aeonium in bloom, 21 feb 2011…
My aeonium is going to explode into a
million gazillion little yellow buds very, very soon~! Check out those cones. . .
I love this plant. Given to me as a gift in 2004, its my very first succulent. The original start for this little guy was given to me by my dear friend Marin, himself an avid gardener, cook and intrepid camper. In fact, while on one of his camping trips to Point Reyes, he found a bunch of dudleya on an outcropping near the beach and, since I’d expressed an interest in learning to garden, he plucked a pup from the plant, and brought it back for me. At that time I was just starting my garden by growing some poppies from seed on my terrace. He asked me if I’d considered planting succulents and I explained I didn’t even know what they were. He gave me the dudleya pup, wrapped in damp paper, and explained what I needed to do. . . just put it in the soil! I treated it gingerly, so afraid that I’d kill it, but of course . . . it grew. And quickly. And changed shape and form fantastically! My love of succulents was born. The plant has thrived since 2004, the one pictured above being one of the many offspring from its hearty parent. I always think of Martin when I see this succulent. He and this plant got me started and inspired my love for gardening and especially, for succulents. Martin has since moved back to Spain so when I see my Dudleya, I’m reminded of my dear friend.
some aeonium, senecio, crassula falcata. . .
With nearly 10 hours of gardening in the back yard, my muscles are tired but happy from moving rocks, pots and plants much of the weekend. My reward was seeing the view Sunday, late afternoon; while I was down in the garden with friends Dick and Matte Gray, shafts of light illuminated the newly-planted plants, turning them a shimmering gold. It was so beautiful!
The weekend included visits from not only Matte Gray, whom I want to thank for the beautiful aloe, but also visits from the Bamboo Whisperer, Bob & Andy. I had TONS of help from, and quality time with, my superstar upstairs neighbor, Dick. Thanks Dick! and thanks to all for coming to check out the garden, and for the wonderful contributions! The garden reflects the love everyone has brought to it!
The weekend also included a great meals at B&A’s house on Saturday and on Sunday, at Heart Restaurant for their “Spaghetti Sundays” – house-made pasta & meatballs, a wonderfully fresh salad & garlic bread, all incredibly well prepared– this restaurant certainly deserves all the praise it gets from the foodie community.
This was a mighty fine weekend, indeed!
A gorgeous contribution to the garden from none other than L. of Matte Gray, gardener extra- ordinaire!
One of my favorites, the Sempervium Arachnoideum, or ‘cobweb succulent’
may 2010, morning light on a beautiful fuzzy succulent, Echeveria harmsii!
morning light in my garden,
-what a fun lunch today! Burrito, great conversation with “A “, and . . . foraging for wild succulents-!!! Sigh. . . life is good!
San Francisco is a city for gardeners and given that we never experience a frost, we’re quite lucky to have a broad range of plants available to us for our gardens. In fact, varieties that people in other climates would consider a house plant, San Franciscans can plant to monumental effect outdoors, and succulents are a great example of that. Being planted in the ground allows the plant to grow in size and shape in a way that will surprise anyone who’s only seen them in small containers in the windowsill. . .
While I have a variety of plants in my garden, including vines, shrubs and perennial flowering plants, succulents have become my favorite garden denizens. There’s something about the way they invite you to watch them that makes them special and I’m hopelessly fascinated by them. As they grow they change a lot, in shape, proportion and size. They truly become different over time, evolving in a way that adjusts to the environment in which they are planted. In a way they, more than any other plant I’ve encountered, grow to become unique individuals.
Perhaps chief among the qualities I LOVE to observe is the way in which the succulents flower. Gorgeous and sculptural as they are even without flowers, something exciting happens when it’s time for them to bloom. Weeks in advance you’ll notice a very prominent stalk (the inflorescence) emerge from the plant, all the more striking when it erupts from a plant with radial symmetry, like the echeveria. I can’t describe how fun it is to watch the progress of the stem, pregnant with anticipation…how high will the stalk climb? what will the lone flower look like and when will it open?
The inflorescence first emerged from the center of my aloe in late February, and climbed through March when the flowers emerged. I’ve captured some pictures here that show the height it reached and the type of flower that the aloe creates. Even now in the month of May, the flowers look just as great as they did when they opened in March!
Sempervivum “Lavender and Old Lace”
Morning light, March 2010