I used to hate succulents and cacti when I was a kid.
What was I thinking?
I was too young and inexperienced in the garden to appreciate the sculptural beauty of these gems.
"Pretty" back then meant "flowers," but today I'm awed by the form, texture and color of succulents, even when they are not in flower.
I use succulents in planters and place them in areas where I can appreciate them close up and show them off to other people as my "living art."
Take a peek at the beauties I saw at the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena recently.
I was there on the day after Thanksgiving, "Black Friday" and have never seen so many people in line to visit a garden!
I called it my "Green Friday" and I was in great company!
No, they were not giving anything away at the Huntington Gardens on Black Friday-only beauty!
Aloe striata "coral aloe" will flower annually. The leaves grow from the center and eventually "fill out" the plant.
Aeonium pseudotabuliforme, lime green and sublime.
Testudinaria elephantipes, ("elephant's foot") The silver leaves look like a string of glass beads growing out of a giant wood carving!
Aloe parvibracteata ready to flower!
Aloe suffulta- I love the markings on the strappy leaves
Echinocactus grusonii "golden barrel cacti" hold back the brigade of "wooly torch," (Cleistocactus strausii).
This reminds me of what I saw under the microscope in biology lab.
Opuntia with ruby fruit.
You can eat the fruit and also the "paddles" make a delicious low calorie "nopalito salad."
Agave americana "Variegata" is the grand dame of the succulent garden with leaves that grow up to 5 feet long!
Once the agave puts out a flower on a 6 to 25 foot stem, the Agave begins to decline.
The good news is that it takes about 20 or 30 years for the agave to flower so this plants will be around for a while.
Curious about cacti and succulents?
How to Propagate a Kalanchoe Plant by Cuttings
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