I don't know where the time goes, but it looks like spring is upon us based on the roses starting to bud and the wisteria that is showing color. I have been wrapped up in various house projects that have kept me busy but I need to take a minute to reflect on some late winter blooming succulents that are unique to our climate. The long goose neck blooms like the one above are showing up all over the place in the winter in Southern California and to visitors they do look like quite a curiosity. They are the blooms of the Agave attenuata, a very common plant in our landscapes. It takes about five or more years for the plant to bloom like this and then it will die, but by then there are usually many pups formed at the base ready to take over. This one is in my street-side garden and is putting on quite the show. Originally from Mexico, you can see where they get their common name, Fox Tail Agave!
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a plant that I usually buy in pots for the colorful blooms in the fall and I use for indoor decorating, but my garden helper loves to propagate them because they are so easy. As a result I have tons of them all over the gardens (often to my dismay)! They are not much to look when not in bloom, but this time of year they put on a big show of color. I just found out their common name is Flaming Katy! I kind of like them a little better now!
Also in the Kalanchoe family is this plant, whose name I'm not sure of, some big lanky cousin of the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana that is tucked back in a corner of the Moonlight Garden. Very charming little flowers I think!