Tag Archives | succulent plants

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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Succulents That Like Stress

If there’s a good thing about our too-hot Southern California summers, it’s that heat makes certain succulents turn color. A case in point is Aloe nobilis, which in my garden grows in nutrient-poor decomposed granite with minimal water. Continue Reading →

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Garden Designers Roundtable: The Suggestion of Water


These vignettes suggest water—flowing, tumbling, cascading, splashing or dripping water—yet there is none. Each illustrates the ingenuity of a garden designer in the dry, hot Southwest, where water is scarce. Yet the same concept, of creating the look of water, might apply to any garden. Continue Reading →

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How to Fluff Your Succulents

In 5 minutes, you can transform an overgrown succulent bowl like this…

into a tidy composition like this, using the same plants!

Continue Reading →

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2011 Calendar Adventure

Saxon’s recent post, showing gorgeous December photos from his past calendars, has inspired me to share with you the images from my first-ever calendar along with info you might find useful should you want to create one yourself. It’s easy to do through Cafe Press or Zazzle, online sources for note cards, coffee mugs, T-shirts and other customizable items—even postage stamps.  Continue Reading →

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