Long weekend in Santa Barbara

Last week, the opportunity to travel to Santa Barbara came up, and of course I jumped on it. I would have been crazy not to go, seeing how the Central Coast from Monterey to Santa Barbara is one of the most spectacular stretches of California.

In typical Gerhard fashion, I packed a lot into three days – and returned with a car full of plants. Don’t ask where they’re going to go; my motto is buy first, worry about it later.

This is just a quick preview of things I saw. I’ll have more detailed posts in the weeks to come.

I saw aloes...

...and agaves...

...and even more agaves.

I met the coolest people...

...and visited a few gardens.

I even saw a beautiful sunset or two.

Plant haul

I brought home a lot of plants from various sources (Tom Cole, Nick Deinhart, Steve Super, Tony Krock). It’s a crazy mix, heavy on aloes and agaves. Many are for myself, but a bunch are for friends. The listing below is mostly meant as future reference for yours truly.



For myself

Agave albopilosa
Agave celsii ‘Nova’ × (parrasana × colorata)
Agave impressa

Agave parrrasana ‘Globe’ × ovatifolia
Agave pintilla
Agave pintilla
Agave shawii
ssp. goldmaniana
Agave subsimplex
Agave utahensis
var. nevadensis
Aloe castillonae × divaricata
Aloe (humilis × pratensis) × aculeata
Aloe (zubb × marlothii) × littoralis
Aloe ankoberensis
Aloe cheranganiensis (cutting)
Aloe compressa × andringitrensis
Aloe divaricata × castilloniae
Aloe labworana (red)
Aloe nobilis variegated
Aloe penduliflora
Aloe ribauensis
Aloe richardsiae × zubb
Aloe schelpei × rubroviolacea
Aloe volkensii
ssp. multicaulis
Dudleya pachyphytum
‘Cherry Jubilee’
Echeveria ‘Ebony’
Hechtia ‘Silver Tongue Devil’
Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ × Agave ‘Blue Glow’
Mangave ‘Praying Hands’
Orthophytum magalhaesii

For others

Agave celsii ‘Nova’ × (parrasana × colorata)
Aloe argentifolia
Aloe ‘Nessie’
Aloe cheranganiensis (cutting)
Aloe kulalensis
Aloe labworana
Aloe labworana (yellow)
Aloe ribauensis
Aloe schweinfurthii
Aloe squarrosa × glauca
var. spinosior
Dyckia ‘Solar Corona’
Dyckia ‘Mega Tooth’
Mangave ‘Black Widow’
Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ × Agave ‘Blue Glow’

Related posts

Links to posts about the places I visited and the plants I saw. More to come!

© Gerhard Bock, 2024. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. Wow, looks like an awesome trip ! That big aloe on the first picture postcard is incredible - hope you have a link or name for that beauty. Thanks for yet another great post !

    1. The big aloe in the first collage is called 'Birds and Bees'. It was discovered at San Marcos Growers and is thought to be a hybrid between Aloe arborescens and Aloe thraskii. It normally grows as a clump, but the landscapers at the commercial site where I took these photos removed the pups. More info HERE.

    2. Love it -thanks for the info ! That one’s going to the top of the wish list - keeping my eyes peeled !

  2. It was great to meet you Gerhard! Looks like the rest of your trip was fun.

  3. Didn't mean to be "Anonymous", that was just the default setting. 😁

    1. That default setting! It's so stupid :-)

      Great to meet you, too - and looking forward to meeting up again soon.

  4. It always amazes me how much you can pack into your little car. Some gorgeous specimens. The agave with the red teeth in the collage is amazing. Do you know it's name? You do get the most out of your travels.

    1. The agave with the reddish teeth is Agave shawii, one of only a few agaves native to California. Not all shawiis have teeth like that, but many do.

  5. Yes, packing the car like that helps the plants stay in place and not topple over. Your trip/gardens/people look like a total blast. So smart to visit in January. Can't wait to see where you put all your new plants!

    1. Haha, one might think I planned it that way. Actually, I put my carry-on on the backseat to keep the plants from toppling over. But the trunk was packed tight.

  6. A very Gerhard trip indeed! Lovely aloe flowers and beautiful agave teeth and another exceptional haul. In addition to compiling photographs and input for your future book(s) on succulents, I think you may be laying groundwork for another post-retirement occupation: traveling nursery ;)

    1. Ha! I actually know somebody who is a plant broker, bringing plants up from SoCal to NorCal.

  7. Such a fabulous area of California! One can grow just about anything there! My sister lives in Santa Barbara, but is not the crazy gardener I am! Of course I would probably do myself in trying to grow so many plants! Phoenix is better for me!

  8. You sure know how to have a garden-good time! Looking forward to the details and photos of what must have been a great trip. The photo with the Erica and Leucadendrons: breathtaking!


Post a Comment