Some color here for the climatically challenged... a few winter events in the garden.
First up is Aloe lutescens in the sun this afternoon (thanks LT for the ID).
Winter garden shots
Thanks, Baja! So nice to see some beautiful plants, most of them in that gorgeous mellow sun where you live! It has been so cold here that mine are still sleeping. I love to see yours.
Baja_Costero thank you for always providing lots of wonderful photos. They are always good shots and you mention hundreds of plants I know nothing about. Good stuff. Xuling
Wonderful garden shots and beautiful plants Baja..
LT, any input about succulents that might not like to live so close to the ocean? Your experience? I have been wondering if some of my failures might have something to do with that. The humidity, more than anything really.
Todos Santos islands barely visible on the horizon toward the right. Most of the plants in the pictures share the same SW exposure (day-long sun).
Where do you go to get your vast array of plants? Are there nurseries in the area? The population isn't that large is it? xuling
It has been a gradual process. There are a surprising number of places to find plants here. My favorite stop is Rancho Flor Alicia, near El Tigre. The climate makes it easy for people to experiment with plants that would be difficult or impossible elsewhere. Every nursery stocks Agave americana and Aloe vera, but most of them will also have interesting Aeoniums or aloes at least some of the time. Plants are more a mom and pop thing here than a corporate endeavor, but Home Depot and places like that also have good stuff available from time to time.
The Aloes that sort of struggles is Aloe suprafoliata, Aloe microstigma and Aloe variegata. My A. castanea flowered once and then skipped last year and Aloe excelsa is also not overly happy. Soil may also play a role. Aeoniums doing ok, but get a little hammered by the winds, recover well. Senecio babertoniae really does not like the location and some of the Lampranthus also get hammered, but others overgrow everything. Many of the smaller forest aloes from central Africa likes a little protection in any case. I try and locate my plants in such a way that sensitive stuff/soft plants get a little protection against the SW winds - they can be deadly salty at gale strength and no normal plants (roses, fruit trees, ferns) holds up, amazingly enough Tomatoes grow well here!! go figure! Salvia's and Coprosma's do well and are among the plants I use for protectors to my other plants.
Baja, Thanks again for the lovely photos. The colors, sun and surroundings looks so warm and wonderful. We will be a long while from that being that there is two feet of snow on the ground with more coming. Your pictures are a mini vacation for me. cll
Here's a shot of the latest patio project: a hinged frame with shadecloth (shown in the up position). It's small, and low (for maximum coverage at plant level), but I can lift it up to get in there, or just leave the top up on a cloudy day. Great fun.
The wall faces SE, so the plants receive some direct morning sun, but it's filtered from roughly mid day onward.
I love your pictures. I'd send you some succulent cuttings but I know the mail to baja is too slow to mail plants.
You have a harsh environment there for gardening but I bet there are some southwest natives from say New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas that would grow alright there.
I don't think the humidity is your problem, but it could be the salinity of your water, or maybe your soil ph.
That's funny. I have paid quite a bit of attention to the water, tried to figure out how much it varies, and what's in it. It's not very saline. Our water comes from wells in a valley north of here. It's variable in terms of taste and turbidity and smell. Tonight there was a delicious sulfur aroma. But it's got a uniformly high pH, somewhere around 9. That's the thing that matters most to the container plants, I think. That's why I knock that number down to 6 before I give my container plants a drink. It's not a huge amount of effort once you figure it out, and the difference in how plants grow is phenomenal. Not all of them of course, and some of them actually prefer the high pH water, go figure. But mainly the lower pH makes fertilizer work properly, so you can use a low level on an intermittent basis and the plants will slurp it all up. The Echeverias and Aeoniums respond quite nicely. Young plants especially.
Baja California is a peninsula of many climates. It's mostly subtropical but the southern tip is in the tropics. There's a coral reef down there. The rainfall is concentrated in the NW and far S parts of the peninsula. In between is a fabulous and vicious desert of great proportion. Not to leave out the mountains, which get good snow. (There's an astronomical observatory in the middle of the state at San Pedro Martir (3000m/10,000ft), which has a particular advantage because it's located in the middle of much darkness, that part of the state being very sparsely inhabited.
We are located in the mild coastal NW region, which is about as kind to succulents as one could imagine. No heat, no cold. Winter rainfall, summer drought. Some plants don't like being so close to the ocean. Some plants don't really thrive because it never really gets hot here. Other than those special cases, the rest do not complain.
Today's shots: Euphorbias and Echeverias. Last flower belongs to Echeveria agavoides, compare with the yellow ones above.
I've been to Baja years ago. I took my daughters on a turtle rescue vacation. We went snorkeling too!
It's a beautiful and interesting place. I didn't know there were mountains though.
It's good you've learned about water ph. I should probably learn something about it myself as I am on a well also.
I wonder if you could grow echiums where you are. They grow on the coast here. We have a lot of "pride of madera" in my area and I recently added echium wildpretti, also known as "tower of jewels". I'm growing them from seed and they are doing quite well.
That Echium is a fabulous and beautiful plant, the flowers in particular. I have lusted after it but the opportunity has not presented itself.
Baja, are the Echeveria agavoides flowers from the same plant? What a difference in color! Both are so lovely.
Different plants. The yellow flower is on a long-leafed plant, the red flower is on a short-leafed plant often called "Lipstick" or "Red Edge". This year I medicated those plants with a systemic when they first started making buds, in the hope that aphids wouldn't take over and spoil the show. It seems to have worked in most (not all) cases. They never have gotten all the way through flowering before.
The flowers look very good this year. Looks like it worked. I hate aphids on echeveria flowers. They justs ruin them.
There are too many plants around here, and most of them are growing without chemical protection, so I really have to look out for the bugs and nip any problem in the (ahem) bud. Speaking of which, I snipped all the red agavoides flowers yesterday after I discovered mealies had taken an interest. There's a certain inevitability about it so I just move on.
Here are the yellow agavoides flowers a little further down the road, showing how they change in posture as they mature. Second pic shows similar-looking inflorescence on the way on a presumed colorata. Pic 3 an unnamed Euphorbia hybrid that I just repotted after about 3 years. Last two pics show open flowers on Aloe cameronii and wickensii, each with its own particular glow. Compare fifth picture to the first picture in this thread to see the differences between two very similar-looking plants.
Wow, I love the A. cameronii and A. wickensii (A. cryptopoda) ... and the Euphorbia is to die for! You've grown it so great Baja!
Truth be told, that Euphorbia has endured much abuse, mainly being chronically underwatered. Some plants seem to take it in stride. I think the thing that saved it was being under shade cloth. When I started acidifying the water and fertilizing more, just taking better care of it really, it sort of came back, so I decided it deserved a nice pot.
Today's flower pictures: Aloes striata, aristata, and ?maculata; Cleistocactus and Sedum. First plant is recovering nicely from a pretty nasty bug infestation... long summer drought seemed to have stressed it out. There are a fair number of striatas planted around here, mostly maculate hybrids though I think. Second plant is growing in a mesh "air pruning" pot. I'm curious to see how that works out root-wise. Last plant is the only one growing in shade (mostly)... out of sight, out of mind, but I noticed a few flowers today on the sunny side of the plant.
Such delicate flowers on the sedum. What colors do you see in them in "real" time? thanks,