About me

About me
🌿 I've been gardening ever since a child, when I spent time with my father in his vegetable garden. But my fascination with Echeverias started in the 1980's, when my father gave me a pot with five Echeverias, which turned out to be E. imbricata. At first I wasn't much interested in them and planted them in some obscure corner of the garden and completely forgot about them. How great was my surprise when, a couple of months later, I noticed that they had spread and made a beautiful display - I was hooked!
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Saturday, 26 March 2016

Autumn in the succulent garden

Cooler, balmier days have arrived. I just love Autumn. Checking on my succulents yesterday, I saw that a few of them are flowering. Soon the Aloes will be starting, which means lots of visiting Sunbirds.

For the first time in over a year that I acquired my Faucaria last Feb. 2015, it is also flowering now! Thank you to the rain!

Crassula perfoliata ssp. falcata (Propeller plant) sporting three new bright red flowers. I think it's getting a bit big for the pot, needs transplanting or to be moved into the garden.

Pleiospilos nelli on the left and Euphorbia horrid looking good in Autumn! Sharing the pot with the Euphorbia is a little self-seeded piece of Crassula imperialis, a succulent which likes LOTS of sun and LOTS of water, so has been thriving on all the rain.

My Aloe juvennae, acquired last Feb 2015 and which was just as big as the 3 pups it now sports, has grown in leaps and bounds! 

Just a couple of months ago, the Aeonium and cactus were still rather small, perfect for the pot, and now they're going to have to move to a new home.

My Pleiospilos compactus is showing a fair amount of damage from the hail we had recently, but it still seems happy enough and is flowering.

In the succulent bed, I'm struggling to keep on top of all the growth since all the beautiful rain we had. The Crassula imperialis (just to the top left of the Echeverias) in the wire basket has formed a thick, curly mass, hiding all the Echnipsis oxygona cacti inside there somewhere. Will have to transplant the cacti, they struggled to push out their large flowers amongst all those curls!

The tiny. slightly hairy, little mass of succulent has spread very fast over the last few weeks. I have no idea what it is (can anybody help?) and I'll have to start a really in-depth search to try and find out.

With winter not that far away, I'll have to start sorting out which of my succulents I'm going to be winterizing inside - I have far too many now to bring the whole lot it!


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Succulents and lots of rain

All the rain has greatly benefited one of my succulents, my grass Aloe (A. cooperi) - moist soil, perfect conditions for these damp grassland species. This is the first time it has flowered since I acquired it early last year.

Indigenous to South African grasslands, A. cooperi grows singly or in small groups from offshoots at ground level. The flowers of Aloe cooperi vary in colour from greenish-cream to apricot and salmon pink. Easy and lovely in the garden and smaller than most Aloes, Aloe cooperi is hardier than most too – down to 10 degrees F (-12℃ - although we've never had it that cold here in Tarlton (Gauteng, South Africa). The blooming stalks grow to 3’ (1m) tall and bear very attractive flower heads. The thin leaves are held in a fan shape & are evergreen in milder climates. Aloe cooperi forms offsets freely. The leaves & flowers are eaten by the Zulu people. It is also used traditionally to ease birth.

The base of A. cooperi - I think it's ready to go into the ground now

Another succulent which just loves lots of water, expecially if it is in full sun, is Crassula imperialis. They then get bright green and put up a gorgeous show of masses of curly tendrils. This one is planted in a wire basket but stands in the garden in full sun.

Hail damage on my Pleiospilos compactus

Not benefiting from the rain so much, and especially the hail we had, is Pleiospilos compactus. As soon as the flowers get wet, they shrivel and die almost immediately.

Seemingly unaffected by the lots of rain and hail, are both my Euphorbia horrid and Pleiospilos nelli on the left. In fact, they both seem to be loving it! But all the pots do have excellent drainage, which contributes to their healthy looks.


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