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Aloes and other standouts in the late-February garden

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It’s been a mild winter so far, with only two very brief dips below freezing. That’s why I thought the aloes in our garden would be in full bloom by late January. Not so. Aloes, like all plants, are on their own timetable. Just because I am impatient doesn’t mean that things are happening any faster. As we’re moving into the last week of February, it looks like the aloes are stepping on the gas. Nice pops of color are appearing in our garden, with more in the offing. Let’s take a look. Aloe ‘Moonglow’, a complex hybrid from Sunbird Aloes in South Africa, is always the first to bloom. We used to have three big clumps, but I rehomed one – two is enough. The fire-engine red aloe is another hybrid, Aloe spectabilis × vaombe . The flowers are just now starting to open. Aloe spectabilis × vaombe (left), Aloe ‘Moonglow’ (right) Aloe ‘Moonglow’ with Arctostaphylos ‘La Panza’, a dwarf hybrid of Arctostaphylos silvicola and Arctostaphylos bakerii found at Las Pilitas Nursery Aloe ‘Moon