Shortly after I wrote about missing the ability to stop at my favorite nursery “just to poke around” my husband unexpectedly pulled into their parking lot (no he hadn’t read what I had written; I hadn’t even posted it yet!). We were headed elsewhere but he knew a look around the nursery was just what I needed. He’d brought a book and stayed in the car, telling me to take as much time as I wanted (I don’t do anything fast these days). Nice huh? Luckily the nursery has softly sloping ramps and concrete paths; it’s very easy to navigate on crutches. Things were looking pretty empty. There was only one other person outside looking around.
Naturally I stopped at the agave table. I was a little stunned by what I saw; many of their plants were starting to rot. Their agaves are under a roof covered area, the only water that they would have received would have been intentional and surely the nursery staff would know not to water the agaves in the winter! Is it wrong to feel better about my gardening when I see that a nursery is having the same difficulties? Their Agave Sharkskin Shoes looked so bad... Same for the Agave lechuguilla Shin Dagger… (ha! love the name)
The Agave parryi look fabulous though
As do the Agave hartmannii And Agave s. ferox 'Green Goblet'
Their Squid Agaves repeat what I saw at the Kennedy School plantings. Happy and healthy.
And their little Agave toumeyana also looked unfazed. Interesting, this plant in my garden also took the deep freeze in stride. Guess that means I should buy another one right? And look, with this one I get 4 for the price of 1! Sold. There were a few more plants hanging out under cover, but no people. Ever since seeing many amazing Beschorneria at the San Francisco and Berkeley Botanical gardens I’m thinking about adding to my collection of one. This Beschorneria 'Ding Dong' was tempting.Until I saw this one of the same species on the 50% off table. Maybe I don’t need another such temperamental plant?Below is my only Beschorneria, a Beschorneria albiflora. Doing great, but it’s in a pot and was brought in during the severe cold.
Next to the Beschorneria was a Genista aetnensis, this is a new plant to me but one I believe I seen at the AZ-esque landscape that I am obsessed with. I was tempted but figured I would go home and do a little research. Turns out this guy is a zone 9 plant and has irritating little yellow flowers, no thanks. Wow, a little color! And an artistic expired blossom. Back home I decided to go check out my agaves to see how they were doing. The A. toumeyana was looking as good as I remembered. Not so much with the Agave parryi – Parry’s Century Plant, Flagstaff form…the center was looking a little odd. I gave it a little tug. Oops.
Decapitated! This is not a happy ending.
Surprisingly the mushy leaved Agave gentryi 'Jaws’ is firm and solid in the center. Is there hope? Should I cut off the mushy parts? The formerly stellar Agave americana variegata are looking a little sad. Same thing though…I wonder if I should cut off the soggy leaves? Or leave them alone?But the Agave havardiana – Harvard’s Century Plant looks like a champ! And look…babies! The Agave americana I mentioned back on the 8th are back outside, camping under the shade (rain) pavilion with the other potted plants, but not looking any better.
Here is the 3rd in this group, the one that stayed in the garage during the deep freeze, it’s looking just fine. I wonder if there isn’t something to what Megan said about the sudden temperature change being to blame for the difference. Maybe I killed the others with kindness bringing them inside? I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my Agave striata, I tend to forget about it.
That’s not fair treatment for a solid trooper like this. I kept it in a pot for 3 years and just put it in the ground last spring. It’s rewarding me with a baby. And it hasn’t seemed to mind the wet cold, although it looks like I broke a couple of spikes trying to protect plants around it from the freeze. The danger garden agave trials continue! And no more agave talk this week, I promise!