this year I wonder if it is now large enough to produce its first flower.  In front is Grevillea 'Moonlight':
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A very happy Bloom Day to all;  we have yet more precious rain on the way, and therefore so much to celebrate!

See more beautiful blooms over at May Dreams
 
 
 



Comments

  1. Beautiful roses and aloe, you can grow so many different ones while we have to stick with the hardier varieties.

    More rain on the way is a celebration for sure. Today I attended a seminar on using graywater in the garden and more than one reference was made to the California drought.

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    1. I learned the "low hanging fruit" of grey water is the washing machine--trying to figure that out for here, drought or not. Why waste?

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  2. You have better luck with Geranium 'Rozanne' than I - it did very well in my former garden but never seems to get off the ground here (although being dug up by raccoons hasn't helped them get established). As usual, your roses impress, as do your Aloe - I need to look for A. capitata. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Here the 'Rozanne's are very vulnerable the first summer; after that they are fine. Those darned raccoons!

      Capitata is a gem, both plant and flower--highly recommended!

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  3. I'm in aloe lust! What a wealth of color and form. The roses are pretty darn nice, too. So glad you're finally getting some rain!

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  4. I just knew you were going to make me happy with aloes (or what ever the hell they're called now). Thank you!

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  5. Your roses are beautiful but how fabulous and exotic is it to be taken over by Aloes later!

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    1. My best garden successes were complete accidents.

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  6. I love the blooms on Aloe capitata! And G. 'Moonlight' is one of my favourites, although I don't have it.

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    1. I also have favorite plants that are not in my garden--how does that happen?!? ;^)

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  7. Oh, your Rozanne is lovely, I had one but after flowering for a few months I cut it back, as supposed to, and it never appeared again, that was 3 years ago. Maybe I’ll try another one in a different spot. Why is it vulnerable the first summer, do you know? Your aloes are all very alien to me, lovely to see them all in various stages of flower.

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    1. Here, the first summer it struggles with the dry heat and requires daily water. The following summer it handles the heat with little trouble. I am guessing the root system takes time to establish?

      We gardeners are always so intrigued by alien plants...I find Hostas, which do not grow in my climate, quite irresistible!

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    2. OK, might have been why mine died too, I planted it in dry shade, and the summer I had it was very dry. I'll have another go and be more vigilant with watering. Thanks :-) And yes, hostas are lovely, I have a few but would have loved to have some more unusual ones.

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    3. Well, now even in (relatively) hot sunny here, they prefer full sun. I thought not, but 5+ years has proven it.

      Your Fuchsias are so wonderful--the mild summers--they do so well in that--who needs a mere 'Rozanne'?

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    4. I have very few proper blue flowers in my garden – and funnily enough, I got ‘Rozanne’ recommended for dry shade! That’s why I put it there, thought it could light up that corner, well it did, for a few months….And guess what, I have a fuchsia there instead now :-) But in a container, not in the ground, it wouldn’t do well in that bone dry ground. Even now, in our rainy season the soil is pretty dry, that’s why I can leave my dahlias out all winter, they are down there too.

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  8. Beautiful Shakespeare in front of Hercules....... I almost envy you, you can grow all kind of roses, but also the most beautiful Aloes outside. Aloes are not hardy at all here in our low country at the sea in Europe.

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    1. Every climate has its virtues! I have enjoyed the beauties of your area on your blog many times.

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  9. I finally got ahold of 'Moonlight,' but it's planted in a full sun spot in summer that now is in almost full winter shade -- I'm squeezed for space so these less-than-ideal spots are what's left. I always hope that these winter shade spots just count as benign dormancy...we'll see. The Rhapsody in Blue has that slatey grey purplish color of Reines des Violettes.

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    1. You never know until you try--that may keep 'Moonlight' somewhat smalller--which is okay for a small space.

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  10. Really stunning color combinations with your roses and succulent foliage -- and the fabulous "self-combinations" like that Aloe arborescens.

    Can only imagine the relief of this rain. When we finally got a good soaker after a rainless September, I could feel my whole body unclenching -- and that dry month was just a tiny taste of you all have endured.

    What's the purple plant (out-of-focus background) in the picture with Greville 'Moonlight'?

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    1. That is the violet species Bougainvillea, B. spectabilis. I should have added that to the photo description.

      The relief is beyond description, but now we are all hoping to get more and really make a dent in the drought. Fingers are crossed.

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  11. A beautiful selection of flowers from your garden, so pleased you have had some rain.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Thank you Dianne! We got a little more rain last night. :^)

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  12. I never think of roses and aloes as growing together, but yours combine beautifully. Very southern California!

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    1. It worked out very well: roses in the areas that can hold some moisture, aloes and agaves in the painfully arid spots. Then the Aloes are in their glory just when the roses are cut back and leafless for a few weeks. All by accident: I only wish I was so clever as to have figured that out myself.

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  13. What wonderful blooms you have. I love your aloes. I think Rozanne is the very best Geranium. And isn' t Molyneux divine? It makes me long for my roses to bloom again. Fantastic photos.

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    1. Thank you, Chloris. Rozanne and Molineux are two of my favorites in the garden.

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  14. Beautiful, beautiful photos! Love the aloes. I hope your rain continues and that it's not the flooding kind. We've been in drought now for four years (north Texas) and even a few recent heavy rains haven't put any water back in our lakes. I saw a piece on the news the other day that stated it would take three years of heavy rains to get parts of CA out of drought. I empathize with you!

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    1. Thank you. I hope we all get drought relief this winter!

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  15. I hope you can work out something with the washing machine drain. In another place and time, I bailed my bathwater and took outside to plants during water restrictions.

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    1. As a matter of fact, all bathwater gets pumped out to the hedges in back. I have a little Craftsman pump I can connect to the garden hose, the pump goes into the bathtub, the hose goes out the window, the water goes to the hedges. Waste not! :)

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