I asked for it, I got it: first rain

Finally, after months of waiting, we have what I would call rain. Not a gully washer, but more than the feeble drizzle we had a few weeks ago. It's a steady light rain that washes off the dust left by a long summer and soaks into the ground instead of running into the gutter. We need many more days of this to make a difference, but at least it's a start.

Another benefit of rain: plants begin to glisten and take on super saturated hues. Here's what I saw during a quick wander:

Aloe 'Christmas Carol', its loud colors popping even more

Aloe petricola, emerging inflorescences contrasting beautifully against the purple and grayish hues of the leaves

Aloe bulbilifera, leaves remaining a vibrant apple green with pinkish red margins

Aloe 'Moonglow', a tangle of flowers emerging from a tangle of leaves

Aloe cameronii, one of several that don't get any water in the summer. It was in desperate need of rain and should plump up quickly.

Aloe marlothii, water puddling in a rolled up old leaf

Ferocactus rectispinus, its comically long terminal spines a vivid red now

Hechtia 'Oaxaca Sunset' popping against the perennially silver Hechtia 'Silver Star'

Agave 'Blue Glow', more gray than blue in this light, but always beautiful

×Mangave 'Whale Tale'

Agave 'Crazy Horse'

Agave titanota

Echeveria 'Ghost Buster'

Aloe 'Hellskloof Bells'

Opuntia basilaris looking like a wrinkled foot after too much time in the water. It's just the opposite, actually—the effect of a long period of dryness and being potbound.

Fouquieria purpusii, a Mexican kissing cousin of the ocotillo

Eucalyptus 'Moon Lagoon' with juvenile (left) and adult leaves (right). A trimming will get rid of the less attractive adult leaves, ensuring that 'Moon Lagoon' remains forever young.

×Mangave 'Red Wing', its remarkable leaves even more otherworldly after the rain

Salvia leucantha 'Danielle's Dream', with Salvia bullulata, ×Mangave 'Mayan Queen' and Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt'

And finally, a big mess of leaves by the curb, waiting for city pickup on Monday

A light rain is falling as I'm writing this, but the sky is getting lighter so there might be a break soon. Maybe I can get a few purchases from the UC Davis Arboretum clearance sale in the ground. I still have a some geums left to plant...

© Gerhard Bock, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of the materials available through www.succulentsandmore.com may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Gerhard Bock. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of Gerhard Bock is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States and international copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Gerhard Bock. If you are reading this post on a website other than www.succulentsandmore.com, please be advised that that site is using my content without my permission. Any unauthorized use will be reported.


  1. An early Christmas gift. Everything looks clean and shiny. Your photos really picked up the nuances of colour and leaf/spine shape. Especially love the one of the Hechtia. Frame-worthy.

  2. Your plants look wonderful covered in raindrops, Gerhard. I'm still waiting for a "real" rainstorm here but, according to the most recent post on the California weather blog (weatherwest dot com), SoCal may be waiting until February for any of that. I hate La Nina years...Next time you ask for rain, please include SoCal.

    1. I compared this year's rainfall pattern to last year's. In December 2019, we had a shocking 7.5 inches of rain! That's more than half of the total for the 2019/2020 water year (12.1 inches for Davis).

  3. Absolutely beautiful photos! Thanks for the tour of colors.

    1. The first real rain in fall is so special after such a long summer!

  4. Praying you get more...the PNW really does want to share.

  5. If only asking was all it took.

    Lovely to see the sparkle of rain on your plants.

  6. Will Opuntia basilaris be less wrinkled after the rain? Need a before and after comparison.
    Aloe 'Christmas Carol': Yawza!

    1. Yes, it should plump up. It also needs to be repotted, but that's a task for spring.

  7. And more tomorrow ! After that I need to put up the rain covers-

    1. I'm glad for the break. That way parched plants (like aloes) can get used to finally having a drink.


Post a Comment