Don’t you love an unexpected package on the doorstep? I do. It’s been a fun summer for plant surprises, like this Fed Ex box on the back step as I arrived home from the Seattle Garden Bloggers Fling. What was it? Nothing short of an Agave desmettiana, from Chris at Party Valley Heights (isn’t that just the best name? It sounds like a place where there would never be a grey day!). This little agave comes with quite the pedigree, Chris got several from a friend in Venice Beach…and now I’ve got one of them here in Portland, or perhaps soon to be more than just one as there are several pups gathered ‘round. I’m extra excited because this isn’t the variegated version of Agave desmettiana, the leaves are solid green. I’m not sure if I ever mentioned the dark and mysterious Aeoniums I received from Piece of Eden? An off-hand remark on a blog post and the next thing I knew a box of them arrived just in time to fill a couple of holes in my garden! I’ve already shared the fact that I brought home a terrific Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ from my visit to JJ’s garden, but here it is in its happy new orange container. And check out the rest of my haul! Tephrocactus articulatus var. strobiliformis, or as I like to call it…the Conifer Opuntia. Unknown Haworthia Unknown Aloe Opuntia santa-rita Unknown Aeonium? This fabulous container (I mentioned I had a thing for turquoise containers and the next thing I knew it was in my hands) is the perfect place for the brightly colored Echeveria nodulosa, with a couple little Agave pups tucked in. Winning the distance prize (if there was one), all the way from Tallahassee Florida, came a Kalanchoe tubiflora from Darla at More Family and Flowers. Darla read my account of not being allowed to buy a ‘Mother of Thousands’ from an Oregon nursery and offered to send me one. Not only did I get one, but four and they came with babies attached! She also sent along a bonus: Tradescantia spathacea….this plant is new to me and I really love it’s dramatically colored leaves. My final plant surprise came from Ricki, of Sprig to Twig. Ricki attended my HPSO workshop on Succulents and brought me a gift…look at this gorgeous brown leaved Kalanchoe orgyalis! If we lived somewhere with a kinder winter climate this could get to be a shrub over 3 ft tall! As it is I’ll be protecting it in the winter. I decided to combine these last few (along with a couple other small succulents I’d recently picked up) in a tall metal container. Like I said, gift plants are the best! What have you given, or received, lately?