The rain actually stopped for about an hour last week and although it was still terribly cold I felt like a little walking adventure, you know what that means right? A visit to McMenamin’s Kennedy School. I love to cut up into the garden the back way, which means passing the giant Cardoons. Not quite so giant at the moment but just give them a couple of months… The next stop is my favorite little desert corner. It’s about time to tally up the winter losses and see how everyone is doing. Some look just fine… And others a little soggy… At least around the edges (you might not be able to see in this picture but there are brown mushy leaves on the bottom)… This Agave bracteosa looks great... While just inches away this one is not so good. Some of their Yuccas have the same issue as a couple of mine do. Last year mine snapped out of it as soon as the weather warmed up. This planting area is new; it used to just be lawn. I love that they are incorporating even more planting areas! More of their Euphorbia starting to bloom…a nice combination with the catkins from an unknown shrub. And look! A tree removed…and the Tetrapanax stand by, ready to take over. Color! So that surprise I mentioned in the title of this post? Guess what I found, hiding right under my nose? A Schefflera taiwaniana! At Kennedy School! And guess how long it’s been there? Since last May…that only took me 10 months to discover… looks pretty good considering it just came through a wet cold winter with no protection! Back home I thought I would check up on a few things. The massive amounts of rain we got in late February, combined with a few days of record cold turned parts of this cute little Agave Parryi truncata to mush. So sad. Just inches away this Agave parryi var. parryi (from Rare Plant Research) is just fine. Same for this Agave striata, fine other than a couple of bent spikes from the protective covers it received when the temps dipped below 20. Here’s my most irritatingly injured agave, this poor little Agave bracteosa was laid on by the neighbor’s cat. Evidently the cat thought the frost cloth and burlap that I had put over the agave was a nice warm place to snuggle up. How do I know? The fur left behind as evidence. And I thought that using my planting beds as a toilet was bad…this took my anti-cat sentiments to an entirely new level.
One of my sick Yucca…(as I mentioned experience tells me not to worry, it will be fine when the weather warms up, although the leaves will have to be removed). The agaves that I dug up and put in the better draining (and warmer) stock tanks for winter are all doing fabulous. Since these are my veggie tanks they are usually empty in the winter. Good to know I can over-winter agaves here with success…maybe this means more agave filled stock tanks elsewhere in the garden? Uhm….now that’s an interesting idea!!!