What's in bloom and other garden sightings, mid-March 2020

I always seem to miss Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, started by Carol “Keeper of the World's Largest Collection of Hoes” Michel of May Dreams Gardens, but this month I'm reasonably close.

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The aloes are continuing their winter flower fest. Many of them are past their peak, but they're still pretty even now. A few Australian natives are contributing to this month's Bloom Day as well. We finally had some rain, so who knows what might develop in the weeks ahead!

Flowers or not, this is one my favorite vignettes in the garden

Aloe marlothii (top left), Agave weberi 'Arizona Star (bottom left), Bromelia pinguin in the Corten container. The wispy pale blue leaves in the center belong to Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon'.

The reddish-purple leaves in the bottom right belong to ×Mangave 'Mission to Mars'

×Mangave 'Freckles and Speckles' and Lachenaultia formosa, a shrublet from Western Australia that flowers non-stop from fall through spring

Aloe speciosa × barberae, a hybrid created by Nick Deinhart

New additions: Acacia aphylla (back), Grevillea 'Poorinda Mantle' (front)

Aloe elgonica and Gastrolobium celsianum aka Swan River pea, a low-growing shrub from Western Australia

Gastrolobium celsianum flowers

×Mangave 'Mayan Queen'

Water puddling in a cupped leaf on Agave 'Crazy Horse' (Agave cupreata × asperrima)

Lomandra longifolia 'Breeze' with alien-looking flowers

Euphorbia characias 'Glacier Blue' in full flower (the large leaves in the photo on the left belong to Drimia maritima, a giant bulb)

Euphorbia characias 'Glacier Blue' 

Another favorite spot along the street right now

Aloe excelsa

LEFT: Aloe excelsa   RIGHT: Aloe marlothii #2 flowering for the first time

Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps and Aloe 'Moonglow' a couple of weeks ago

Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps and Aloe 'Moonglow' now, the flowers almost all gone

Osteospermum 'Purple Spoons'

Aloe ferox still blooming

Aloe ferox

Aloe 'Moonglow' pleasing the crowds to the very end (Yucca rostrata in the background)

A cornucopia of seeds ripening on Aloe petricola

Aloe hereroensis, late to the party but a welcome guest nonetheless

Aloe hereroensis

Another recently planted spot (less than a year old) with a lot of potential

Salvia hierosolymitana is a new-to-me sage from the eastern Mediterranean. It has basal leaves that hug the ground and 2-foot candelabra-like flower spikes.

Hechtia argentea with a burgundy winter tinge

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

Aloe 'Erik the Red', arguably the star of the aloe show

Pale-blue form of banana yucca (Yucca baccata var. vespertina 'Hualapai Blue') with flat-leaf wattle (Acacia glaucoptera) just starting to flower

Two panoramas for context:

Inside the front yard fence:

Dudleya brittonii with two inflorescences emerging

Recently renovated bed next to the front door

Lachenalia vanzyliae

  • Carol Michel's March 2020 Bloom Day post is here. At the end of her own post, you'll find links to Bloom Day posts by other garden bloggers.
  • Also check the My Blog List widget on the right for Bloom Day posts by bloggers I follow.

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  1. Beautiful photos Gerhard, the flowers of that Lomandra longifolia are crazy cool!

    1. Funny, even with all the showy flowers currently on display in the strip along the sidewalk, my eyes always go to that lomandra!

  2. Your Aloe flowers are of course spectacular. The Gastrolobium celsianum was a surprise as I didn't know those plants were even available in the States. The Lachenalia vanzyliae is drool-worthy and I'm impressed by the new Salvia too. Did the latter come from Annie's?

    1. The Gastrolobium celsianum (I have two) came from the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum gift/plant shop. This is year 3 in the ground.

      Salvia hierosolymitana did come from Annie's Annuals. It's such an Annie's plant, isn't it?

  3. I'd call that a bloomfest! That bromelia in the Corten is so fabulous. The gastrolobium are amazingly tough plants and yours looks very happy. It's all growing in and knitting together beautifully.

    1. Thanks, Denise! Yes, everything is coming together beautifully this year. I really need to keep my grubby hands off these areas for a while. I'm always tempted to tinker...

  4. A great bloomsday visit. The garden looks like it's bursting into life. The Hechtia aregentea is gorgeous in it's winter colours. I have ordered a Lachenalia and am hoping it will be as pretty as yours.

    1. Yeah!! So glad you ordered a lachenalia. They're such wonderful winter/spring plants. They go away in the heat of the summer so you forget they even exist. And by mid-winter, they spring back to life, each year in a bigger clump than the year before.

  5. Gorgeous displays! Everything looks to be thriving. I just read that the plant sale at the Desert Botanical in Phoenix is postponed! Hope they still have it, maybe a month later… would love to go, but obviously not now.

  6. What a wonderfully vivid display of aloe perfection!! Can you tell me what differences you see in the Excelsa versus Ferox flowers? Also seems like there might be the potential for hybridization with so many beautiful specimens in such close proximity, perhaps a new plant passion? I'm partial to a Capitata (Quartz) x Ferox hybrid myself.


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