Tag Archives | hardy succulents

The Exquisite, Elusive Spiral Aloe

Alan Beverly was fresh out of college and a Peace Corps volunteer when he discovered a plant that became a lifelong passion.

Hiking the rugged mountains of Lesotho in central Africa, guided by “friendly, hardy Basotho people” (whose children shrieked with fear when they saw him, their first white man), he “found Aloe polyphylla perched on nearly vertical north-facing basalt far out of reach…emeralds set in nature’s mosaic.” That was in the 1970s. Since then, due to grazing herds and the near-extinction of the plant’s natural pollinator, the equally exquisite malachite sunbird, spiral aloes might not exist today—certainly not in cultivation—if Beverly had not brought home seed. Continue Reading →

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Great Garden Gift Books

Garden books that I enjoyed this year and highly recommend as holiday gifts include two about edibles, one in my own area of specialization, one about color and design, and a regional guide I wouldn’t be without.

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Cover Photo

When the current issue of The American Gardener from the American Horticultural Society arrived I immediately read about my friend Neil Diboll of Prairie Nursery fame and saw the You Tube interview.  And then a nice story by Duncan Brine about naturalistic gardening.  With apologies to fellow GG Wild blogger Debra Lee Baldwin, I did not pay much attention to the succulent feature on Stonecrops.

The American Gardener cover

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Hardy Succulents in California

I have been unexpectedly ambivalent about telling California gardeners about the Hardy Succulents book I co-authored with Gwen Kelaidis (Storey 2008).   The reason I have been cautious about promoting the book in my home state is because for most people a hardy succulent is a small plant such as this Houseleek, Sempervivum ‘Faramir’ on the cover of the book.

hardy_succulent_faramir Continue Reading →

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