Yesterday (here) we toured some of the more established plantings at the PDZA, today we start off with a look at the Baja Bed in front of the Pacific Seas Aquarium, this area was just planted up last summer.
I loved seeing lots of blooming Hesperaloe parviflora, the yellow type (which I love, but have found to not be as vigorous in my garden as the red).
This area features numerous Agave gentryi. If you saw yesterday's post then you know Agave parryi has proven itself here at Pt Defiance, Bryon's treating these A. gentryi as an experiment. If they don't thrive then he'll replant with proven winners.
I think they'll thrive.
Of course there are already a few Agave parryi, for good measure.
They look great together...
Isn't the simple repetition of these plants fabulous?
I rather liked the solid concrete wall as a backdrop too.
The inclusion of the conifers had me thinking of my trips through Flagstaff and the northern parts of Arizona, an area that may even have more conifers than Eastern Washington.
Bryon kindly gave me a ticket to the aquarium so I did go inside as well, to see what the marine life was up to. I can stare at sea jellies for hours.
This display caught my eye too, when I go back it will definitely be on a weekday. I was wonderful to see so many families enjoying a day out, but I need a little less screaming to really enjoy my surroundings. I wonder if they have an adults only day at the Zoo?
On a sloping hill behind the aquarium building Bryon has planted a few Cycads. I love his desire to experiment and see what works and what doesn't.
Hopefully some of these will grow on to become massive specimens.
(same plant, different angle)
I was also able to visit an "out of the public eye" area where plants are grown not for the public but for the animals.
Little snack packs — or as I later learned when reading a Pacific Horticulture article by Sue Goetz (Is it a Zoo or is it a Garden?) maybe foliage to play with — were being assembled.
In that article Sue cited a figure of 600 kiwis as being grown as treats for the animals, how fabulous is that?
I wonder if any of them enjoy the Trachycarpus berries?
The last part of the garden I saw with Bryon was a steep planting in wood chips.
And gravel, do you see the tiny Opuntia pads?
The wood-chips are providing a happy home to plants like this Agave 'Mr. Ripple'.
As well as another Agave parryi...
Aloe striatula 'Burly'
And Lobelia tupa.
Not to mention a super spiky Agave gentryi 'Jaws'.
And multiple Yucca rostrata (I think?). While it's not common to plant things like this in wood-chips, they obviously aren't minding it.
After that I said goodbye to Bryon (he'd been so very generous with his time) and explored a bit more on my own.
Signs that the decorating for Zoo-lights was underway were visible here and there. My friend Peter has taken us on a couple of Zoo-lights tours in the past. Curious? Check it out here.
The next tour Bryon will be leading (after the The Jurassic Zoo tour this coming weekend), involves the Zoo's bamboo collection and will take place on December 2nd (info here).
I only saw a tiny portion of the bamboo at the Zoo, but in the PacHort article Sue wrote there are "over 50 species, which recently caught the attention of a national bamboo society"...
Just a couple more animal sightings before I head home, first this adorable White-cheeked Gibbon.
And this gorgeous tiger, whom appeared to be snacking on a leg (my shot of the meat was too blurry to use) but still managed to fix me directly in it's gaze (I zoomed in on the photo to be sure) as though it was saying "your leg is next there missy..."... yikes!
If you'd like to learn more about what Bryon's up to here at the PDZA, but can't make it to a tour, he's speaking at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, on Wednesday February 20th, at 6:45 pm. More info here, page down to Bryon Jones. I hope to be there, Bryon's excitement is infectious and his knowledge first-rate.
Weather Diary, Nov 1: Hi 68, Low 59/ Precip .01"
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