Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 2011 Bloom Day - Hellebores and Aloes

Two plants that seem totally different in my mind always bloom together this time of year. The Hellebores are blooming shyly in the shade while the Aloes extend their flashy orange blooms like flags in the bright sun.

My hybrid Helleborus x sternii shows variation between the 3 or so plants I have. Two have tall pink-flushed flowers, while one is compact with solid green flowers, showing the H. argutifolius parentage. I like them both. The small green is the H. argutifolius I've always wanted - small and well-behaved with bright green blooms.

helleborus x sternii blooming

helleborus x sternii bloomshelleborus x sternii tops of bloomshelleborus x sternii greener flowershelleborus argutifolius

My Aloe marlothii looks like it is blocking most of the path on the way into the house but it is just the angle I took the photo at, although it has snagged a few people that stray too close. I probably should have planted it further back into the bed. Oh well, I'm not moving that thing now!

aloe marlothii

aloe marlothii budsaloe vanbalenii bloomingaloe vanbalenii flowersaloe vanbalenii spikes

I love the green stripes in the Aloe vanbalenii flower tips. The color combination reminds me of striped fabric used on beach tents. I'd love to have some chairs upholstered in that color combo too.

And the buds of the Aloe greatheadii davyana are so elegant with their elongated sepals. The Aloe plicatilis buds are elegant and simple too, not as flashy as other Aloes.

aloe greatheadii davyanaaloe plicatilis

The California native Ribes sanguineum glutinosum is also blooming right now. It has grown all the way up to my son's second floor bedroom window. He can sit and watch the hummers sip from the blooms (not that he ever sits still) but he does consider the hummingbirds his personal friends. He must see them as kindred spirits.

ribes sanguineum glutinosumribes window

Check out what is going on in other people's gardens this month at May Dreams Gardens!


  1. What a wonderful glimpse of your home, and such great detail on some choice aloes in bloom. Don't you dare even think of moving that marlothii! Love the mixed hellebores. It's true, kids under 6 have the same metabolism as hummers.

  2. Your aloes are absolutely stunning, and I love the pink-flushed flowers of the taller Helleborus x sternii.

  3. Aloe blooms are among my favorites, and that Aloe marlothii is striking! Lots of stunning hellebores, though my island is way to dry for those.

  4. Wow - your Aloe marlothii is huuuuge! Superbeautiful pics as usual. Love the Ribes!

  5. Really jealous of the Aloes - very lovely. Most of mine got spanked by our extended freeze.

  6. aloha

    wow, i'm totally loving the aloes especially marlothii - its exotic and works so well with your hacienda....beautiful!

  7. Love it all! The pale green hellebore next to maroon foliage; the fiery blooms of the aloes with beach tent stripes; the hummingbird favorite screening a bedroom window. Beautiful photography.

  8. All of your Aloes, but especially the Aloe marlothii have me dreaming of being a Californian...yet again.

  9. I think it would be kind of great to intentionally block the front door totally with aloes and agaves...as long as there was some secret back door the rest of the world didn't need to know about.

    Is that bad??

  10. Chuck - I'm waiting for the opportunity to design my Secret Garden. In the book, I always liked the garden more when it was hidden and overgrown. It didn't seem as interesting after it got all cleaned up.

  11. Absolutely fantastic garden photos. Pleasure to go through them.

    Goldenray Yorkies

  12. I am green with envy over those aloes.

  13. Lovely plants. I love the entrance to your house, so different to anything we have here.

  14. Whoa, that Aloe marlothii is wicked!


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