Friday, May 29, 2015

Favorites wrap up for May, 2015

I was going to be better this month. Post a few favorites during the month, rather than waiting until the end of month wrap-up and then marching through them all. But of course I wasn’t.

Earlier in the month I thought about featuring this little Melianthus villosus. It was a gift from Evan, The Practical Plant Geek.

When he originally asked if I would be interested in one of his seed grown plants I said thank you, but no. I didn’t know where I would put it (yes, I really did, crazy right?).

Of course then when I saw it I caved...(must have plant!). Since the internet has a better memory than I do I can tell you that I first saw this one at Dancing Oaks Nursery. They taunted...“Melianthus villosus, a plant for the connoisseur with persistence for the search to acquire”

Annie's Annuals says: "Everyone loves Melianthus major until -oops - it gets, like, 12’ tall x 10’ feet wide! Melianthus villosus has a much more realistic size for the average garden, quickly growing to 3’ - 5’ tall x 3’ wide. M. villosus is hardier, too, returning from the roots when it drops down to 10 - 15 °F The large, serrated, tropical-looking, blue-green leaves are invaluable for providing beautiful, evergreen foliage in the garden." Funny thing, when I look at the photo below I see it's surrounded by a Ginkgo from The Outlaw Gardener, Ajuga 'Black Scallop' from Bonney Lassie, and Moluccella laevis (Bells of Ireland) seedlings from Amy Campion. Have I got the best gardening friends or what?

The next plant I meant to write about was this Podocarpus matudae. I've "fav'd" it before, when it was new to my garden. This one was also a gift, from Sean Hogan.

It's slowly becoming a hint of the giant (20 ft tall) it might one day be. Cistus Nursery says: "From 5200 ft in the Sierra Madre Orientale cloud forest, our collection of this lovely and rare Mexican podocarp, one of the most beautiful hardy conifers for tropical effect. To 20 ft tall or so with weeping branches and a graceful form -- a large textured presence in the garden. Damp soil and dappled shade is best with protection from drying winds. Has tolerated temperatures below 10F, upper USDA zone 7, so far."


And the new growth still makes me think of a fake plant. It's just that bright and unreal.

Finally, while moving containers around on the patio this Agave xylonacantha was a standout, with its captivating blue color.

It was a purchase last September from Flora Grubb in San Francisco. An image search tells me the extreme blue isn't common to the species. Perhaps I got a rarity? Anyone with experience care to chime in? San Marcos Growers says; "Agave xylonocantha (Saw Leaf agave) Single or occasionally clumping plant with open rosettes to 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide with only a sparse number of pale grey-green lanceolate leaves with a lighter center stripe and broad light-colored almost papery irregularly-shaped spines on broad teats that run together along the leaf margin. Plant in full sun. Hardy to the low to mid 20's°F. This close relative of Agave lophantha comes from the drier limestone slopes and valleys on the desert side of the Sierra Madre Oriental..."

This blog post is my end-of-moth wrap up of favorites, plants that stood out in my garden, for the month of May. If you're a Blogger please share links to your favorites for the month in the comments. If you're not a Blogger then please tell us about what plants are performing extra well in your garden this month. We want to know!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

22 comments:

  1. Ooh, I like that Agave! And I have Melianthus envy...

    In my garden my favorites right now would have to include Petasites japonicus, Phyllostachys atrovaginata (those huge fresh culms are amazing), and Ligularia, one of which is starting to bloom already.

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    1. I was just admiring a dark Ligularia at a nursery yesterday, then I passed an amazing patch of big leaved Ligularia on my way home, sadly no time to stop and take a photo. Your fav's list is a good one!

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  2. We acquired a small Podocarpus matudiae a few years ago and had a notion that it wasn't that hardy at all. Nearly gave it away then we saw your post and the plant got repotted and gained renewed interest from us :)

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  3. I need to find that Melianthus! Here's my favorites wrap-up for May: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2015/05/favorite-plants-shared-with-bees.html

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    1. Dancing Oaks does mail-order...

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  4. Podocarpus matudiae is a gorgeous thing as are your other faves! I forgot that it was the last Friday of the month. How that could happen when it means that there are only three weeks left of school in June is a mystery. Sure glad you reminded me! I can taste summer vacation & spending whole days in the garden again!

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    1. Yay for summer vacation! And I think the reason you didn't notice it was the last Friday of the month is because the month went to darn fast!

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  5. Did you consciously put the curled leaf at the center of the sixth photo down? It sure does make for an interesting composition. I took liberties with the format of this meme too. Here goes: http://bannersbyricki.com/archives/4631

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    1. I did! It was so cool I had to feature it.

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  6. AnonymousMay 29, 2015

    You gardeners out west get to grow the neatest stuff.
    Melanie from N.E. Ohio

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    1. Yes you're right Meanie, we are pretty lucky.

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  7. Great favorites :). I specially like the Podocarpus and the Melianthus. Finally I can join again with my new Colocasia `Mojito´. http://descubriendohojas.blogspot.com.es/2015/05/colocasia-esculenta-mojito-es-mi-planta.html

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    1. Excellent! Thanks for linking in Lisa.

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  8. That is a nice blue on the agave. My dim memory of growing that melianthus is that it doesn't get very blue. It'll be interesting to see how yours colors up. My fave this week: http://agrowingobsession.com/?p=65610

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    1. Good to know, I'm not seeing much blue in it at this point, which is really fine with me.

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  9. I meant to pick more favorites this month, too. I'll blame part of it on too many favorites to choose from. I'm so glad you like that Melianthus and that it's doing so well for you. BTW, I've found several sources citing it as hardier than what Annie's says. I hope it either colors up or gets nice and fuzzy for you. My favorites this month can be found here: http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2015/05/calluna-vulgaris-is-my-favorite-plant.html
    and here: http://practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2015/05/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week.html. I was going to do a wrap-up post today with a few more plants, but was struck down for most of the day by allergy demons.

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  10. You really do have the most amazing plant collection! I do regret that I wasn't able to make the Portland fling so I could see your garden. I love the character of that Melianthus. The Agave is a stand-out, and it looks great with the other plants behind it. Is that feathery one an Amsonia?

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    1. I wish you could have made it out here too, we had a great time! The feathery plant behind the agave is Acacia cognata Cousin Itt. Horribly beautiful where it can go in the ground. In my garden it's confined to a container (not cold hardy).

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  11. A beautiful Podocarpus. Unfortunately I am in the drying wind capital of America. I will enjoy yours from afar.

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  12. That agave is a knockout -- very blue and very beautiful.

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