Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Vignette, the Podocarpus show

If the non-conifer-like foliage of Podocarpus matudae didn't already have me under its spell, then the way the new foliage unfurls would pull me in for sure.

It's a two-fer for my Wednesday Vignette, because I couldn't decide which photo to use...

Weather Diary, May 23: Hi 84, Low 52/ Precip 0

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

2017 Rare Plant Research outing, with the Outlaw

I've been making the annual, late May, trip to Rare Plant Research since before I started writing this blog. I think my first outing was in 2006, if not then, than definitely 2007. There are years I've gone by myself, with my former partners, with out of town friends, and with my husband. This year I had the pleasure of attending with Peter...The Outlaw Gardener.

He stopped to look at some containers and I wandered into the first greenhouse. It would be quite sometime before we'd see each other again.

Last year those bright rusty-red plants were a hit with me, and most everyone I know. Of course I bought one, even though it wasn't yet rooted. Research after the fact told me it was probably Ananus lucidus or Ananas lucidus 'Lava Burst'. Mine finally met the yard waste bin in late August (never did root), still, I carried one of these around for awhile before realizing I really didn't need to buy it again.

Aechmea odorata, which I have — bought here several years back. Mine isn't looking this dreamy however.

Tempted by all the lovely Aeonium...

But I managed to walk away.

As I probably say every year, eavesdropping is great fun at this event. I smiled as I heard a pair of older ladies exclaim "what lovely daylilies those are" (!) as they fondled some fancy-pants Hippeastrum. I ducked to the side as a fellow carried out one of these humongous Dasylirion, saying "Danger! Spikes! Danger! I've been spiked already...don't let it happen to you!".... hehehe, you're calling my name!

Who knew Agaves come in so many colors?

Or as Peter said..."stressed much?"

The ones in gallon-sized pots seemed much happier.

Scadoxus puniceus, tempted — but I've been there, done that.

Aloes and Daylilies... (yes, that's an attempt at humor).

Every year I take a dreamy (to me) photo of the Watsonia, every year I resist the temptation to buy.

Baby Tetrapanax are so cute.

Ditto for baby Yucca rostrata.

I zoomed in and swooned over these. Then remembered that I'd done the same a couple of years ago. When I mentioned that to Peter he nodded and agreed, guess they really should be mine (price dammit!).

So shopping-wise I started to focus on the Bromeliads.

I've got a project I'm working on and wanted a couple more.

Or a couple dozen, really...

Evidently Peter had been doing the same. I'd walked by, and admired, this haul not knowing it was his. There's nearly a dozen Bromeliads there! Plus a trio of custom containers.

Here's my modest haul, just five plants! There will be close-ups at the end of this post...

But first, as tradition holds, we had to visit the house and it's gardens — just a shot walk up from the nursery proper.

It's amazing the things you can do when you've got a whole nursery of plants at your disposal.

Furcraea, I've given up trying to keep them happy — but that doesn't stop me from lusting after them.

This photo was supposed to be all about those amazing spikes on the right, but that darn dragon snuck into frame.

Pond, dragon, rocks, house...

And blooming water lilies! I'm not sure how he pulled this off, since it's been so cold here.

This was how the back of my car looked after a couple additional nursery stops on the way home. Funny almost everything I see doesn't belong to me! The Polystichum setiferum (Alaska fern) and Sarracenia, in the lower right-hand corner are all I see that's mine...

But back to my RPR haul. Aloe aristata

Mis-marked Agave (I won't tell you what it was being sold as), but I believe it's Agave 'Baccarat' or Agave montana 'Baccarat'.

And the Bromeliads, I bought three. These two tall ones...

And this short, but sort of crawling along, one. They were so cheap!

Weather Diary, May 22: Hi 91, Low 56/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Monday, May 22, 2017

In a Vase on Monday; frothy!

It all started with the tulips. Their vibrant wine color stood out against the common red, white, purple and yellow blooms in the grocery store display — of course they had to come home with me. I gave them the standard tulip treatment (plopped them in a nice vase, alone) but their dramatic color wasn't as rich without contrast, they obviously needed some garden accompaniment.

I'd been meaning to try a cut stem of Podophyllum peltatum, to see how they'd do in a vase. I definitely can spare a couple from the garden...

The Euphorbia amygdaloides var. Robbiae blooms are just about done, so I cut a couple of those too.

Then I remembered Denise's Bloomday comment about the "ground huggers with cumulus bloom displays" and thought I'd add a little "froth" with flowers from Saxifraga umbrosa 'Variegata'.

And since the rain was weighing down the Lupinus albifrons blooms I cut a couple of those too.

Wanting a bit more in the blue/purple range the Ajuga reptans 'Black Scallop' was turned to, once again.

Add a few sprigs of Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' and my hands were full.

For a container I decided to take down the Point Pot that had been hanging in the corner of our bedroom since I wrote about back it in February...

After all it's time to be taking that baby outside!

Since there's a drainage hole in the bottom (which is a very good thing) I tucked a tumbler inside to hold water. And yes a bit of soil is still in there too, it holds the glass in place nicely and since it's going to be planted up outdoors, I figured why not leave it?

The completed frothy mess went on the dining table.

Does "frothy mess" sound like I don't like it? Well I'm still not sure.

I love the tulips, and they do look better with the other flowers than they did on their own.

But, it's not really "me"...

Still, it's always fun to put something together, and they can't all be fav's! Visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for more Monday vases...

Weather Diary, May 21: Hi 83, Low 52/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Agave Report May 2017, back garden

Yesterday we looked at the front garden Agaves, today we move to the back garden — photos from November 2016, interspersed photos from April 2016. Henceforth referred to as "then" and "now". We start with Agave weberi although some might take issue with that name I do believe it to be valid. Then...

And now. It did get moved (through great heroic effort by my husband) into the unheated garage during the worst of it. Those pups you see in the tanks on either side were in the basement for pretty much all of winter. They're now being rehomed to friends and planted out around the garden.

Agave bracteosa then...

And now...

And another, then...which I neglected to take a new photo of, but it is still alive and looking pretty much the same.

Here's one of the areas I refer to as an Agave burial mound, then...

There are so many Agaves crammed in here that I've lost track of what they all are, mostly because I never knew in he first place (still then)...


Looking closer...this one was bought as Agave 'Baccarat' (then)...

And now...

I believe the big guy is Agave neomexicana, then...


Pups around it, now...


Another A. neomexicana (then)...


I've lost track of the ID on this one, if I ever knew it. It's just as well because it's now DEAD.

A couple more "now" photos from this same area. Agave striata...

And a sweet Opuntia polyacantha that took winter in stride...

This planting is next to the patio stairs, photo "then"...

And now...

All in all not bad, eh?

The worst thing that happened to the large Agave bracteosa (now)...

Is a wound inflected by its neighbor.

These guys all look pretty darn good (now)...

Agave 'Mateo' and an A. striata (then).

Another "then"...

And now.

A. striata (then)

And now — I think I'll be pulling this one, I just haven't gotten around to it it fell over and has since been removed.

I neglected to take an updated photo for this area. Pictured "then" left to right: Agave gentryi 'Jaws', a tiny barely visible A. parryi 'J.C. Raulston' pup as well as a couple of A. gracilipes you can't see at all, Agave striata, and on the far right either A. neomexicana or havardiana. If you were to see it now the A. gentryi 'Jaws' is gone, the A. parryi 'J.C. Raulston' pup is barely hanging on, the A. gracilipes are gone. Thankfully the Agave striata and A. neomexicana or havardiana are fine.

The A. 'Sharkskin' in a container, then. The A. victoriae-reginae on the far left was moved to the shade pavilion greenhouse before winter.

Now — this guy would have spent winter in place, with a cover. But since we could, we moved him into the unheated garage.

Mr. Big (Agave americana 'Variegata'), at the back, as well as the Dyckia, went into the "greenhouse" for winter. The A. ovatifolia wintered in place with cover (then)..


I am thrilled this guy looks this good. There was a moment, sometime in March I think, when I took his cover off and could see a strange yellow at the base of the leaves. Something I'd never seen before. Naturally I feared the worse, even though the arms felt solid. Turns out it was becasue the leaves (arms) had shrunk from lack of water.

Ha! Not a problem now that its cover has been off for a month.

Agave parryi var. couesii, the metal band is open at the bottom...(then)

And now...

And A. bracteosa, also with an open bottom, then...

And now...

So that concludes my Agave report, for spring 2017. I am both pleased that so many things are still alive, saddened that so many things are scarred, and a little worried about what the future holds. If record rainfall stops, and we have a hot summer, I think everything will be fine. If we have a no-show summer, well...who knows. Do I regret planting any of these? Hell no! I'd do it all again. In fact I've already started planting replacements. Carefully chosen ones of course...danger garden baby!

Weather Diary, May 18: Hi 71, Low 43/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.