January Is Aloe Month

Above, Aloe capitata var. quartzicola, pink with stress, too young to bloom. 
Brilliant sunshine and warmth the next couple of days (high 60s F, ~20 C) , but the exciting news is RAIN expected on TUESDAY.  I shut off garden irrigation the first week of December; we got about one half inch of rain since then, but Tuesday promises at least double that--thank goodness, because the garden is very dry.  
Aloe capitata, red with stress instead of pink. It's thirsty.  Tuesday, honey.  Tuesday. 
 Afternoon light hit the leaves in such a way as to flood the flesh with glowing energy, like living stained glass.
 The flowers on Aloe ferox look a little beat-up.  It's thirsty, too.  Tuesday, honey, Tuesday.  Hang in there...
 Aloe cameronii in its extraordinary winter color, behind Yucca 'Bright Star':
 A fabulous show this year from Aloe thraskii.  If you look at photos of this Aloe in its native South Africa, you can see it growing in sand, on beaches above the high-tide line.  The flowers are just about to open.  In past years, as they opened, either warblers or orioles picked off and ate every single flower, so in this garden they are at peak beauty before their peak bloom.
And Aloe vanbalenii, which flowers do not get eaten by orioles and warblers. 
I'm seeing pretty well again, so can garden again, (with frequent rest breaks).  It's time to cut back the roses, an easier job this year since I removed so many in 2015 because of the drought.  Still plenty of them in the garden, and hours spent today wrestling with 'Crepuscule', which needed considerable removal of twiggy old growth and retying back on to the fence.  January may be Aloe month, but roses rule many other months.  Clip clip, and anticipate Tuesday.  Rain!  Rain!  We're waiting!

Comments

  1. Love those aloes. A tad more impressive than the houseplants I used to grow!
    Happy New Year Hoov and with it, rain.

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    1. Happy New Year to you! May we both get the amount of rain we need.

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  2. That's a mighty impressive A. thraskii! How many years has it been growing in your garden? We are now awaiting pictures of orioles or warblers chowing down on the blooms...

    So happy for you about the expected rain. Around here we're pleased and reassured by the arrival of some seasonable cold -- but there's going to be some suffering thanks to balmy December (record early lambing and calving, already-open blooms on hellebores and witch hazel that will mean not much of an early spring show).

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    1. I planted the thraskii in June of 2012 when it was about 1 foot tall, so 3 1/2 years. It's a fairly fast grower. I'll try to get a photo!

      Hope your weather isn't too disrupted. It's hard on the wildlife--they have it hard enough.

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  3. I think you will be getting your wish. This link is from a weather blog written by a weather professor at the University of Washington. Scroll down to the last image and related contents.
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/01/offshore-flow-eastern-washington-cold.html

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    1. Yeeee Hawww! Thanks for the link, that's a great weather blog. Plant nerds and weather nerds are often the same people.

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  4. May all your rain dreams come true!

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    1. Right now after your very wet December you might be having lack-of-rain dreams?

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  5. Good to hear you are finally getting some rain! And quite a bit of it too... hopefully enough of it so that your beautiful, red-stressed aloes can relax a little, and slowly enough so that the dry ground can absorb most of it. It suddenly got cold up here, with wind chills down to 0 on the mountain... yikes! Not as cold down here, but cold enough to do some damage. Here's to a wetter 2016 for you!

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    1. Hope it's not too cold for your garden. Frost-fighting row covers? At least some sunshine?

      It's our job to worry about weather. We're gardeners.

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  6. January is cover up the Aloes with frost blankets here. But, it's also time to drive to Berkeley Botanic Garden , 50 minutes south on a Sunday morning for Aloe viewing in a frost free zone.I have options ! The rain has been so very normal this winter here. A nice little storm coming through every few days, and an occasional deluge.

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    1. Normal rain? Wheeee!!!!!!! Isn't it wonderful?

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  7. Your aloes are putting on a tremendous show! My irrigation system is off too - I think I ran it twice in December. The little bit of rain we got in the last storm topped off my tanks and I've been making heavy use of them to keep my new plants alive but, thankful as I am to have them, it's a tedious business to haul that water around and deliver it manually. I'm very much looking forward to next week's rain.

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    1. I have been using a trash barrel on wheels to roll rain water around. Can you attach a hose to your tanks and get gravity flow?

      On the other hand, moving water is great upper-body-strength exercise...

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  8. Happy New Year! Incredible aloe blooms.

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    1. The same to you, Amy! Glad you enjoy the Aloes.

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  9. I've said it before but your Aloe photos are one of the things that gets me through almost plantless (here) winter. :)

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