Monday clippings 6/22/15

It’s almost the end of the month, a good time to unpack some random June impressions.

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Dustin’s potted Aloe ‘Johnson’s Hybrid,’ the mother of my little one I mentioned recently. See how spectacular? Blooms nearly year-round, and Dustin says it’s much better than the similar ‘Grassy Lassie’ and especially fine for container culture.

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Detail of my favorite CMU (concrete masonry unit) hack so far, a little bench set amidst CMU stacked planters at a local Thai restaurant. I need to go back for a thorough examination so I can get started on my unapologetic theft of this brilliant idea.

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Massed succulents around town are at their peak of beauty before the really hot days of summer begin in July. Aloe brevifolia perhaps

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Kiwi aeonium, aloes and echeverias

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Agaves as front porch sentries

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massed Queen Victoria agaves at Orange Coast College

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Tree aloe, Aloidendron barberae, at Orange Coast College

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Euphorbias tirucalli and ammak vying for supremacy. Orange Coast College

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A tiny glimpse of Joe Clements’ work at Claremont College. I need to return and take a much longer look around.

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Possibly Agave ‘Cream Spike,’ with opuntia, also seen at Claremont College

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Cotyledon orbiculata is in bloom everywhere.

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Everywhere except my garden, that is. Clumps are still too small.

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A sweet variegated ferocactus seen on a recent garden tour.

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And just a couple photos from a 100-degree visit to the elegant Rancho Reubidoux Saturday. The stacked pots on the far left are new, most enviable acquisitions. I had just streamed a documentary on the Catalan architect Gaudi the night before my visit and couldn’t help seeing his organic forms in a lot of Reuben’s impressive pottery. All containers are stone and cement, which has the effect of draining the garden of random colors, clarifying line, shape and form. Everything has been pared down, simplified, classicized, if that’s even a word, and is emphatically serene and spacious. Fresh adventures always beckon Reuben and Paul.

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The heat and strong light frustrated documentation attempts, so we mostly hung out here under the deep, shady overhang. Reuben and Paul’s buddy, cactus purveyor Rob MacGregor, regaled us with talk of spiking barrel cactus with hot nails to spur growth of multiple heads. Marty can’t wait to try this on mine. (No way!) And I was able to bring home one of Vicki Perez’s creations, a planted tractor funnel, so it was an altogether fine day in the inland inferno.

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For an older look, I had forgotten all about this video Mitch made of the Rancho several years ago until Reuben mentioned it yesterday. (Reuben, persuading the paletas vendor to loan you his popsicle cart for the day further confirms your devilishly detailed genius. The lime paleta was divine!)

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And don’t forget the big CSSA show is this week, June 26-28, 2015, at the Huntington. Rob says he’ll be giving a lecture there, which hopefully will include more fiendish ways to propagate succulents.

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11 Responses to Monday clippings 6/22/15


    Where on the Claremont campus are the best succulent plantings? Just for future reference.

    I’m so envious you got to go the Rancho Reubidoux open house. For an insane moment, I was toying with the idea of going, but it would have been 6+ hours each way. But I hope to visit in the fall.

  2. Reuben Munoz says:

    Denise, thanks for posting these lovely photos of our Rancho in the hot sun! Not surprisingly, most of our visitors arrived between the 9am opening and noon: The “cooler” part of the day. I was glad my popsicle cart idea panned out, since the idea was met by suspicion by the first paleteros I called. Happily, I finally found one on Friday; phew! I loved seeing you roaming the grounds, looking for all the world like a very chic urban photog.

  3. Alan @ It's Not Work, It's Gardening! says:

    Any post with tree Aloes in it gets a big thumbs up from me (something I’ll never see in my garden I think), but that photo of Euphorbia tirucalli… I didn’t know they could get so huge! So wonderful — please go back and take lots more photos, as I need to see more! 🙂

  4. Alan @ It's Not Work, It's Gardening! says:

    And I finally figured out why I can’t post comments: if I fill in “Website” it doesn’t work.

  5. Denise says:

    @Gerhard, this was Pitzer College at Claremont, where CSSA had their convention last week. I get a lot of those insane moments too. I’d love to go to Bainbridge Island’s Open Days this weekend!
    @Reuben, I like your photo much better. I wish I could have arrived earlier, to meet Luisa, and stayed later for dinner!
    @Alan, I hope I can get back to several of these places for more photos. And I have no idea what’s going on with WordPress and leaving comments — glad you figured it out.

  6. hooov says:

    You know how to have a good time!

    Don’t remember any of that at OCC when I went there–calculus and something else. I only remember sad looking lawns. Must go have a look.

  7. Denise says:

    Gail, there are only so many Junes! The new director of hort. is on fire, doing a great job. Teaches a Cactus & Succ landscape design class. The school offers a 2-yr hort cert. Not many of those kind of programs around still.

  8. Oh that video! How did I miss it the first time? So thankful for any documentation of RR! Now yes, go back and take more photos of that CMU bench/planter. I await your idea stealing (and improving) so that I can then steal from you!

  9. Kris P says:

    I wonder if fearsome agave sentries really do scare off intruders? I was happy to see the beautiful ‘Johnson’s Hybrid’ Aloe as I planted one earlier this year – like yours, mine’s small, but I have great aspirations for it after seeing Dustin’s. The video was fantastic, as are your own shots of Rancho Reubidoux.

  10. Luisa says:

    ‘Cream Spike’ and the opuntia with the rocks: just perfect. The photos and video of the Rancho are terrific, and inspirational, as in, they kick my gardening mind into a higher gear. Sorry I missed you!

  11. Denise says:

    @Loree, I need to dip into my archives more. Sometimes it scares me! But that little video is gold.
    @Kris, my JH aloe is rapidly forming more flower buds. Maybe it just likes richer digs in a pot.
    @Luisa, it seems I missed you by minutes! Everybody seemed to have the sense to go early, when it was cooler. Traffic really slowed me down unfortunately.

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