Flowers And Foliage, December 2013

I missed Bloom Day, so this post serves as a belated one, with a bit of foliage included.  After a post about a near-dead Chorizema, and another with pictures of holes in the ground, some beauty is in order.  This Fuchsia is still looking good:
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December is the end of the rose year and the start of the winter Aloes.  The usual roses for a bloom day. I keep taking pictures of the same ones, even though there are many others blooming.  These 'usual suspects' are the ones that keep catching my eye. 
'Easy Does It':
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'Yves Piaget'
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'Darcey Bussell'
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'Fire Fighter'
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'The Endeavour'
 photo blum2167_zpse84eb8d7.jpg  Aloe cameronii
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The pert, mop-head cuteness of Aloe capitata continues to delight
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Aloe hardyi
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Aloe 'Cynthia Gitty' blooms almost year round.  A regular stop for the hummingbirds.
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A few other plants bloom on and on.  I seem to have photos of these at the ides of every month.
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'Rozanne' has discarded her weary spring foliage and produced a whole new fresh crop;  bloom continues unabated.  
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I did mention foliage.  I like the way the light is shining through the little Alluaudia leaves. 
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The Lagerstroemia are just about bare.  Their autumn color was greatly superior to the Cercis they replaced. 
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The Agaves are developing their winter--what can I call it?  Lushness?  They are growing at this time of year.  Even an inch of rain spread over several weeks imparts a sheen of health.  What is more beautiful than that? 
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  1. So wonderful to see your roses, when so much around here is brown and dying.

  2. Beautiful photos as usual. Your roses always have me sighing...

    1. The roses do all the work. I just watch.

  3. Still so many lovely flowering roses. The Fuchsia is really wonderful!!!! I envy your lovely climate in California.

  4. The Rozanne looks so nice. I have tried to grow them in Los Angeles but they don't do well for me. How much do you water and fertilize (and what do you use)? Are they in full sun? I'd like to give them another shot before I give up. Thanks for all the fantastic pictures of your garden.

    1. Hi Rachel, here are my comments based on Sunset Zone 23. Adjust if you are farther inland or in Sunset 24. I have found them to work best in about 6 hours of sun, but some in all-day do fine--the foliage is not quite as nice as the ones that get late afternoon shade, and they look stressed on those hot August afternoons, but they perk up come sunset. I have not found them successful in morning sun only--growth and bloom are vastly reduced.

      Water 3 x per week; 4x in heat waves (90F+). Fertilizer--none. I mulch regularly with quality compost. The trick I think is to get them through their first summer, which seems to be the most stressful thing for them. So try planting now, or next fall, not waiting for spring, especially not planting in late spring or during summer. If they look stressed come summer, give temporary shade to get them through the summer, then after that they'll be a lot stronger and better able to handle heat. I don't have them next to a driveway, or asphalt--avoiding reflected heat is a good idea. But overall except for the first summer, they've been one of the easiest plants I've ever grown. Do you have adobe soil? The soil here is silty, not clay, so perhaps that makes a difference as well.

    2. Thanks for the great information. I'll give them another try. (Do you have a favorite brand of compost?)

    3. No, not really. Homemade is good, but compost is compost, pretty much.


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