Wednesday 31 May 2017

The flower update.

I have been keeping a close eye on the aloe polyphylla flower as it develops.

It took over 6 weeks to get to that size and the growth was really slow. Then we finally got a bit of warmth and that made a big difference. 

 Over the course of a long weekend it grew, coloured up and the individual flowers started to open.

It makes going and coming back from work each day interesting as thre is noticable change.

There are a few other aloes in flower in the garden, the usual A. aristata, and a hybrid A. aristata x A. variegata. The A. striatula are a little behind ssome so there should be overlap there. Plus my variegated clump of A. saponaria. 

I am going to leave polination to the bees, they love the aloe flowers and have got used to landing on them.  Strangely we don't seem to have any honey bees, it is worrying.  We do however have lots of bumble bees.  They have been very persistent working out how to get into the aloe and echeveria flowers. It's funny to watch them fighting their way in.

They actually have quite a few flowers to choose from at the momet, the succulent rockeries are putting on quite a show. Some are subtle, other not so much.

The purple is still not going down well with either the OH or the bees.  This is its third year in flower and still the bees don't go near it.  The very occasional one will land on a flower and then mover straight on.  The litte white dianthus on the other hand they spend ages on each flower and then move onto the next. 

The echeveria elegans river of flowers was better than ever.  In the evening the sun shines through them. I've been trying to get a photo, this is as good as I've managed so far. It still doesn't do it justice.

It seems the bees have got so used to succulent flowers they are confused when faced with anything else.  It seems Lilly flowers are just bad taste.

So are the Star of Bethlehem flowers. I love them, they really glow, but the bees don't seem to agree.

The plants are expensive in the UK, but I realised the bulbs are a fraction of the price.  So come autumn I will be planting a lot of these throughout the garden. They are currently part of the new bed, which is coming along.  There have been a few succulent purchases as the style developes. Hopefully we'll have a post on the new plants soon.


  1. Wow! That Aloe polyphylla flower is fabulous. Is it normal for them to be on such a short stalk?

    1. I have noticed that the stalk only seems to grow when it is hot, while the flower heads develope no matter what the temperature. So I think it is because it has not been that warm until the last week.

  2. Polyphylla in bloom: I can only sigh with envy.

    I like the intense pink against the blue wall. Bees ignore ice plant flowers here as well. They go mad for Mediterranean herbs-Dorycnium, Sideritis, Lavender, and of course Aloes and Agaves.

    1. Thank you. Funny that bees both sides of the atlantic don't like ice plants.