Rain And New Acquisitions

We got real rain over night, nearly half an inch (12 mm).  This morning everything sparkled, washed clean.  I had done so much to jinx our chances--I'd put out rain barrels, swept the dust off the balcony so rain wouldn't turn it into mud, closed the skylight--all things guaranteed to prevent rain.  It rained anyway. 
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Dust-free, for a few days.  Happy plants...
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...including a couple of new acquisitions.  I've been looking for a decent variegated Furcaea foetida for a couple of years.  A nice 6" pot with several rosettes at San Gabriel Nursery.  
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A new Aloe, A. fosteri, which came in a roundabout way via our recent walk along Moonstone Beach near Cambria.  We were enjoying the sights.  
Fisherman vs. nature
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Surfer lady vs. nature
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The only crowds.
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When I turned to look away from the ocean...
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Ooooh!  Had to cross the coast road and have a look.
One of the oceanfront hotels had a beautiful succulent garden, recently planted.
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Tree Aloe against a background of Monterey Cypress
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The Aloe has an ocean view. 
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Hmmm.  That Aloe polyphylla should look better.  The California Central Coast is the sweet spot for this species outside of its native alpine range in South Africa.  
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Okay, here we go.  Grow Nursery.  Oooh!  Does that mean they sell plants?
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I found them the next day;  they are on Main in Cambria.  You go through another shop called the Garden Shed, which is a garden decor store run by a cat named Abner.  No, a real cat.   Grow has taken over the back area.  
Here's why I bought Aloe fosteri:
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Ankle-high solitary rosette produces a inflorescence over 5' tall and almost 3' wide.  
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Here's the little fosteri that came home with us. 
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Did I take any photos?  Only a few--I was too busy shopping.  That tells you something--good stuff.  Good plants at good prices, and very affordable prices on exotic mineral specimens like geodes and crystals.  Did get one more shot, of their beautiful A. polyphylla, which looked much better than the hotel copy.
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I told the employee we'd found Grow via their garden on Moonstone Beach, and asked her about the unhappy Aloe polyphylla there.  She explained the no-watering-plants moratorium had been put in place the day they installed the garden at the hotel.  That explains it.  Aloe polyphylla likes both instant drainage and lavish water.   

I think again of last night's beautiful rain, and hope Cambria (and especially that thirsty polyphylla) got a good measure of it, too. 
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  1. Your comments about fearing you'd jinxed the rain made me laugh - not because I can't conceive of such a thing but because, waiting up for the arrival of the rain last night like a child trying to catch Santa, I actually wondered if I was jinxing the weather. For a change, Mother Nature and the forecasters came through. I love your new aloe. Coincidentally, I picked up a variegated Furcraea myself on a recent round of gardens in San Diego County. Happy gardening!

    1. Enjoy a rain-damp garden, Kris! On Tuesday, we fry (again).

  2. So you managed to tick several of the boxes on the "things I love seeing in garden blogs" list: Dramatic cloud photos - check! Dew/water drops glistening on plants - check! The beach - check! Aloes in tree form - check! Bonus: plant purchase with price tag still visible -- I love seeing what gardeners pay for plants.

    I totally want a skylight that opens now. :\

    1. Our clouds are not regularly dramatic, so I enjoy any that appear. There are like six rosettes in that pot at least, so that works out to a little over $2 each, quite fair, I thought.

      The problem with a skylight that opens is that one is not enough!

  3. The aloe fosteri you got looks great already, now you have the inflorescence to look forward to. Glad to hear you guys finally got some rains, refreshing both people and plants. Aloe polyphylla even here the tips go brown if they don't get extra water, that is on top of the generous rains we tend to have.

    1. I'm surprised to hear you get the brown tips on polyphylla there. So they are not due to heat, but to lack of sufficient water. Interesting.

  4. I'm so happy for you, hopefully this is just the beginning of a nice rainy season (for you, not me). Thanks for the few pictures of Grow and the hotel garden. I've heard of them but can't imagine where. And like Alan I'm dreaming of an opening sky-light in addition to my long-standing dream of an operational glass "garage door" from the bedroom to the back garden.

    1. I really like the skylight. The original one that came with the house was an opaque plexiglass bubble. This one is clear glass--now I want another...

  5. I've grown to love trunked plants but the low rosettes were my first love. That fosteri is really something. That's such a nice, easy trip to take, and you chose the best time of year for it.

    1. Nice, easy trips are just my speed.

      Low rosettes happen to fit nicely under plants with trunks. :^)

  6. A fun garden adventure post which I always enjoy. The beach garden is beautiful even if a bit dry, hoping the rain helped a little. Great plant acquisitions too. We are predicted to have a rainy week for the first time in months and I'm guessing it might be from the same storm so maybe it will drop off a little more rain in CA before heading this way.

    1. I hope you get a beautiful, gentle rain in just the right amount, Shirley. Your garden will be so happy. Mine is.

  7. So glad you had some rain, everything feels refreshed afterwards. Great photos of plants dear Hoover and the image of the sky and clouds is gorgeous.
    xoxoxo ♡

  8. I haven't been to Grow Nursery but Nick Wilkinson is a regular vendor at the annual plant sale of the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society so I know he has super nice plants at fair prices.

    I enjoyed the rain too but it looks like there won't be an encore soon.

    1. I didn't get to meet the two Nicks, but Jan said they were true plant enthusiasts. It showed in the installation and in the store.

      Still, hoping for more rain...

  9. You got a couple of great new plants! That succulent garden is gorgeous. Still can't get over how huge your agaves get!

    1. You'll have to get to the Huntington some day and see the twelve-footers.

  10. That happened to one of my A. polyphylla, too. Very sad. The A. fosteri you picked up was a great buy, that inflorescence is incredible! I wonder if the salt bothers any of those plants. It doesn't appear to.

    1. No, the plants seemed pretty happy for the most part. Didn't see Aloe thraskii, which grows right on the beach in South Africa, but maybe the normally rainy central coast is a little too rainy?

  11. All the things that I can't grow, but love seeing in OPGs (other people's gardens).

  12. Was doing a search for Aloe fosteri on Google Images and found your beautiful photos. Another aloe added to the wish list!


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