A New Hampshire Aloe / Early December Miscellany

 Not the one from New Hampshire.  Purchased in  Arizona in 2015. 

This one, a selection called 'Yellow Hoodie', purchased in San Luis Obispo in 2018:

I've wanted another A. capitata var quartziticola for years.  A particularly beautiful species, and being solitary in habit (non-offsetting) it has proven hard to find.  I would happily try seeds.  Since most Aloes are not self-fertile, I'd need two flowering at the same time.  The two I have are shy bloomers. 

Happened to see one for sale mail order on the internet--so bought it.  Realized after the fact it wasn't from a Southern California store.  It was from, yes, New Hampshire, not often considered a hotbed of Aloe growing.  

It arrived in good condition, very carefully packed with heat pads to get it out of crisp New Hampshire weather and here safely.  It's not unexpected to see it's pale in comparison to the quartziticola on its left in this photo, which I've recently re-rooted in a new arrival/recovery bed. 

California sunshine will give it a different look by this time next year.   Note how it has grown flattened, to maximize light exposure.  It will be interesting to watch it change in response to a different climate and outdoor living, but it will always be special, my Aloe from New Hampshire.   

Of course, next week every garden center or big box store I visit will have a hundred for sale.  That's plant shopping.   If you look for a particular plant a month after you see it for sale every where, you can't find it.  Then when you get something else instead, the first one shows up again everywhere. 

Also purchased, from a local nursery, a six-pack of 'Seascape' strawberries to add to the three recovered from being mowed to the ground last summer.  Blankety-blank rabbits.   One of the new plants had a ripe strawberry on it.  While I was taking the six-pack out of the car,  Boris nipped off the strawberry and ate it.   

Also  purchased, Teucrium aroanium, a low growing silvery small scale ground cover: 

 I planted it near Helianthemum 'The Bride', a small-scale silvery ground cover, and near one of several Rhodanthemum hosmariense in the garden, which is also (surprise!) a small-scale silvery ground cover.   Nowhere near Lotus hirsutus, though. 

On another topic, Aloe flower progress.   A. ferox coloring up:

Last winter, Aloe chabaudii colored up to an incredible pink; this year, its first flower stem ever appeared:

A. candelabrum (re-instated as a species in 2016) is sending up a candelabra:
I think it might want more sun than it is getting.  Looks a little sprawl-y, though healthy.   
Last bit of gardening activity:  I visited Sherman Gardens again recently, meeting up with blogger Kris of LateToTheGardenParty.  

Always fun to visit a garden with a fellow plant lover--with family you walk around faster than you might want to.  With another gardener, you can both stop and consider a plant for some minutes with neither of you getting the least bit impatient.

We were not overly thrilled with all the Christmas light show decorations going in, but understand that Botanic Gardens need to bring in visitors to help pay the bills.

Giant plastic candy:

After giant plastic candy, the plants are an even bigger relief.  Espaliered Loquat:   
Once several groups of school kids left, there were more workers than visitors, busy swapping out the autumnal plants and decor for holiday plants and decor.

Those domes amidst the Stock and Mangaves are supposed to be gumdrops:

Beautiful Mangave ('Mission to Mars'?) there, and the scent of the Stock was lovely.  The "gumdrops", on the other hand...well, botanic gardens need to pay the bills.

Time to change out the pumpkins for Poinsettias:

Bromeliads with orange centers become Bromeliads with red centers:
Mmmm, thriving tropicals in the Conservatory.  The Marantas were looking fabulous.  I have a Maranta leuconeura, the plant at the top center, to the right of the variegated Alocasia:
Coleus underplanting Acer palmatums and Camellias  become Cyclamen, with twinkle lights added:
The crew had not gotten around to the xeric garden yet.  I always enjoy the blue green echeveria accenting the grey concrete stairs:
Rehab planting had been performed since the visit with family back in October.  Not keen on the dark Aloes with all the silvery, blue, and lavender Echeverias--too contrasty?  Kris pointed out there is some blue in the Aloe leaves.  One of those stand-and-ponder-with-no-one-getting-impatient moments.   Nice rocks.  We both agreed getting rocks for Christmas would be great. 
There's a nice angle, looking up the rocky "riverbed".  Our leisurely progression enabled fresh views of familiar plantings. 
Great visit!

Back at home, I thought about the health and beauty of the  Sherman's Conservatory Marantas.   I've got one growing outdoors going dormant for winter, as it always does.  The fern is encroaching--I should pot up the Maranta and bring it in for the winter. 

Also, remembering the Sherman's Echeveria-adorned stairs, I considered the gully stairway sprouting Trachelium and Campanulas.  While the dabs of green are good,  plants too large on stairs are not safe. Must  remove them.  Would petite Echeverias happily grow in the nooks?
One touch of red in the gully garden--not plastic, no twinkle lights, though the golden tips on the Callistemon do look a bit like.


  1. Only a gardener would think to ask for rocks as a gift. Mine request is always a load of compost and some labour. The photo of the Aloe ferox is a beauty as is the dark mangave. Sorry to hear about the lone strawberry. Bad Boris! I have always admired pathways and stairs planted up with small plants but they have to be the right type to not be messy looking. I have dianthus in a rock path that once flowering is finished I scalp to the ground otherwise it looks ratty. The Echeveria would look great.

    1. Loads of compost are always appreciated! :)

      It's difficult to be mad at Boris--those great big brown puppy-dog eyes get me every time.

  2. Love your colored up, bloom pushing aloes. As for the botanical gardens adding nonplant "things" (plastic!!!) to attract visitors. Well that's a sad reality I will never understand or support.

    1. I like to hope that visits to a Botanic Garden to look at plastic candy and twinkle lights will end up turning a few people into gardeners. That I can support.

  3. I'm glad you found your long-sought Aloe and that it arrived safely. Your aloe collection gets bigger and better every year.

    I have to say I hated those giant gumdrops even more than the huge lollipops but I can't begrudge the kid-focused 'Candy Carnival' at Sherman Gardens. I suspect it and the light show will bring in a lot of locals during the holiday season - and lots of revenue.

    1. Aloes have been great here--happy day when I started planting them.

      One or two visiting kids will look past the decorations and discover the world of plants and their joys--I like to think that, anyway.

  4. Oh, one of the prettiest aloes imho. I look forward to following along and seeing the color change. Your photos are really good, by the way. The ferox looks grand, so great to see the aloe buds on the way. I love the shot of the barrels & agaves and all the glorious rocks.

    1. I agree the foliage color is so beautiful.

      Your garden with the rocks is fabulous--motivates me to add some here--if I can ever get around to it....

  5. I laughed out loud when I read what Boris did! Good for Boris! Clever dog :-D

    Espaliered Loquat? That's a first for me. I'm not sure how I feel about that...

    As many photos I've seen of the Sherman garden, the "blue green echeveria accenting the grey concrete stairs" is also a first: I LOVE that. Excellent idea to try petite Echeverias in yours.

    1. Boris can be accurately described as "food driven".

      The Loquat will sprout new stems from the bare branches and fill in quite nicely. The photo shows the structure--it looks too bare at the moment, but will fill in quite a lot.

      There's much to see at Sherman, so the Echeveia stairs often go unnoticed.

  6. I just love your blog.. the photos are more than enough but it’s your sharing of a gardener’s thoughts, plans, experiences and knowledge that makes your blog so special. So thank you!!
    Can you please share where I can sign up for continuous email posts.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments and thank you for having a look at my blog. I don't have a link for getting posts by email because all the servies I've investigated show ads and may track anyone who signs up for it--which I don't believe in. Blogger used to have that feature included and they got rid of it. If ever I find a way, I'll add a place to sign up. For now--sorry!

  7. I'm excited to see how Teucrium aroanium does for you. It's a cutey that is supposed to smell like juicy fruit gum. It struggles through our long wet winters here. Echeveria steps are really nice. I'm surprised they don't get damaged much. I guess the overhang really helps.

    1. So am I! T. chamaedrys does great here. T. 'Ackermanii' --still not sure if it is happy here or not, or if it is the location, or the plant I happened to buy.

      The Echeverias on those steps are set quite a bit back, and as you say the overhang--so feet don't seem to interfere.

  8. Aloe capitata quartziticola from New Hampshire! I love it. I recently bought a couple of Dudleya pachyphytum off Etsy, and they came from Massachusetts :-)

    Sherman Gardens: Since it's such an obviously man-made space, the decorations don't look out of place like they would in a more naturalistic setting.


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