Aloes At The UCI Arboretum
I visited the UCI Arboretum plant sale yesterday. Not the big sale they hold in March, this one is far more modest and more lightly attended. Perhaps it's a way of practicing for the big event in March, or clearing out leftovers. Whatever the purpose, I was early enough to get some decent photos on yet another brilliant warm winter day. I had time to dawdle and think.
I discovered Aloes look "right" with Acacias--they go together, look natural together. At least more so than Aloes paired with Japanese Maples or Italian Cypress. The yellow flowers of the Acacias also look wonderful with the yellows, tangerines, and reds of Aloe blooms.
Aloe vanbalenii with an Acacia tree of unknown species:
Aloe marlothii with an Acacia tree:
Another tree, possibly an Acacia, with plenty of stems but apparently no leaves:
Some Acacias are highly invasive in California, so I'd have to choose carefully if I want to add some. There are at least two or three different Acacias growing (and invading) in our neighborhood. I don't want to increase the problem.
Aloe wickensii bloom:
This next photo is of a very beautiful Aloe. The coral color of the leaves! A tag said A. dyeri, but it does not match the description nor photos of A. dyeri, so I'm a bit puzzled as to what it really is (besides beautiful):
An A. plicatilis was looking good and blooming like crazy:
Another, which I think is A. africanus, was just beginning:
On our last visit we saw an A. dichotoma that had fallen over in a wind storm. This seems to be the one, now righted and planted in a different spot. It looks like they've built a new Aloe area that they are just beginning to plant--there were a couple of dichotomas and a few other things in a clean area covered with fresh Turface (maybe) or DG. There was also a new gravel path through the area. UCI Arboretum operates on a very small budget with minimal staff and volunteers.
You may be able to tell what a gorgeous morning it was by the sky behind A. dichotoma:
This was the smaller of the two dichotomas at about 8 feet (1.75 m) tall:
This A. barbarae (?) had fallen over as well. Those Santa Ana winds are powerful even here near the coast:
One of the most impressive Aloe sights at the Arboretum is a magnificent clump of A. wickensii, in full glorious bloom yesterday morning:
Aloe vanbalenii plants are swirling arcs of green flesh, heavy and graceful:
Another impressive specimen, off by a chain link fence at the edge of the property, rather out of the way, might be an enormous A. ramosissima. Here's just a tiny bit of it:
And quite a nice A. barbarae, though not quite up to the level of the Huntington's monsters:
No clue what this one is:
Though the collection is small, construction is constant, and the resources are meager, I enjoyed my visit, especially on such a golden winter day.
So, what did I get at the plant sale? I'll leave that and some pictures of other interesting plants I saw at the UCI Arboretum for another post.