Friday, June 29, 2018

2018 Garden Bloggers Fling — the opening bash at the downtown Austin Library

So let's go back to Austin — our opening night gala was at the "new-ish" downtown library. The building is beautiful and racks up all sorts of impressive stats, learn more here.

The library sits adjacent to Shoal Creek and the landscaping certainly plays to the site. The limestone walls and their sinuous curves define the location.
On the top left hand side of the building, under the screened roof, is a garden. We'll be up there shortly.

But first. Would you feel safe in, or under, that building to the right? All I could think of was... "Austin must not have to worry about earthquakes"...

Heading into the library for the opening party I was torn between following the group inside, or exploring the plantings. I was hungry so I decided to head in.

There were lots of good things out there to be seen, and the kid in me wanted to climb!

After dinner we took the elevator up to the roof garden.

Looks promising, don't you think?

It was all sorts of fabulous up there, above the city. Where a strong breeze helped to cool things down.

I love the different furniture groupings.

And the garden walls which could double as seating.

Nolina some-something. Our desert flora expert David Cristiani identified it and we all stood around and admired it, but do you think I can remember its name? No....

More of our group...

I think this silvery soft-leaved beauty, with the fantastic seed pods, is Sophora secundiflora, aka Texas mountain laurel.

We saw it in several gardens over the next few days.

A shot of the Colorado river and the view from the library roof...

...before heading down to the street level to do a little exploring.

Must be a strong wind blowing through here to knock those Yucca blooms almost horizontal.

Looking back at the library from the other side of the bridge.

Wowsa! A nice roof-garden on a neighboring building.
Yucca pallida?

Looking up from below I thought the bridge might be for pedestrians only, that's not the case.

That's a complicated awning.

Ferns! In Texas.

After the event wrapped up a group of us meandered back to our hotel. Of course there were several Agave photo-ops en-route.

I tried to be a little sly in my photo taking, but I think everyone knew what I was up to.

Weather Diary, June 27: Hi 75, Low 57/ Precip 0

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

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Phoenix Desert Nursery and an Agave Dig...aka "The Haul"

Would you believe me if I told you I had no intention of bringing plants back from our desert vacation? Well that's the truth. I still have a handful of Agave, Opuntia, Dyckia and Aeonium here at home that I need to find a place for, why would I buy more? However we had to check a bag on the outbound flight, which was to be virtually empty inbound. More than once Andrew said "you're going to take advantage of this and fill it up with plants, right?"... well hell, I know a challenge when I hear one, and I am not one to back down from a challenge... I Googled "Phoenix Nursery" hoping to find a new-to-me nursery near our destination, Scottsdale's Museum of the West, and I did! The Phoenix Desert Nursery (cleverly named to come up at the top of Google searches?) was a no-frills establishment, so much so that when we pulled into the parking lot Andrew expressed concern it was wholesale only...
But not to worry, they were open to Jane Q Public until noon. So I had a look around...

Wow, that's some serious deciation to watering. Drip emitters to run to each and every 1-gallon pot.

Did you spot the pieces of Tephrocactus articulatus that had broken off (above)? I so wanted to pick them up and put them in soil, or my pocket, but I left them be.

These gallon containers were only $ would I ever chose?

Love the pine-cone Tephrocactus.

Even though it was only 10 o'clock in the morning it was already hot (90-something) and being under the shade-cloth felt good, but I really had to venture out there, to see what else there was...

Baby Saguaro, my brother calls this stage "light bulb cactus"...

There were a few shade cloth tunnels.

And select plants in the field had cloth draped over them...the sun is so intense...

When cloth isn't available one improvises.
Like a lath house, only not.

I never did tire of the blue sky.

Cactus chaos!

There were only a few Aloes.

But several big Agaves.

Finally I made my choices and headed to what I assumed must be the office (I'd had no human contact the entire time I wandered).
Here are my purchases, a  pine-cone Tephrocactus and an Agave lechuguilla, only $15 for the pair.

And here's the official Haul, as photographed in our hotel in Las Cruces. before I packed them up. You see the Tephrocactus and an Agave mentioned above, but where did those other plants come from?

My brother Darin's garden!

He'd been waiting to dig the Agave americana 'Variegata' pups until I visited, so he could share. How nice, right?

This guy started to emerge from the soil, but then decided nah, I'll just do another dip down, and come up about 2" further away. I wonder why?

While a shot of tequila would have seemed like the official beverage of pup digging, Darin made due with a beer.

I boxed up four pups to bring home, here are the left-overs, which are destined for the back of the property where he's got his shop. There's a nice little Agave landscape going back there.

I also made off with a piece of his fabulous purple Opuntia. If it's Opuntia santa-rita then it's cold hardy here in Portland, it just needs to stay dry. I haven't decided yet if it's going in the ground or a container , but I am leaning towards trying it in the ground. After all, I know where I can get more.

These lovely Agaves are growing in one of his neighbor's garden, Darin scored a couple of pups for himself and one for me too. The neighbor called it a butterfly Agave, but that's typical the common name for Agave potatorum, which these are not.

I thought maybe Agave weberi...what do you think?

Finally, I bought these cute little Gymnocalycium baldianum at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, which was fabulous! (so many photos...). Andrew thought they looked dead (okay maybe that yellow one) but I have high hopes for them...

Weather Diary, June 27: Hi 78, Low 55/ Precip 0

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