You know those "before and after" comparisons where in the "before" the subject has been photographed in the worst possible way? Well I'm afraid that's exactly what I did with this before and after, but it wasn't intentional.
Instead of starting with a hideous before, here's an after. Those sixteen plants dead center just got planted in a space where there were only two...
Here's the before, could this photo be any worse?
Ya, it was a sunny day, a very sunny day. It was the day I decided to tackle the trimming of the lower leaves on Sammy, the Yucca rostrata. Before I started on that task I looked at that Dasylirion wheeleri surrounded by dormant Sedum spurium and asked myself why exactly was I allowing these two random plants to have so much space? Premium space too, right next to the patio! That's the west wall of the patio visible in the photos. Time to send that Dasylirion packing!
It took me awhile to find the time to act on the decision, and when I did I wasn't in the mood to take project photos, thus you only see the "after shots."
Funny thing is, once I made the change it was obvious I should have done it years ago. That spot was the one area along the wall where I hadn't already mounded up rocks and gravel and planted dry-loving plants. Now these plantings stretch the entire run of the wall...
Let's have a look, starting in the corner, since I made a few updates there as well.
Lonicera crassifolia now fills the very corner.
These Saxifrage aren't new, but they're so darn cute I had to take their photo.
Plants new to this corner (clockwise from 6:30) are: Aloe aristata (adopted from Peter at our autumn blogger's plant swap), Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio picta' pup (from Gerhard, and yes...I know ideally this plant will get huge, if it thrives I will move it), and Opuntia humifusa (picked up at Hortlandia and about to burst into bloom). There are also a couple mangaves which I will ID below.
Mangave 'Frosted Elegance', this is a Zone 9 plant...we'll see how it does!
And Mangave "Femme Fatale', also Zone 9.
Moving north...the new additions here are Santa Rita Opuntia pads with Agave striata hiding just behind.
And closer to the wall an Agave montana.
And the newly planted area!
This NOID agave came from a friend, it's special because of that chartreuse stripe. Finger's crossed that it's stable.
Echinocereus engelmannii, one of the seed grown “Tim Hanis Western Treasures” from Cistus Nursery (more photos of this collection here).
Echinomastus johnsonii from the same collection. These have been planted in deep grit and since they're right next to the wall it will be easy for me to build a little cover to protect them from winter rain (fingers crossed).
Another Aloe aristata, this one from Cistus.
Mangave 'Snow Leopard' with Yucca 'Bright Star' behind. The mangave is said to be hardy to Zone 8.
Mangave 'Iron Man', also said to be Zone 8.
Aloe striatula, now known as Aloiampelos striatula. One of the seed grown plants I received from Joseph Tyconevich.
NOID Agave, one of the ones I rescued last summer.
It will be interesting to see what lives and what dies and what thrives.
The last section of the plantings didn't receive any refreshers. These have been here for awhile.
Agave striata (Espadina form, from Cistus)
And Agave bracteosa.
Since spring seemed to morph into summer this week—high of 88 predicted for today and no rain since April 19th—these guys should be happy! Hopefully the rest of my plants will hunker down and deal with the rapid change.
Weather Diary, May 8: Hi 79, Low 49/ Precip 0
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