Wednesday Vignette – bright spots


This is not something I see often – a blooming aloe. I think it’s happened only once before, and that one was of a different variety and so long ago, that my shady garden wasn’t quite as grown up yet. This one was acquired about four years ago. It kindly put out a little growth each summer, and spent winters languishing in my not so favorable indoor conditions. A bit like that dance – two steps forward, and one back. Still, it survived.

This spring, it got to move to my community garden plot. Before long, there were buds. Several buds. I can finally say I know what it looks like in bloom. Not sure which Aloe this is – if anyone knows, I would love an ID. Anyway, it’s happily strutting its stuff in its pot, which is where it will stay. (It’s not really hardy here in Zone 8.)

What happened to my mostly blue/yellow/white/silver planting plot, you may wonder…?Well, it’s still there, but quickly became a holding tank of sorts, for rescues and all kinds of plants in need of homes. So, when offered to take over another plot in the same community garden, I of course accepted. The new one will be mostly all hot colors; reds, oranges, and the occasional pinks, along with splurges of dark foliage plants like Canna australis, Hibiscus, and ‘Oakhurst’ Eucomis. A lot will be transferred over from the other plot as well. All this to say that I’m spending free time having fun playing with plants, and coming up with fun combos in all my new space. (The sudden abundance feels quite luxurious, to be honest. Once the migration is completed, the cool feel of the first plot will be mostly restored to its original intention.) The red stems you can see in the background represent another plant which languished in my home garden; Euphorbia ‘Dixter’. Kind of leggy – as one might expect, having been yanked out of its previously dark existence.  I have a feeling by next year, it will look like it’s supposed to. More to come…

These little joys are what keeps me going. I hope you all have someplace to lose yourself in, where you can create and contrast and play with the beauty that has the power to safeguard you from the many horrors presented by the various news cycles. Where you can restore and recharge so you can head back out, feet planted firmly on the ground, to face the world – come what may – with a Bring-It-On attitude. Be well, friends. 82 days left…

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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20 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – bright spots

  1. Congrats on the blooms! Do you have a photo of the leaves? That might give me a better guess as to which aloe it is.

    Oh and thanks for the comment last week on my dg “upcycle and plant” page! I went and got inspired and made something to put up there for sale. It’s my WV this week…

  2. Tina says:

    I like aloe and grew up with it, but I’ve never grown it; I wouldn’t even try now as shade is boss. I do enjoy seeing it though, when it’s blooming around town.

    Today, I extracted about 2 gallons of honey and bottled it, so that kept me occupied and positive, if not a little grumpy at times–it’s a lot of work!! I woke up pleased with the new VP choice and now, I’ve got honey to celebrate with!

    • annamadeit says:

      Nice! Well done! Yes, I hear bees are a lot of work. When my dad and his wife harvest the honey, it’s a big deal. This year, I think he said they got something like 80 kilos. Can’t even imagine…. And yes, to celebrating. I think she’ll be great!

  3. krispeterson100 says:

    Congratulations! Even here, I get excited when an aloe blooms. I’m not an aloe expert and you haven’t shown much of the foliage but the flower made me think of Aloe ‘Safari Rose’. I entirely agree on the need to find something (or even better, multiple somethings) to immerse yourself in as the atmosphere is certainly fraught with tension right now.

    • annamadeit says:

      Amen to that… I crave that single focus on something captivating, and yet, I can’t stop taking in the news. Did well today, though. I just now came inside. Assembled a bamboo stand for my Countdown Calendar. That flimsy plant support wasn’t even adequate for holding paper up properly – LOL! Looks better now. And, only 81 days to go – hang in there, Kris!

      Loree thinks it’s Aloe cooperi. I’ll have to compare that, and ‘Safari Rose’.

  4. hb says:

    A photo of the leaves would help. Lots of Aloes have very similar foliage.

    I’ve been feeling extremely low because of the news lately (again) but besides the garden and its healing powers have found great comfort and strength in the final essay of John Lewis that was published in the NYT. Give it a read or re-read. It helps.

    • annamadeit says:

      I have had two suggestions of A. cooperi, so that might very well be it.

      Wasn’t that last word just beautiful? And how tricky of him to set it up for publication on the day of his funeral… that takes a very special person. I listened to it several times, as read by his friend Morgan Freeman. You are right – it was both comforting and hope-inspiring.

      Another thing that helped me (besides the garden, of course) was making that Countdown Calendar (from last week). The process of picking my words, and figuring out how to make it work was oddly satisfying. Hang in there – this too shall pass.

  5. Congrats on the Aloe. My garden still works well as a personal refuge. I even kind of like hand watering some newish shrubs and perennials in this very dry August we are having. Bought 2 2-gallon watering cans for the purpose.

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