Joyce's Diary - Oct 2007
The Mesembs certainly made up for their late start with their flowering. Flowers that in other years would have been spread over July, August, September and October nearly all appeared together in October. I visited the greenhouse late on the warm afternoons to be greeted by hundreds of flowers, some so large that the plants underneath were completely hidden. Although there are still many flowers to be seen the peak has been passed and most are now ready to enter their winter sleep. One pleasing thing this year, which may or may not have had anything to do with the late flowering season, was the almost complete absence of the dreaded Western Flower Thrips.
Most of the cacti and succulents that have enjoyed the winter out of doors in my garden have now returned under cover. This was not achieved without quite a struggle. After such a wet summer they had all put on a lot of growth. Aloe plicatilis is looking particularly good with two thick flower stems almost ready to open their flowers. Aloe haemanthifolia is still outside and will only come in when frost is likely. The Echevaria and Aeonium are also looking plump and healthy with the autumn flowering Echevaria in bud or flower. I love the dark red flowers of Echevaria affinis and black prince.
Most of the cacti are more or less dormant. One exception is Mammillaria plumosa which has recently come into flower. The flowers would not be worth noticing in the summer when there are so many brighter flowers to be seen but at this time of year even its pale creamy yellow flowers are very welcome.
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