November 17th, 2014. There was a sort of interim account done last year on November 19th, a count of all my Agaves, in ground and in containers — 179 — then. A few of those containerized plants been lost to a Mealy Bug infestation, it's not pretty and I'm not enjoying it. But we're not here to talk about that...
The subject of today's post is the in-ground Agaves. The ones that will spend winter outdoors, come hell or high-water. That's why I'm doing this post — we have no idea what winter 2016/17 holds — but this will be my record of what was. All photos were taken on October 12th and all Agaves have been in the ground through previous winter(s) unless labeled NTY (NTY = new this year). As a note of interest, this October has been wet. Damn wet. Over 8" of rain in just one month, poor things are off to a difficult start. Here goes!...(warning...60 photos!)...
Agave americana (and pups) there in the corner, or at least what I've always referred to as A. americana. Turns out it might actually be Agave americana var. protoamericana, which makes sense because that's a smaller and more cold-hardy version of the mammoth original.
Agave 'Silver Surfer'
A pup from one of my A. parryi 'JC Raulston', separated and planted at the base of the Genista aetnensis.
A pair of A. bracteosa.
The first of several Agave parryi 'JC Raulston' — note there are two pups at roughly 5 and 7 o'clock.
Yes, another A. parryi 'JC Raulston', or two.
And another! With three of it's own pups and a transplanted pup of Agave parryi var. couesii (NTY) tucked up close.
I visited my brother in Phoenix, Arizona, last month. We were talking about Agaves and I said something about having more in-ground Agaves than probably any other Portland gardener. He laughed and remarked I had more in-ground Agaves than most Phoenix gardeners. Hmm...he might have a point. But then again mine don't obtain the monster proportions that your average Arizona or Southern California plant does.
Left to right, a gift-pup from the humongous Agave in this garden (ID unknown), A. utahensis (NTY), and A. ocahui.
This one was just barely visible in the photo above, A. ovatifolia, not 'Frosty Blue'.
Another A. americana or A. americana var. protoamericana — sibling to the one shown at the begining.
Gotta call NOID on this one. Inherited from Peter who inherited it from Sally. Maybe Agave filifera? (NTY) (*update, Gerhard thinks this may be Agave schidigera 'Black Widow' and I am inclined to agree, although it is a brighter green and lacks the typical white marks on the leaves*)
Ditto here, athough it may be A. havardiana (NTY).
Can you guess? Yes, the last A. parryi 'JC Raulston'.
And another A. ovatifolia.
Back around to where we started, and walking up the driveway now, a pair of Agave bracteosa.
NOID, a gift from my brother years ago. It had been in a container but I set it free this spring, I have no idea how hardy it is but we shall see! (NTY)
Another NOID, one that I inherited from Sally. I've been calling it A. americana var. protoamericana but now I'm not so sure.
Agave parrasana 'Meat Claw' (NTY)
The front door gang...
What is supposed to be (purchased as) Agave 'Mr. Ripple' (NTY)...
The poor Agave americana that bore the brunt of the Agave Edema episode.
I cut off its scarred arms when it was still dry out, but the wounds don't look so good. Here's hoping.
Agave utahensis (NTY)
My A. parryi from The Ruth Bancroft Garden (NTY).
And this which I recently referred to as Agave neomexicana but I think is actually A. havardiana.
On the other side of the front steps is one of my favorite autumn scenes.
Agave ovatifolia, growing out of it's Agave edema disfiguration quite nicely.
Another Agave utahensis (NTY), I bought a gallon sized container with several plants that I separated, that's why there are so many.
The second (slightly smaller) Agave ovatifolia.
Okay walking backwards, retracing our steps to the driveway and up along the side of the house. The solid blue/green guys will stay. The variegated pups have already been dug and will overwinter in the stock tank containers in the drive, along with a few other marginally hardy Agaves I had in the ground around the garden. Photo coming up soon...
NOID Agave on the left, and A. parryi on the right. The last of the front-garden Agaves!
This big boy (labeled as A. weberi when I got it from a friend) spends life here, next to the house, between the driveway stock tanks. (I've been wondering if A. weberi is the correct name for this one, I'd love to hear what you think...)
These next two photos are the only ones not taken on Oct 12th, I didn't get them all dug from around the garden until last week. As I said they will spend winter here, in the stock tanks, unless temps in the 20's F are predicted in which case I'll yank them and leave them in the basement 'til it warms.
Why do they migrate to the tanks? Better draining soil than where they were planted, and more winter sun. Plus they're not completely cold hardy, so I can keep an eye on them here much easier than spread around the garden.
To the back-garden we go!
And another (NTY).
Here's one of the areas I refer to as an Agave burial mound — because the ground is built up to improve drainage it looks like a mound where some poor creature is buried.
There are so many Agaves crammed in here that I've lost track of what they all are, mostly because I never knew in he first place (missing or damaged labels when I acquired them via a rescue operation).
Looking closer...I think this one is Agave 'Baccarat', or perhaps A. montana...
And that big guy is probably Agave neomexicana.
This one almost bit it during the winter of 2013/14, but is pushing on.
The three A. parryi dish planters stay in place unless something crazy is predicted. It's hard to tell here but they've got legs.
This planting is next to the patio stairs, and, well are you getting tired of me saying I've lost track of names? Well, okay, but I have — some of them look so similar! I can point to the big guy on the left as being A. bracteosa, and the same for the small one on the upper far right. There's also an Agave utahensis pup in there (NTY).
Close up of the large A. bracteosa.
This pair are both A. 'Mateo' — pups separated from a larger plant in a container.
Here is another A. 'Mateo' and an Agave striata. The mass of wiggling brown on the left are Sedum spurium that have died back for the season. For being a tough plant it sure can turn quickly to ugly.
A. 'Mateo' close-up.
A. striata close-up.
Small A. parryi 'J.C. Raulston' pup.
Left to right: Agave gentryi 'Jaws', a tiny barely visible A. parryi 'J.C. Raulston' pup as well as a couple of A. gracilipes you can't see at all, Agave striata, and on the far right either A. neomexicana or havardiana...
The A. 'Sharkskin' is in a container, and to heavy to lift, so it spends winter here in place but with a PVC and plastic cover over it to keep it dry. The A. victoriae-reginae on the far left is moved to the shade pavilion greenhouse.
The same goes for Mr. Big (Agave americana 'Variegata') at the back, into the "greenhouse" for him (he's not actually planted in that big green container). The A. ovatifolia winters in place with cover. Why a cover? Since it's in a container I want to be sure to keep it dry.
Agave parryi var. couesii (NTY), the metal band is open at the bottom...
And A. bracteosa, also with an open bottom. And with that we're done! This concludes my Agave report for pre-winter 2016/17, thanks for playing along. I am hearing talk of a cooler, wet winter ahead... hang on spiky friends!
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