Monday, May 28, 2018

Visiting Gerhard's garden, 2018 style

I've visited, and written about, my friend Gerhard's garden in 2014 (here) and then again in 2016 (here). It would appear I'm on the "every two year" plan, as I was there again last month, April 2018...

I was in town for a 2-day Pacific Horticulture board meeting, at UC Davis, and Gerhard and Heather graciously invited me to stay at at their garden, or er, I mean house. Gerhard picked me up and when we got back to their place the light in the garden was fabulous. It was dinner time but we squeezed in a little garden tour before hand.

For my 2014 visit this area was all still lawn. In 2016 it fairly was newly planted up with a wonderful selection of some of my favorite "desert plants", to say they've grown is an understatement, it's almost jungley. The Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' was positively glowing...

As was A. 'Blue Glow', of course...

If I had laid on the ground, and waited for just the right moment, I wonder if I could have gotten these red spines to glow too?

I think this is one of Plant Delights fancy new Agave introductions, maybe Agave obscura 'Red Skyline', but I could be wrong. I am probably wrong.

I guess I should warn you, this post is going to be light on specific plant names. I labeled what I was sure of, and pulled what I could from a recent post of Gerhard's, but sometimes it's okay to just soak up the beauty and not have to label everything...

That said, I think this is Aloe marlothii.

A Bromeliad planter wall! I like it, especially when backed by that gorgeous Cycad.

Mangaves, all lined up for their portrait.

Grevillea, perhaps 'Ned Kelly'

I swoon! I wish my cloudy cabbages (which Gerhard kindly sent me from Annie's Annuals) were still alive. Oh, it's real name is Bukiniczia cabulica.

Ditto for my Agave bovicornuta, Gerhard's plant was a vision of spiky perfection.

And I do mean spiky...

Agave victoriae-reginae

Agave 'Sun Glow' (I think?)

Those are some looonnnggg spikes...

I love the variety of colors and textures (all spiky!) in this bed, which borders the walkway to the front door. When I first visited Gerhard's garden there was huge Agave desmetiana 'Variegata' here, sending up its bloomspike.

These next 18 photos are of the area along the front sidewalk, public gardening space outside the fence that surrounds the front garden. It's a wonder there aren't accidents as people slow down to gawk at the plants. Phlomis fruticosa...

Agave weberi ‘Arizona Star’ with another Aloe marlothii to it's left.

Blooming (leaning) Echium wildpretii in the distance.

Banksia blechnifolia, I am so jealous and wish I could grow this plant.

Looking backwards and admiring the enormous Leucadendron.

Salvia discolor, I love this plant's tiny black flowers and should probably grow it again (it's an annual in my climate).

Oh the beauty of the Palo Verde...

Agave gentryi 'Jaws' and Yucca linearifolia with a little color from Calliandra californica.

Agave parrasana

Aloidendron 'Hercules' rules over it's diminuative subjects...

Aloe broomii (perfection!)

Agave macroacantha

Reaching out for the sun's last rays (Aloe ferox on the far left)...

There were so many flawless Agave americana var. medio-picta 'Alba' all around Davis.

Like the Agave ovatifolia seemed to reign in Austin this Agave says "Davis" to me, they were so perfectly grown.

Yucca baccata var. vespertina 'Hualampai Blue'

Aechmea recurvata 'Big Mama'

Now we've walked around and are admiring the plantings between Heather and Gerhad's driveway and the neighbor's.

And these last few shots were taken in the back garden the next morning. Hechtia...

A Bromeliad of some sort, I think....(hey, I'd only had a half cup of coffee...a girl can't be expected to remember what she's been told until she's on her second cup)...

And another Hechtia

I'll wrap up this quick tour of Gerhard's amazing garden with this. Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed the dried up bloom stalk from an Echium wildpretii you are correct! And if you want to see more of Gerhard's garden, and his spiky adventures, follow his blog Succulents and More.

Weather Diary, May 27: Hi tbd, Low 80/ Precip 53

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Makes me want to move there. Gerhard's garden is amazing as always. What a treat to see so many of the tender babies we coddle inside growing happily in the ground. (Agave americana mediopicta alba...swoon)

    1. I think you could be very happy in Davis...

  2. It's great to see your view of Gerhard's garden! I would definitely be one of those passerbys stopped in my tracks by that sidewalk garden.

    1. If I didn't know Gerhard and stumbled upon his garden I'd definitely be stalking him.

  3. Gorgeous garden, full of spiky gems! So fun to have followed Gerhard’s garden through the years and how much it has evolved, just keeps getting better. Hopefully we’ll get to see it in the flesh some day soon.

  4. Great coverage of Gerhard's garden! Everything looks just perfect. His Mangave collection has me coveting more of those plants. Your photo of Bukiniczia cabulica had me checking Annie's site but, sadly, that's a plant that apparently does not appreciate my zone, which I recently discovered is now classified as 11a.

    1. I first learned about that plant (the Bukiniczia cabulica) from a Instagram friend in Ohio. It's only right the colder gardeners get a few treats that won't grow in Southern California.

  5. Pure perfection. Two take-aways: These kind of plants show imperfections in a way I don’t have to worry about with my blowzy perennials and, given how gorgeous and appropriate this garden is, why are folks down the street still growing grass? !!

    1. Yes and yes! It kills me when an otherwise perfect Agave gets a blemish on a "leaf" (arm) that's not easily removed.

  6. Loree, thank you so much for making my plants look so good. You were here are a great time of year!

    Here are some plant IDs:

    Hechtia = Hechtia texensis
    Agave obscura 'Red Skyline' is correct
    Aloe marlothii = Aloe marlothii × globuligemma
    Grevillea 'Ned Kelly' = Grevillea 'Superb'
    Agave 'Sun Glow' = Agave 'Snow Glow'
    looong spikes = Opuntia sulphurea
    Cryptanthus = Orthophytum gurkenii
    Bromeliad of some sort = ×Enchotia 'Ruby' (Encholirium horridum × Hechtia rosea)
    Another hechtia = Hechtia argentea

  7. A lot of plants in pots. I like that look, interspersed with stuff in the ground

    1. Me too, but in my garden it's because things need winter protection.

  8. I'm so jealous: that media-picto 'Alba' outside the fence is perfection! I'm struggling to keep my potted one alive after struggling with some kind of blight this past winter... and mine was indoors!
    Gerhard's garden is always such a pleasure to explore. You hit it at an amazing time, Loree!


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