Friday, 30 November 2007

Aloe aristata

This one clump has produced eight flower spikes this year—candy-coloured things shading from red and orange through yellow to green. The spikes in this shot are really still buds—they haven't opened out yet, but I was so taken by the neatness and colour riot of them that I couldn't resist.

Aloe aristata

I've had this one forever, grown from a cutting I got from Mum, from a plant that I think originally belonged to my great-aunt. He's not very fast-growing, but he's extremely hardy (aloes are like that) and he produces absolutely masses of flowers. My main succulent bed looks like a flower show at the moment—I shall have to post a photo of it. He grows in ever-larger rosettes, clumping into mounds as the plant ages. This one is about 15cms tall now, and has been growing for five years. The rosettes are so tightly packed it can be hard to pull off pups for cuttings—I always feel a little bit bad for mutilating that painstakingly grown clump.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'

He flowers a lot, this chap. Masses of small yellow flowers appear in mid Spring through to Summer (he's still budding now).

Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'

I've had this guy for many years, growing happily underneath my lilac bush. He has delicately coloured petals that shade from grey-blue at the centre out to pale purple. He's very leggy, growing on stalks up to 20cms long. As you can see from this photo, he's still sporting the wounds from Canberra's big hail storm last year, which stripped off many of his leaves and badly bruised the rest.

Full sun to part shade, hardy and easy to grow from cuttings. He also lends himself to being standardised—that is, growing long straight bare stalks with leaves at the top.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Echeveria imbricata

These are the flowers this guy produces. Usually the plant will produce three to four flower spikes per full-grown rosette, with the younger rosettes only producing one. He flowers from late Spring through Summer, and the flowers last for weeks.

Echeveria imbricata

This has always been one of my favourites. He's huge, with rosettes up to 30cms across, and he's quite prolific. In good sun he produces masses of pink and yellow flowers and adds one or two baby rosettes a year. Very easy to grow, and hardy enough to put up with shade to full sun. He gets a bit knocked by frost, losing the bottom-most leaves to the cold, but otherwise survives Canberra's weather quite well.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Sedum nussbaumerianum

This guy grows on the edge of a garden bed, where he frequently gets knocked around by passing cats, careless walkers, and the lawnmower. When damaged, he goes into overdrive, covering his naked stalk with masses of miniature purple florets.

Sedum nussbaumerianum

I'm not sure where this guy originally came from—he's probably another one of Ans' plants. He grows in full sun with very little attention, and copes well with frost, although it does knock him back a little. He did very poorly out of the hail storm we had last year, but bounced back with typical aplomb. He produces small white flowers in Spring, which are only just now dying off.

His lovely bone-coloured leaves make him a good point of difference in a mass planting, and he spreads well if given the opportunity. He grows about 10-15cms high, with leaves up to 6cms in length.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Haworthia fasciata

The flower spike this little plant puts off is impressive—nearly 40cms in length and strung with these tiny white, green-throated lily-like flowers.

Haworthia fasciata

I've had this little guy less than six months, and he's already starting to make pups (which is a good thing, because my mother is lusting after one of her very own).

Seems very hardy, growing in full sun with little water. He's only a little guy, though—barely 5cms tall.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Delosperma lehmannii

This is another ancient succulent, lovingly carried from house to house. I distinctly remember this one growing in huge pots at my great-aunt's house—she had quite a collection of succulents, many of which she gave me cuttings of.

This guy has lovely dark grey foliage and forms a dense mat about 8cms high. It grows in full sun and semi-shade, and doesn't suffer from snails (although that might be because there are tastier things growing near it). It handles frost quite well, and unlike some of the fleshier succulents doesn't 'burn' during Winter. When happy, he's plump like this; when he needs watering his leaves get wrinkled like elephant skin.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Sedum rubrotinctum

This is one of the flower heads this plant produces. Interestingly, it doesn't seem to produce flower heads at all unless grown in full sun.

Sedum rubrotinctum

This is one of my oldest succulents, and was probably the first in my collection. I've ferried cuttings of it from six or seven gardens as I've moved from house to house. It's quite prolific here in Canberra, growing easily from cuttings (anything from individual leaves to rooted offshoots). It doesn't seem to mind the frost, and is happy in semi-shade to full sun. In full sun its normally glossy green leaves take on a redder hue as they age. It's a fantastic ground cover, but don't plant it too near edges as it's quite brittle. Grows about 10cms high and spreads as far as you'll let it. In Summer it produces masses of tiny yellow flowers.

My mother has always called it "Lady's Fingers". I think it's one of several cuttings that originally came from my great-aunt Ans in Sydney.