February Has Brought...

 February has brought....warm, rainless weather.  Yuck. 
At least the Aloes are looking good.  
Aloe petricola seems curious about the shadow cast on Aloidendron 'Hercules' massive trunk by Aloe 'Fire Ranch': 
Home grown hybrid--A. capitata x something else.  Cameronii?
A. cameronii admired by Aeonium 'Zwartzkop'--or is it the other way around?
 With all offsets removed, and a hot dry location to develop its pinky-orange coloration,
plain common Aloe vera is actually quite attractive.  The flowers on the emerging stem will be a clear yellow.
'Fire Ranch' on the left below, will flower later, in spring.  A. marlothii on the right has a magnificent inflorescence this year--the flowers will begin opening very soon:
Aloe taurii.  This is its first bloom ever.  I was expecting typical Aloe orange, but this one is a fine gold.
Back in Proteana, Aloe castanea
Each flower as it opens presents a drop of nectar the color of an old penny.  The bees seem uninterested.  I collected a nectar-drop with a finger tip and tasted.  Vaguely, mildly sweet.
Gardening activity:  it's time to prune the roses.  Cloudless skies and warmth = swelling leaf buds and emerging foliage.  
New meets old:  
It's time:  off with the old leaves and some of the stems.
Rose pruning is a much smaller project now I have only 100 or so roses.  Should only take a few more days. 
Besides admiring the Aloes, there are a few flowers here and there, like Pelargoniums... 
...the cones on Leucadedron 'More Silver'...
...Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' turning from yellow to red and gold...
...Leucadendron red/yellow bracts with yellow Agave 'Joe Hoak' flowers...
...the very first Lupine succulentus flowers (and an Agave 'Blue Glow' sending up a bloom stalk)...
...the neighbor's super slim Cupressus, flowerless but fabulous...
--a rose or two, like 'Young Lycidas'...
...Gerbera daisies...
and Arctotis 'Pink Sugar':
One of the pleasures of sunny winter days are shadows, and there were a few of those to admire, too.

Okay, so sunny winter days are not so bad...but...rain!  More, please!


  1. So bees aren't interested in the Aloe nectar... seems peculiar. I'd think it'd be perfect for them.
    Those super slim Cupressus are a favorite tree of mine. So slender and elegant, and would fit into the narrowest of garden spaces.
    Did you really say 100 roses or so??? Mind blown.

    1. That particular Aloe. Nearly all the rest are very popular with bees--but not castanea.

      Yes, they are so very elegant. I would have some but they are quite a fire hazard and also rat habitat. It's always something!

      I'll have to count the roses. I took out a few last year. They do seem to add up, though.

  2. You do shadows so well! Your plants also talk to each other very nicely. The Aloes look great. Best wishes with the rose project - 100+ shrubs is still a LOT!

    1. Windy today, darnit! I have trouble gardening out there in the Santa Anas. Hat blows off, dust flies in eyes...dry, dry, dry.

  3. Oh yes, the flowering Aloes are really special. Thanks for sharing the beauty. "Only" 100 roses? Wow, I'm jealous! Enjoy your lovely garden.

  4. I agree with Beth: 100 Roses! I took out the only one I had. The plain aloe vera is a beauty to those of us who can't grow them. Love the shadows and your neighbor's trees. What a great view.

    1. Doesn't seem like that many, but I guess it is. I used to have a lot more than that, but with drought and all, started acquiring Aloes and Agaves and such.

  5. So many aloes in bloom! I am a nectar taster too.

    1. Grevillea 'Superb' has sweet nectar which I learned because the flowers are so nectar-rich they'll drip on your hand if you brush against them. No wonder the bees and hummers are at them non-stop.

  6. If you have a hundred roses, your garden must be MUCH bigger than I realised! We had ... heavy rain today, and more coming tomorrow. A relief after Summer Dry January and February.


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