Saturday, March 15, 2008

Aloe colour the difference in habitat vs. the garden. 
The aloe rosettes shades of pink browns and greens are interesting and attractive in the garden. In the habitat those same shades hide the plants. The previous blog shows the aloes in the garden, here are a few of the aloes in habitat.

Aloe microstigma. In the garden this aloe stands out, here it disapears.

Aloe hereroensis ad a very special effect to a garden, but it is not an easy garden plant. Aloe hereroensis does not like to be wet and it needs good drainage. Plant it on stones in the garden in the sun and do not water. The rain, whatever it is will be enough. I know this and I  killed a few.
This way is easier and more successful in the garden. Giving very light but regular watering so that the plant does not go dormant is better than no water and then starting to water at the wrong time.
 The wrong time is -
when the plant is dormant it should be stimulated
first with very little water when the temperature drops. Never water on a hot day (that is true for most plants) Very little water until it shows signs of growing, it can then be watered freely as long as the drainage is good.

Aloe khamiesensis in the same color as the stones! This aloe is also very attractive in the garden but it will be green in colour unless it is watered very little and in full sun. In the habitat the seeds will get stuck under the bushes and the young aloe will grow in shade until it is large enough to face the scorching heat.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The dry hot summer in colorful shades of pink and green. January and February are our hottest months. It was the end of February today and I already noticed for some days that the sun was up later than me. From now on the temperatures will be cooler with just some hot days between. However until the rain starts in six weeks or more, the soil will dry out more.

The very dry aloes are hanging on to their water reserves - waiting not growing. Each season has a distinct attractiveness in the aloe and succulents garden.

Aloe microstigma turned into shades of orange-pink and shows off very pretty in the garden, but on the mountain slopes where they grow, they are near to invisible between rocks and dry bushes.

The leaves are rolled up like narrow spikes. The fine bushes keep the roots cool and the pale green background is a good contrast against the aloes.
Aloe khamiesensis which grows in a very harsh habitat.

One thing I really like about the dry summer - no weeds in summer!