Monday, December 20, 2010

Where am I #1, the desert version…

This is a place that figures enourmously into the garden I desire today, one of those magical places that you visit and even if you don’t realize it at the time it’s changing you. Sometime later it all clicks into place.

So…where am I? (Furcraea foetida mediopicta pictured, below)
Any guesses? (Agave tequilana, 'Blue Agave' pictured, below).
I am in Seattle, WA. What? This doesn’t look like Seattle? Exactly, that's the magic! (Agave lophantha pictured, below).
Aloe vera
Assorted succulents
Aeonium schwarzkopf
Small cacti that I didn’t get the name of…
Pachycereus marginatus, Mexican Fence Post Cactus
Pachycereus marginatus with an exposed cut, interesting pattern no?
Agave americana and Barrel cactus
Gasteria armstrongii bloom
Gasteria armstrongii
Aloe ibitiensis
Ferocactus cylindraceus, 'Compass Barrel Cactus'
Dasylirion longissimum, 'Mexican Grass Tree'
Agave victoriae-reginae
Agave victoriae-reginae variegata div> Agave parryi v. truncata (sexy!)
Agave toumeyana 'Miniature Century Plant'
Agave attenuata
Aloe capitata v. quartziticola
Fan Aloe, Aloe plicatilis
Beaucarnia recurvata, 'Ponytail Palm'
Beaucarnia recurvata, the base...
All of these treasures are squeezed into just one wing of the Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle. This is such a magical place. For years I lived just blocks away and would visit frequently. The cost of admission? Zero. It’s free, and priceless to a young apartment dweller that has caught the desert bug.


  1. I would guess that "Little Guy 2" is Stenocereus pruinosus. It at least has spines that start out black and turn white with age, as in the photo. In case you care.

  2. Ack. I meant Stenocereus thurberi. S. pruinosus, though a real species, looks pretty different.

  3. yay for Volunteer Park! I used to go there while attending SPU. Yup - great place for poor college kids to visit too. : )

  4. REALLY need to get to Ruth Bancroft........

  5. I was taken there back in 10/07 on last trip to Seattle...very cool place.

    BTW, I seem to remember on a previous trip to Seattle that there was a SW mountains planting area north of the Ballard (?) Locks or salmon ladders, including our native oaks, etc. All looked great.

  6. I'm looking at your post thinking, 'what an gorgeous Aeonium' and 'Ooooh, ahhh, look at the Agaves'. Wait, this is coming from the fan of traditional English style plants and gardens . . . thanks for helping me see the beauty in other types of gardens! And have a great holiday.

  7. Mr S, I do care, and I thank you.

    gina, especially on free Thursdays at the art museum right?

    Digs, yep.

    Desert Dweller, I do not know of this place...I'll do a little hunting.

    VW, thank you for seeing the beauty, and saying so.

  8. Oh my! I love this post. I've always wanted to see Agave toumeyana 'mini' and now I really must hunt one down. So cool!
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  9. Have been 'drinking in' the beauty found herein for the last 42 years! Always enchanting, now you can buy a newly released book displaying all the conservatory's beauty....

  10. Reminds me of 2 places. The Living Desert Gardens in Palm Springs and Rancho Soledad Nursery in San Diego County.

    Will from Desert Hot Springs


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