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Roadside Aloe Pitstop

by germinatrix | January 29th, 2010

I was driving to a meeting yesterday, and I saw the vibrant orange by the side of the road – well, I HAD to screech to a halt!

can you believe this happens at the side of the road?

can you believe this happens at the side of the road?

Don’t worry, I pulled over and parked … after the driver in back of me nicely pointed me to the curb with his middle finger…

These flowers are nearing the end of their cycle, but they are still so fantastic and dramatic and beautiful! And really, the flowers are just a bonus when you have these incredible spidery succulent forms! This is Aloe arborescens, and we in Central and Southern CA are so lucky to have it growing all over the place – it’s practically a freeway plant!

the aeoniums blooming at the same time as the aloes! HOT!

the aeoniums blooming at the same time as the aloes! HOT!

Some smart gardener choreographed this combination that blooms simultaneously, but also looks fantastic when not in flower. This is a SUPER smart hellstrip planting – aeoniums and aloes need next to no water or care and will always look great. Check out the black Mexican river pebbles as groundcover … my pebbles of choice these days! Don’t be surprised if I scrape up all of my pea gravel and replace it all with different sizes of black and purple and red Mexican pebbles. It’s my latest obsession…

it looks like a burst of fireworks doesn't it? the purple tip KILLS me!

it looks like a burst of fireworks doesn't it? the purple tips KILL me!

Aloe arborescens is a parent of  a few of my favorite aloes – it gives alot of strength to hybrids, so when you see a blazing, deep orange flower adorning an aloe, you can pretty much be sure you’ll have a vigorous winner on your hands that is related to this tough denizen of scrappy roadsides and incredible gardens alike.

Tomorrow is HUNTINGTON DAY!!! You will all probably be able to hear me squealing with delight and awe, wherever you are!

4 Responses to “Roadside Aloe Pitstop”

  1. Germi,
    I think you shouldn’t be allowed to drive during Aloe season.

    Though I certainly shouldn’t be allowed to drive either — I did the same thing once (for flowering banana trees in central OHIO) IN DRIVERS ED. The person teaching me to drive said: “Um… we’re in the middle of a block. There is no stop sign or anything.” to which I replied “Those are BANANAS! Flowering! HERE!” and got out of the car to admire them and knock on the door of the person they belonged to.

  2. I just can’t get enough of the Aloe arborescens in bloom. The aeoniums are the icing on the cake. Gorgeous pics!!!!

  3. LOVE THESE PICTURES! Thank you, they were just what my grey Portland day needed.

  4. Joseph, I totally agree. During aloe bloom time I need to hire a driver.
    I LOVE the image of you pulling over your DRIVER’S ED car to have a horticultural freak-out! You are so totally my kind of garden maniac!

    Oh, Megan – this is NOTHING! Wait until I post the Huntington pics! But I do have to say this combination is perfect, isn’t it? from now on am using it in designs and crediting this house with inspiration.

    Loree! I am going to knock your socks off in a minute. Get ready! You are going to plan your next trip to LA to coincide with the Huntington Aloe Bloom! XO!

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