Friday, July 23, 2010

Mr. Ripples, maybe?

Last year I mentioned the fabulous birthday tradition my husband started when we moved to Portland, it involves a crazy (sometimes expensive) shopping trip to Cistus Nursery. Well as you are no doubt very aware I’ve kind of been on a plant shopping binge the last few weeks (months?). So we decided to break with tradition this year.

Now before you go thinking that means no birthday plants just calm down! There was still a birthday plant, an agave that had been on my mind for awhile, it just wasn’t at Cistus. I’ve been infatuated with this huge agave in the indoor display garden at Portland Nursery on Division since I saw it on my first visit back in March. There were a few pups growing around the mama and I really wanted to offer to help them out by digging them up. If I had brought my gloves I just might have.
Fast forward to another visit in June and they had a smaller one for sale. But it was rather shop worn; a little dead around the edges (that's it below, I didn’t get a good shot of the dead leaves, but trust me on that). And it was not cheap at $45 so I left it behind. But I couldn’t get it off my mind!
And that’s what the birthday tradition is all about…a big special plant purchase (like Sammy our Yucca Rostrata and Clifford the big lead Magnolia). So we talked about it and I went back. And I was again struck by how mangled it looked. So I swallowed my pride and I asked for a discount. Emphasizing how much I wanted to take this poor neglected agave home and care for it. And guess what! It worked. I got a 35% discount!And then I went home and put on a long sleeve shirt and 2 pairs of gloves and went to work removing the dead and mangled leaves, at least eight of them. And potted up my new birthday agave.
I had tentatively identified it as an Agave ‘Mr Ripples’ (there was no ID the one I bought or the one in the display garden, and none of the staff had a clue about it) but now I am not so sure. It looks a little too blue to be Mr Ripples.
Anyone care to make a guess? It’s very wavy. Maybe that’s what I’ll call it! Mr. Wavy, the rescued agave.


  1. Portland Nursery rocks. Ooooo-ee the conifers ! sigh..

  2. Happy Birthday! To me it looks like Agave gypsophila or a gypsophila cross.

  3. I have looked at a lot of agave's and I think you may be right! I can't find anything that looks close besides Mr. Ripples. What a great deal you made! It should be very happy where you planted it!

  4. Mr. Wavy sounds good! He looks very comfortable in his knew home with the extra TLC!

  5. Mr. Wavy is a gorgeous and fitting addition to your birthday plant collection. Good bargaining, too. I (of course) have no idea on an ID, but one of your well-versed agave loving readers will come through. And Happy Birthday to you!

  6. That's a fine birthday tradition. Happy birthday! Your present doesn't look like my Mr. R., but it's a fine agave whatever it is. If you still want Mr. R., when I dig out a pup I'll send it along as a belated b'day present so you can compare the two.

  7. Happy Birthday Loree! So, you are a fellow Cancerian...Cheers to you!

  8. I don't have an ID either, but you were so smart to negotiate on price. Plus you saved a lonely agave. Well done!

  9. ks, so I guess I know where you will be visiting when you make your trip up this way?

    Nicole, I think you are right! And there is one called Agave gypsophila 'Curly' how funny!

    Candy, I do love a good deal, especially on an agave.

    Darla, now if we would just get a little heat to make him really happy.

    MulchMaid, thank you for the b-day wishes!

    Denise, thank you so much...what a kind offer!

    Lauren, we Cancerians are pretty easy to identify aren't we? Happy (belated) Birthday to you too!

    Pam, thanks...I think Nicole called it with A. gypsophila!

  10. Nice work on honing your bargaining chops. I see a great plant-related career in the offing. And of course..."Happy Birthday"!
    I've been absent lately, but it's been fun catching up.

  11. Happy belated birthday! Blog readers, we can be the worst sort of enablers for plant shopping, oohing and ahhing over the latest garden acquisitions, but you've got an ooh and ahh-worthy plant! Mr. Ripples or his cousin has found a great home.

  12. ricki, thank you! So the career? Rescuing unloved plants? Do you think I can get sponsors for that?

    James, thank you...and you are so right. Kind of like shoe shopping with my friends.

  13. Oh happy birthday! This plant buying tradition of yours works out well - a new showcase plant added to the garden every year. I like the annual planned splurge. That makes it a bit easier to justify those special plant purchases. I don't think I'll get Justin to start that tradition, but I could make a tradition out of buying myself one plant from my lust list every year.

  14. 35%?! That is great! (I was worried they were going to offer you 10-15%!)

  15. AnonymousJuly 28, 2010

    Well, happy birthday to ya. Here's wishing you many more.

    How about calling newbie "Katie Current" after the Nemo movie/anchor? Just a thought.

    I'm glad the nursery was willing to bend a little on the price. You did a great job of trimming. I see no evidence of shop or worn. How 'bout your hands? :)


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