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Something About Aloes

Articles: Something About Aloes

Stacy Peralta’s front yard at his seaside cottage in Cayucos is home to his aloe collection along with other resilient and colorful succulents. Photo: Mary Dodder McCorkle

The first time Stacy Peralta saw the unusual tree his reaction was visceral: “I thought it was a dinosaur plant. It captured my imagination because it was so beautiful and haunting.” That Aloe barberae (syn. Aloe bainesii) led to a lifelong passion. Today his Cayucos, California, front yard teems with so much variety and color that he and his visitors feel as though they’re walking into a painting that’s always changing.

Peralta, the Emmy-winning documentary producer/director of “Dogtown and Z-Boys” fame, discovered his interest in plants in the 1970s, and seriously began collecting about 25 years ago. He moved most of his aloe collection from his former Santa Monica home to his seaside cottage in 2008 and continues to add to it, sourcing new varieties throughout California and Arizona.

The modest size of Peralta’s front garden belies the fact that he has packed in more than 100 species of Aloe, from miniatures on up to trees. Plants...


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