One of the great things about being a horticulturist specializing in succulents is that I’m part of a worldwide community of like-minded enthusiasts. Case in point is an email I received this week from Jeremy Proctor, who lives in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. He had visited South Africa and sent me a link to a Picasa page with his photos of the marvelous succulents he saw. Below are some of the highlights, with his comments and then mine in italics.
“A kokerboom tree (Aloe dichotoma) — the first of many I saw up-close on this trip.”
And it’s in bloom! People may not realize that there are succulent trees. This one grows well in Southern CA, too, if given excellent drainage.
“Aloes blooming in front of the Cape Agulhas lighthouse, near Africa’s southernmost tip. Even this most challenging environment is teeming with life, including many succulent plants.”
I like the way the color of the aloes repeats that of the lighthouse.
“It is hard to resist climbing down to see what’s growing in the nooks.”
Uh…you go ahead, Jeremy.
“Some great compositions in gardens of Pretoria.”
This looks like it came right out of a Southern CA garden. The large red succulent is Kalanchoe luciae. It’s surrounded by graptoverias (on the left) and echeverias.
“These plantable retaining walls were everywhere in Pretoria.”
This one has Crassula ‘Campfire’ and echeverias. It’s a clever and easy idea for a retaining wall/planter, and concrete blocks are inexpensive and readily available.
“I don’t know if everyone buried in this cemetery was a succulent lover, but it certainly seems that the succulents love everyone buried in this cemetery.”
Hm. Being buried beneath a blanket of ice plant…what a cool idea! (Forgive the pun.) This has got to be one of the most unusual uses for succulents I’ve yet seen.
See more of Jeremy’s photos of South African succulents. Thanks very much, Jeremy, for sharing!