Dramatic light after rain and hail

“April weather, rain and sunshine, both together,” that's how an old English country saying goes. And that's what we had yesterday afternoon (March 10, 2021) even though April is still a few weeks ago. 

Not only rain and sunshine, but hail as well. Pelting down on the roof, it sounded worse than it actually was, but Woodland, the closest town to the north of Davis, got so much of it, it looked like a blanket of fresh snow. I'm grateful we were spared because hail can disfigure soft-leaved succulents like nothing else. I'll know soon enough if our plants sustained any damage.

After the rain had stopped, the clouds to the west parted enough for a brief but brilliant display of sunshine, made even more dramatic by the dark clouds to the east. I quickly snapped these photos of the streetside plantings because everything looked so clean and vibrant.

Aloe marlothii is still in full bloom

The newly planted corner

Aloe 'Tangerine' (with ×Mangave 'Mayan Queen')

Drimia maritima and Echeveria characias 'Tasmanian Tiger'

Looking east

Aloe 'Moonglow' (and Yucca rostrata and Agave americana 'Mediopicta Alba')

Aloe wickensii (and Agave ovatifolia)

I'm really happy with how this bed looks this winter

Looking west. The white-flowering mound in the photo on the left is a Moroccan daisy (formerly Rhodanthemum hosmariense, now Pyrethropsis hosmariense)

Aloe 'Erik the Red' is the star of the show with its tall redREDRED flower spikes

① Aloe 'Erik the Red',  ② Aloe spectabilis × vaombe,  ③ Aloe globuligemma,  ④ Aloe beetsilensis× striata,  ⑤ Agave wocomahi,  ⑥ Agave sebastiana,   ⑦ Agave palmeri 'Dwarf Form (Sonoita),  ⑧ Aloe dawei 'Yellow Form',  ⑨ Aloe capitata var. quartziticola,  ⑩ Aloe chabaudii,  ⑪ Yucca 'Bright Star',  ⑫ ×Mangave 'Kaleidoscope'

Aloe capitata var. quartziticola

Looking east, with the sunlight fading

Yesterday's rain came in bursts so it was hard to judge how much we actually got. According to the UC Davis weather station, it was 0.27 inches—not all that impressive, but at this point I'm grateful for every drop. In our summer-dry climate, this is the time of year when plants need to get fat and happy so they can sail through the long rain-free summer.

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  1. There's nothing like a good rain to bring out a gardens' best attributes. It was a cold rainstorm though wasn't it ? More frost for me this week. I'm hovering over Aloe 'Moonglow' . Your Aloes look fantastic !

  2. Your garden strip looks stunning! Glad to hear you didn’t get much hail and caused no visible damage.

  3. Everything looks absolutely GORGEOUS! I'm glad you didn't get a large hail storm and hope you never do.

  4. A. 'Tangerin', M. 'Mayan Queen' and Acacia cognata ‘Cousin Itt’: LOVE it. I will never get tired of this wonderful combo.
    Nothing like a rain system passing through to make the garden looks its best.

  5. Your Aloes are magical with that interesting light, Gerhard! I just received 2 beautiful Aloe 'Moonglow' from Devon Boutte for my Phoenix garden. Hope they flower for me next year!

  6. I just can't get over ''Erik the Red's' tall trunk and tall flowers! This strip is looking magnificent. The Euphorb 'Tasmanian Tiger' and drimys stopped me in my tracks. I've never seen that euphorb look that good! Saw some hail-damaged succulents at the nurseries this week, such a shame for the growers.

  7. In my view, there's nothing as wonderful as the clean plants and clean air following a good rainstorm, especially when there's a touch of sun and blue sky thrown in. I love the Drimia/Euphorbia combination. You have me wondering if the Euphorbia would survive on my back slope where my Drimia are planted.


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