Monday, September 3, 2018

A labor of love

I should have a business card that says "Will work for Agaves"... because apparently I do.

A house with an amazing garden, which I wrote about back in 2012 (here), recently sold and I was contacted by one of the new owners asking if I would help with identification on some of the plants they inherited. Of course! Then she mentioned they'd like to get rid of the pups popping up around a trio of agaves planted against the house. I said I'd be happy to take on that project.

I returned about a week later and got to work. I came away with 14 Agaves, not bad for an hour and a half of work. Some of them came out easily, some of them fought back, the biggest issue was the previous owners installed landscape fabric, evil evil stuff.

The haul...

Here's the current owner's adorable polar bear Samoyed surveying the garden...

Once home I set about cleaning up my haul, removing broken or crispy leaves, and dealing with this!

Yes in several places the landscape fabric had actually been surrounded by growing Agave tissue, kind of like when a tree meets a chain-link fence and just absorbs it into the growing trunk.

I tried to get it all out, but I'm sure there's still some fibers in there. Not that it will bother the plant.

Here are my new adoptees, after being cleaned up.

Are you wondering why type of Agave they are? Me too. I contacted the previous homeowners and asked if they knew what the three Agaves up near the house were. I was told they were pups that had been removed from the big guy further down the slope, this one (photo from 2012)...

So my new pups are grand-babies of this beauty, which I've been told may be Agave salmiana. I would have never guessed, they're so blue, where as this one is so green (again, photo from 2012).

But back to the pups, I'll be keeping a few...

And giving some away to friends, because I don't really NEED 14 more Agaves, do I?

Happy Labor Day to my readers in the U.S., I hope you get a chance to labor in the garden today...

Weather Diary, Sept 2: Hi 81, Low 53/ Precip 0

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

25 comments:

  1. Those poor Agaves, growing in that fabric. I hate that stuff, it's the devil's invention. That original that they came from looks enormous!

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    1. It is enormous, but also growing in the perfect spot...in rocks (drainage, heat) on a southern exposure hillside and in a warm micro-climate. Your actual results will vary!

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  2. Need is such a subjective thing... I can see you out on a street corner with a hand-written cardboard sign "Will work for agaves. Any spike you can give helps." Good to know that, although your mediterranean villa changed hands, you still got to visit. Where have the previous owners moved? Can't wait to see their new garden!

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    1. I'm not sure where they've moved off too. We've just exchanged words via Instagram.

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  3. Wow ! A good haul ! I helped out a local hotel in the same way..came home with a car full of Agave pups ....doesn't it feel GOOD ! :)

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  4. Since you love agaves, I'd say that haul was a great thing to work for. They do have a lovely color.

    Weather here is wet and more wet, as Tropical Storm Gordon passes over in s.e. FL. In the high 80's and real feel is high 90's. Your low of 53 sounds wonderful!!!

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Ugh, humidity sucks the life right out of me, you must be tough!

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  5. A reputation like yours is worth its weight in - I was going to say gold but it's more appropriate to say agaves, isn't it? If the pups will get as big as Grandma, keeping just a few should be more than enough.

    Best wishes with your garden labor day! I'll be popping into mine shortly.

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    1. Hope you had a good day of laboring.

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  6. I look forward to seeing them in person soon ��️

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  7. Nice haul, Loree. It's hard to believe they will grow so big, when they look so sweet and small. ;)
    I labored 3 hours redoing a garden choked with Siberian iris for a client today in our latest heat wave. I'm hoping this is the last one of the season. It has been quite the hot summer!

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    1. Right? It really is hard to imagine that they could one day be the size of a small car.

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  8. Nice...both your new haul, your services to your neighbors, and their "sharing" with you. The agaves are beauties! Enjoy! (That landscape fabric is a terror, for sure.)

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    1. Sorry you've had to deal with it too.

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  9. Woohooo!!! That’s an epic haul!!!!

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  10. Instead of a slave to the grind, you're a slave to the spines. I couldn't help but notice the deformed, scarred pads on the foremost opuntia in the Samoyed bear photo. Mine are similar, scarred and not filled out properly with prominent areolas, instead of the smooth pads that Ellisiana is supposed to have. Hoping it does that less as it gets more established, otherwise it may have a limited future in my garden.

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    1. These Opuntia are right next to a pathway, so I think they may have suffered from things/people moving by. Or not.

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  11. One cannot help but admire the new owner's taste in dogs.

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    1. I thought you might feel this way.

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  12. So... Salmiana looks like a possibility for growing outdoors in the just south of Portland, OR area?

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    1. I'd say so. There are a couple of HUGE Agaves around town that have been called out as salmiana. I personally haven't had success with them (yet) but when they're sited correctly they seem to be very happy.

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  13. I have just one question for you: what has NEED got to do with it?
    rickii

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