Huntington Highlights Early July 2017

Hesperaloe 'Brakelights' and white flowered California buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.) in the Entrance Garden.  

The Yucca Rostrata in the rill stairway is becoming more and more a thing. 
Surrounded this visit by a dark foliaged Euphorbia ('Blackbird', perhaps?).  Oooh! 
At the edge of the Agave area, either they replanted some clumps of tall yellow Anigozanthos, or last year's clump came back from the dead.  Whatever--gorgeous either way.  I'll enjoy theirs.  At 40 bucks a pop, they're a very expensive annual.  Nice with a striated A. americana.     
Interesting checkerboard Palm phenomenon--what goeth on there?  I liketh!
Almost all the large old Aloe barberae are gone.  They may have been close to 100 years old.  Rot.  Age.  New ones have been planted, but it will take a few decades for them to look this grand.  This is about the last oldster left, and it is losing large branches.  Look at the cuts on the trunk.  Nothing is forever, except forever itself. 
A mockingbird war was going on in the Desert Garden.  There were a flock of them, all jockeying for territory, all chasing each other and all singing up a storm. 
A Delonix decaryi fell this past winter, the roots rotted away.  Its base has been covered with some shade cloth...
...and though fallen and rootless, it's got some foliage and flowers.

Epiphyllum hookeri
"Pollinators come here!", cries the pink and yellow bit.
Growing on a Coast Live Oak.  I thought of the Hippo ballerinas in "Fantasia". 
A few Aloes bloom in early summer...

One of them is Aloe 'Hellskloof Bells'.  Nice flower!  Not extraordinary so much as harmonious in relation to the shape of the plant. 

Aloe reitzii's summer show is impressive. 
See?  The pro gardeners rig temporary shade, too:
We'd hoped to see some Echinopsis in bloom, but this was the only one we found:  E. subdenudata.  The orange is a Borzoi cactus. 
Little Mammilaria, you are completely surrounded.  The green minions demand your surrender!
Work continues on the Australian garden.  On every visit, we see a little more work accomplished.  Actual gravel paths!  More plants added!  It will be A Thing soon.  I hope they will add some South African proteas to the other side of the path, which is the South African garden.  They need some Leucospermums and Proteas to go with the Grevilleas, Correas and Eremophilas, don't you think?  Of course they do. 
Lovely scene:  a river of South African Agapanthus running through a sea of blooming grass. 
Rose garden looked great.  Again!  I wanted to linger among roses, but we didn't have much time left--it was starting to get hot, and we wanted to see the Cactus and Succulent Show before the crowds poured in.   

I love how the Agapanthus flowers seem to peek around the columns. 
On, on to the show/sale!  Magnificent oak, that, despite looking as though it is in decline.
Show:  look at that Hamanthus deformis!  Isn't that amazing?  It's like two green satin napkins, except it's a plant.
A Mangave 'Kaleidoscope' on the Trophy Table. 
Sale!  Shopping opportunity!  Very picked over, but there were a couple of Mangaves from the Walters Gardens breeding program (Hans Hansen, director) at a great price--I chose 'Catch A Wave', which has a lot of Agave gypsophila in it--imagine a gypsophila with purple spots.  Oh, yeah!
Arrow indicates blogger selecting just the right Mangave while Beloved rested in the shade and composed the photo:
 Two more purchases:  Echinopsis 'Foxy Lady', and a very nice pot for Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer', purchased last year--still hoping for a 'Flying Saucer' flower.  It has doubled in size, but no buds yet...I resorted to the extreme measure of giving it some fertilizer. 
Mangave 'Catch A Wave'
 New Peety Pot, with previous Peety Pot purchase (say fast three times) in the background:
Echinopsis 'Foxy Lady' in the green pot.  Look carefully at 'Foxy' and you'll see a small fuzzy white spot--that's a developing bud!!!  An Echinopsis "unknown seedling" from Bach's in Tucson is the flower:
  Now beginning to get hot, so it was time to drift towards the exit.  Corymbia (formerly Eucalyptus) ficifolia, the Red Gum.  Breathtaking crimson flowers on this one--the flowers may be various shades of red or pink, or even white.  This crimson is delectable. 
Impressive bloom on a sapling.  The crimson against blue-grey, just right.  
The West Entrance garden was in summer splendor.  Phlomis, Anigozanthos, Perovskia, Erigeron providing some restrained color with the blue-green Acacia as a backdrop. 

Favorite restroom at the Huntington.  It's got the charm of an earlier era. The new one at the entrance garden could be at any mall, movie theater, or office building.  This one could only be in a garden in California. 

A recently planted mass of white Agapanthus added more beauty.  A Vitex agnus castus trio add purple to the orange and white.  The Vitex can be just seen through the pillars in the above photo.  
Melanerpes formicivorus, the Acorn Woodpecker (I'm guessing), pecking a Phoenix canariensis. 

Podocarpus latifolius.  The elegance of the slow tree.  Don't you just want to nip off that extra long branch on the right side and glue it into the empty space on the left? Would that we could. 
I give this visit a "first place" award, and a place on the trophy table. 
Tavaresia barklyi


  1. The rose garden is stunning! so many colors perfectly combined a real jewel! I loved the red gum too, there are lots of gum trees here but never saw one with red flowers , I'd love to have a gum tree for they attract lots of bees but they grow so fast here with all the rain, they become monsters in 3 or 4 years! Greetings from Argentina!

    1. The Gum trees are fast here, too, even without rain. I wish we'd had the energy to linger in the rose garden a bit, but the coming hot day was driving us on.

      Greetings from California! :^)

  2. I like your HBG posts. A synopsis of what is best at the moment. No crowds. And best of all: No heat

    1. Just what catches my eye. It's quiet and relaxing there first thing in the morning.

      Yeah, that heat thing. It's shaping up as a very hot July.

  3. Gravel paths in the Australian Garden, finally! I always found it a bit distracting to have no paths to follow. On the other hand I didn't feel nearly so bad about going "off road" to get a good photo or two.

    So Anigozanthos aren't hardy in LA? All those big beautiful plants I see during visits are replanted every year? That's crazy. Oh, as is that $40 price tag you mention. I've recent bought yellow and orange flowering plants for only $9.99 ea.

    Finally, our local Cactus and Succulent Society is having a sale tomorrow at Portland Nursery. I'm hoping I can find a few treasures there, although I'm sure the Huntington Sale is on an entirely different level.

    Beautiful post!

    1. The Australian garden is getting there...a couple more years...

      On the Anigozanthos, it's not a matter of hardiness. They are fussy. They'll be glorious, thriving, and then just...die. The big tall ones (A. flavidus & hybrids thereof, as in photo) seem to be the least likely to die, and those are the $40 ones because they only sell 5 gallon size, or at least that's all I ever see for sale.

      The Inter-city in August is the sale, but the Huntington one is pretty darn good if you get there the first day. We were there the last day. Less temptation that way.

  4. You made prodigious use of this visit to The Huntington! Even acknowledging the dearly departed in the Desert Garden, most everything looks great despite the recent heat. That Yucca rostrata photo really clinches the deal for me - what was I thinking in failing to plant that?! Even though I'm not usually a fan of palms, I'm fascinated by that bi-colored form. I hope The Huntington staff channels your suggestions for the Australian and South African gardens - I'd love to see them beefed up. Congrats on your new purchases too - that Mangave is a beaut!

    1. Rostratas can be hard to find. I got a tiny one (like 3 leaves tiny) mail order in 2011, because it was all I could find, but it has not been that slow of a grower even through the long drought--it is about shoulder high now.

      The Huntington is working on the Aussie garden more perhaps due to California's shift to more climate-appropriate plants. I'm sure it will get better and better. There are many fantastic plants--the UCSC Botanical garden with all the Banksias was amazing--the Huntington could do just as well.

  5. I loved this visit ! I am trying to strategize one of my own on my spring road trip next year. Wish the damn place opened before 10am. Don't they know we want to take photos ?

    1. Oooh, road trip!

      Check to see if members get in early. That is sometimes the deal.

  6. I just found 'Helskloof Bells,' a hybrid from Brian Kemble, so your photo of it in bloom is much appreciated. The kangaroo paws are reliably perennial here, and especially flavum, which is tough as nails, so I'm not sure why they're annuals for you. Sometimes I've found them tricky to establish, and fall planting is always best, but they're sold in bloom in spring, so there's that issue. I find the hesperaloes slow to make a big, blooming clump, but I do love those 'Brakelights'!

    1. Twice bitten, twice shy on the Anigozanthos. Perhaps I'll try again with A. flavum. I think on the early ones, maybe the growers didn't have cultivation in So Cal well figured out, so the plants were not very healthy.

      I finally got the first (one) flower stem on my Hesperaloe. Slow indeed! At least I can say the single solitary stem has lasted for several months and still has flowers. There is that. The display at the Huntington is most irksome when I compare it to mine.

      'Helskloof' is also a slow grower but well worth having. Its also deceptive in that you think it hasn't grown at all--then you look at an old photo and realize it has indeed grown. Somehow it manages to get larger without looking any different. Sneaky plant!

  7. Love the 'hippo ballerina' image and thought image!

    What a place. When all the gardens are firing on all cylinders *and* there's a show *and* a sale --- Whew. Many thanks for your fine photos, and to yr husband for the contextual Big Picture.

    1. Rainy winter + budget = firing on all cylinders. Glad you enjoyed the post!


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