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I bought a small 4″ aloe a couple of weeks ago, just to fill an empty pot on my back patio. This particular aloe stood out for its coloring and unique appearance. Named, Pickled Pink, it has distinctive pink edging on the fleshy leaves and a mottled appearance which suggests pickling. This aloe is small yet beautiful, but what it is currently doing is the most rewarding surprise of all! The wee Pickled Pink aloe is sending out a future bloom shoot which has now surpassed the plant’s own height at least thrice over and I am tickled pink by this Pickled Pink! Yes, that little beauty has a bloom shooting up nearly four times higher than the mother plant.


Now, for a gardener, there is nothing quite as exciting as a plant thriving and developing from the original version we purchased or found! It’s the developmental stages of a plant, meeting and exceeding expectations as well as hopes which give a gardener and plant collector like me unbridled joy! Since this little aloe seemed to jump out at me with such unique beauty and a catchy name, from a rack of numerous cacti and succulents, purchasing it was inevitable. But I never had any expectation for such a rapid developmental change like this! I await the bloom now, as many aloes have utterly spectacular and colorful flowers on the inflorescence they produce. Some are known and named for their blooming habits or those magnificent flower stalks produced normally in Spring, a bit earlier than this, the first days of June! So, my surprise at it producing a bloom after my purchase is surpassed only by my expectation as to how the bloom will look! 

If I could, I would probably never limit my plant collection! I am an avid collector and have yet to meet a plant I don’t like! Even weeds in the mind of a gardener are merely unwanted plants. Everything was created for a place and a purpose. Some plants provide food sources for animals and humans, others are medicinal resources for living creatures, and others provide intricate assistance to the overall well-being of the planet as a whole – producing seeds and substances or by replenishing the soil and air with specific essential chemical elements! Plants are important, just as is every other creative matter! And so, my appreciation for plants and for gardening is linked to bringing things to life, to support a natural and intricate ecosystem of my own making, with God’s guiding hand!  

I’m so looking forward to this bloom shoot coming to fruition on this tiny aloe clump of mine! It’s always exciting to see the endless ebb and flow of life in a garden, particularly a desert garden! My appreciation for this purchase is increasing exponentially with each passing day, as it’s developing and changing right before my eyes! There is never any real disappointment in a garden, even when experiencing a loss, for a garden exemplifies the best qualities of God’s amazing creation and design for this world. It is ever-changing, ever-developing and we are ever-learning in turn!