Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Front yard aloes starting to bloom

Tonight another El Niño system is moving in, promising up to ½ inch of rain in the Sacramento Valley, but this past week has been perfect: gloriously sunny and unseasonably warm. In fact, Sacramento broke all kinds of temperature records yesterday (77°F).

This boost of heat was the proverbial kick in the behind our aloes needed. After languishing in limbo for weeks, the aloes in the desert bed outside the fence have finally started to switch to flowering mode. This is just the very beginning. With somewhat lower temperatures in the forecast, I’m hoping we’ll get to enjoy the blooms into March.

Let’s take a look at what’s happening.

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Much needed floral cheer in this planting strip

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Even the ‘Aristocrat’ pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Aristocrat’) in the backyard is playing along. This is the only time of year I like it.

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The two yellowish orange aloes are ‘Moonglow’, a Sunbird Aloes hybrid

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‘Erik the Red’ on the left, ‘Moonglow’ on the right, both from Sunbird Aloes

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Aloe ‘Moonglow’ flowers up close

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Wide view of the planting strip

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Another Aloe ‘Moonglow’. I have three now. The one you saw earlier is the mother, the other two (this one included) are offsets.

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This is my favorite section of this bed. The tall aloe on the left is Aloidendron ‘Hercules’.

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Looking the other direction (west)

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Aloe ferox on the right

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Aloe ferox

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The red aloe is Aloe cameronii

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Aloe cameroniii and ‘Moonglow’ #3

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Aloe ‘Moonglow’ #3 with a clump of Agave macroacantha

Next weekend I’ll check back on the aloes on the UC Davis campus.

14 comments:

  1. How beautiful! We get just too cold for aloes, otherwise I'd go find some of those aloe moonglow for myself. What a great color!

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    1. Renee, have you tried Aloe striatula? It's beautiful and hardy to 15°F, maybe even a tad lower.

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  2. 'Moonglow' is wonderful - that's another one I've never seen locally. I don't know which variety of Pyrus calleryana we have as it was inherited with the house but, until this year, its fruits haven't made a mess. My hope is that this year's experience is an anomaly rather than the future standard.

    We've got rain - real rain! - coming down here. We're up to 0.48 inches thus far, which is almost double what was expected. I've been outside filling trugs with water from the rain chain to supplement what's going directly into my collection tanks. I look like a drowned rat but I'm happy!

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    1. A friend of mine found 'Moonglow' at a Home Depot, of all places. We originally split a 5-gallon pot and I've further divided my plants.

      We had about 0.4 inches last night and this morning. It really came down hard for a while. Now the sun is out. The plants are loving it.

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  3. Looks gorgeous! So much better than the old hedge!

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  4. It's really looking amazing -- astounding how little time that took for this bed to completely change. Just a couple of years, right? Can't wait to see it in a couple more, it's going to be epic!

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    1. Yes, the hedge came out two years ago. I still can't believe how much this area has changed.

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  5. Your blooming-size Moonglow is making me jealous. I salvaged a small offset from mine that had been attacked by ants. That fence border is really coming together. What a great place to display your treasures!

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    1. I feel bad your 'Moonglow' got destroyed by ants. So far I haven't noticed any bugs on mine...

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  6. I remember the hedge and how hard you worked to get all that out and plant the new stuff--it looks really good and will surely get better and better. Nice for your neighbors to come get their mail and see such pretty flowers.

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  7. Wow Gerhard look at what you've created! The blooming Aloes are just icing (candles?) on the cake.

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