July 22, 2012

Another summer is upon us and this year, for the first time, the ground plantings are beginning to look like the mature display that we had envisioned. The Aloe pilanziis (above), the largest of which are now well over 6' tall, have developed the thick, gnarled trunks of well-established plants and are the envy of all the more experienced collectors who visit us. We only wish they'd feel cocky enough to start blooming!

At right, the Tylecodon paniculatus have set out their usual summer "briar patch" of bright orange bloom stalks.

The youngsters in the Kinderhaus have already been augmented by a bunch of newly potted seedlings and there still plenty of flats from this year's crop of sprouts that have yet to be potted up. This place should be filled to overflowing by the time fall arrives. At right, the Monadeniums are in full bloom.

The benefits of ground planting on the terraces have exceeded our expectations. Much of what is planted here (like the Fouquierias) are fairly slow-growing species, but even in the short time they've been down the growth rates have been pretty impressive. Shady Lane has been thinned out a lot by sales, but other plants are already filling up the empty spaces.

The ground beds on the east side of the Kinderhaus are another success story. Most plants seem to put on a real growth spurt once their roots have the room to spread out and go deep. For example, just compare the size of the Tylecodon cacalioides (below in front, with the yellow flowers) with how they looked less than 3 months ago in our April 8, 2012 posting.

A pretty vignette from the main ground planting. That's Crassula platycarpa in the foreground, with an as yet unidentified Aloe behind it. The Aloe was originally purchased as Aloe krapohliana, but that identity had to be thrown out once the plant was put down and started to grow. It's probably a hybrid, which is an all-too-common occurrence under conditions of open pollination.