At the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center. Mood: real darn happy.
Just an excellent SoCal winter weekend. The weather was fine, there were lots of birds and beautiful aloes and agaves everywhere I looked, and I found cool plants at at the Discovery Center's Granite Hill Nursery. Even made a cool plant trade, yay.
Saturday morning was the annual Aloe Walk at the JMDC, led by succulent master Buck Hemenway. (We actually spent more time with cactus and agaves than with aloes. A good group — Riverside Master Gardeners were there in force, taking lots of notes.) Buck and Yvonne Hemenway are in the process of moving to South Africa, and both were impressively bright-eyed on Saturday morning given the fact that they'd flown back from Africa on Friday. They've been very active (read "irreplaceable") in the local cactus and succulent societies for years, and it's a huge understatement to say they'll be missed.
Some photos from the walk:
Aloe wickensii, now high on the want list.
Horrida? Lophantha? Tons of lophanthas nearby.
The grail...! Aloe marlothii. I have one of my own now, yay.
There were agaves blooming everywhere.
Cochineal. You could do a total Lady Macbeth with this stuff, as Buck demonstrated.
Marah fabaceus, the California Manroot. Vine grows from a single taproot "as big as a man," or so they say.
This variegated Agave shawii just knocked me out. Traded for one the next day — a nice surprise.
Nutritious and delicious.
California's own: Agave shawii.
So beautiful. I got a little one at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden last year — still tiny.
My spoils. (Not shown: Mangave 'Bloodspot.' Such a wonderful day.) The lophantha and the titanota are for actual landscaping in my tiny yard, since I know they won't get too huge. The guiengolas are for the kitchen window. Kidding! They'll stay in containers and get humongous and need all kinds of protection from frost, not to mention snow, but I've always wanted a guiengola and when I saw the two of them sitting in the nursery, it felt like fate. $4.95...!