Monday, October 22, 2018

An Agave Report, October 2018 — Part I

It's that time again, time when I start looking at my garden and wondering what winter holds. The official word is things should be pretty darn mild (for example here's what Paul Bonine of Xera Plants has to say), but of course reality doesn't always match up with the predictions, only time will tell. I filed my last Agave Report on January 5th, 2018. Here's the current state of the in-ground Agaves...

This trio (Agave NOID on the left, a pair of A. parryi on the right) is up against the driveway and the front of the house. Protected, great drainage, but a touch more shade than is ideal, at least when my car is in the driveway.

Agave bracteosa, hardly grown at all, it just doesn't get much summer water. What water I do give it runs right off and into the driveway.

Further down the same area (the A. bracteosa from above is to the right of the Yucca rostrata "poof", above the rock)...

This A. ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' went in the ground spring of 2017.

It replaced a severely damaged A. americana (which has since recovered).

This corner makes me really happy.

Agave protamericana 'Silver Surfer', behind Lavandula allardii 'Meerlo', a plant I somehow managed to believe was hardy here. Nope, it's a Zone 9 plant. We'll see how it looks come spring.

Inching a little north, along the front sidewalk...

Another Agave bracteosa, twins actually.

And A. parryi 'JC Raulston' with pups. there are three, only one is really visable.

More A. parryi 'JC Raulston'... cause they're so good! These three plants are looked at close-up in the photos that follow, a little confusing I know, it makes it seem a little like I have twice the plants, of course that wouldn't be a bad thing...

A. parryi 'JC Raulston'

Lots of "Raulston" pups, and a small A. parryi var. couesii (the pointy one).

A parryi 'JC Raulston' pup...

Yes, another parryi 'JC Raulston' — those brown bulls-eye dots on the leaves are damage from winter 2016/17. That was the winter than never wanted to end, snow and ice and ice and snow and then rain for 3 months solid, yuck.

Yep, you guessed it, another...A. parryi 'JC Raulston'...

This was a rescue, I think it's an Agave protamericana.


Agave ocahui, in the front.

Agave ovatifolia, not 'Frosty Blue', I think all my others are "frosty"...

An unlabeled pair that came attached, I tried to separate them, but they weren't having it.

The last parryi 'JC Raulston'...

Agave ovatifolia, poor thing gets shaded out by the ever increasing Arctostaphylos behind it.

Up near the house...

Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue'

The smaller of the pair (by a hair), and a little further north — not so frequently photographed as the one right by the front door.

The star of the front garden, currently embraced by Amsonia hubrichtii.

On the south side of the front steps...

Agave parryi 'RBG'

Agave lechuguilla

Agave salmiana var. ferox, pup from a plant in Scottsdale, AZ (right) and Agave salmiana (?), pup I dug from a plant here in Portland (left, details here). These aren't in the ground, but I plan to leave them here in their containers for the winter. A test of sorts...

Agave toumeyana v. bella, a gift from Gerhard that seems to have finally taken hold.

A. utahensis v. utahensis, finally looking like it recovered from winter 2016/17.

Agave americana var. protoamericana

Agave montana 'Baccarat'

We've walked up the driveway now and are looking at the holding stock-tank of spikes. Once the SPG (shade pavilion greenhouse) is complete I think most of these will be tucked in there for the winter.

The big guy was given to me as Agave weberi, the smaller container chock-full of Agaves are all A. americana. The largest one I mentioned at the top of this post, it was knocked back hard and replaced by an A. ovatifolia. The surrounding pups are from it, and a couple of other plants. I really need to do something with them, they deserve better than this...

Tomorrow Part II, the back garden...

Weather Diary, Oct 21: Hi 69, Low 40/ Precip 0

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


  1. I love that view up by the front door. What a pleasure it must be to walk that path. Even those this post was about your Agaves, I must admit those Opuntia glowing in the light really caught my eye.

  2. I can't get over how pristine your agaves are! Most of mine look battered by comparison. Even my largest Agave attenuata got burned (in a shade setting yet) by the searing heat this year. Your post has convinced me that I need more parryi and possibly another ovatifolia once my desmettianas finish their bloom-fest.

    1. Oh yes! An A. ovatifolia would be a great addition to your garden.

  3. Very very nice ! Oh ! All these lovely Agaves's all too much for me ! :) Fantastic ! Great pics ! :)

  4. Fingers crossed that they still look this great come spring. A warmer-than-usual winter wouldn't be so bad...

  5. Your obsession is showing...and that's not a bad thing either.

  6. Your agaves look great! I hope you get the mild winter predicted so they stay this way.

  7. They all look great as does the whole front garden.

  8. The best agaves are those that are in the ground and therefore do not have to be moved for the winter. So all of these qualify as A++! :)

  9. Fingers crossed for a mild winter.
    Agave parryi 'RBG': anything to do with the Supreme Court justice?

    1. Actually it's for Ruth Bancroft Garden, but of course the double meaning is what makes it so fun. Both amazing women!

  10. I think that this all goes to show that your Zone 8 is better for growing agaves than our Zone 8. Ours are taking a huge hit from the recent prolonged rains and deer!

    1. Oh Jenny I have to respectfully disagree. Our winter cold and wet would never allow for the beautiful display of Agaves I saw in Austin. These are all little, none of the big beauties you all have. I do hope yours recover.

  11. Impressive collection - they look like they are thriving well. You must be the Agave Queen of Portland!

    1. It is still rather unusual to see many Agaves in the ground here.

  12. Such a stellar collection at the Danger Garden ! I didn't realize Meerlo was a z9 plant-since I'm in z9 I guess it never occurred to me-I hope it lives over for you , it's a great plant.

    1. Ya, I was surprised when Hoov posted about it a few weeks ago and I learned of my error.

  13. Thanks for the Agave Update! Loree: Your arrangements of plants are always so inspiring. Gosh, that Amsonia hubrichtii is special isn't it? Especially when it's hugging a blue Agave--wowza!

    1. That combo was a happy accident that's given me lots of joy.

  14. Are you still looking for this fern? Matteucia Orientalis?
    It looks invasive. But I would like to have it too.
    Your garden is an inspiration.

    1. Hmm, maybe...thank you! Yes, I would probably put it in a container to keep it from spreading. Thanks for the kind words!

  15. Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' definitely my favorite.


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