Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Agaves, they're not just for the desert anymore...

Earlier in the month this Portland agave lover had a very good three days. First Andrew and I went for a Sunday walk, approaching this house I saw it, unfortunately you can't, the telephone pole blocks it. There, on the right side of the home...

Is this wonderful small desert garden...

The pots across the driveway were pretty nice too.

But let's have a closer look at those in-ground plants...

That's a super spiky, super beautiful cholla.

Two out of three ain't bad. I can't say for sure what the flopped and mushy guy is, maybe an Agave colorata? But the A. 'Blue Glow' shows the benefits of a mild winter and the other guy (maybe an A. ovatofilia?) looks healthy too.

I think that's Agave parrasana 'Meat Claw' with a fine collection of opuntia behind it. That shiny one on the right is crazy-cool.

The big green agave looks a little like A. salmiana to me, and I wish I knew what the plant between the two agaves—just behind the black mondo grass—is, anybody?

The next day I did a drive-by this garden, tipped off via a question on Instagram.

That also looks like it might be an Agave salmiana, and that's definitely a stellar opuntia patch.

Yucca rostrata nestled in with a few fluffy conifers.

And the formal approach, the front door is flanked by a pair of loquats, Eriobotrya japonica.

On either side of the sweeping staircase are huge Agave ovatifolia. This one looks to be a 'Vanzie'...

So fabulous!

While I am not so sure about this one...

It's "leaves" are longer and not so folded.

My third agave sighting came when I got tired of sitting at my desk working, and went for an afternoon walk. It was the wide rectangular pathway and coordinating door that caught my eye from across the street, but I spotted the agaves soon enough.

Maybe Agave lophantha?

I love the huge rock mulch, do you?

Perhaps Agave 'Baccarat'?

The opuntia busting out of the orange sedge might actually be my favorite part of this garden.

Blue spines!

I think this is a Dasylirion wheeleri.

Sadly my streak ended at three, although I do think there are more Portland agaves out there to discover. Agaves, they're not just for the desert anymore...

Weather Diary, Mar 16: Hi 60, Low 36/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I can't resist a walkabout now either. Yesterday I found some enormous whale tongue agaves -- not an agave that's frequently seen here. And that opuntia in the sedge is something!

    1. I am so thankful this pandemic didn't hit in December. At least with the improving weather we can all get outdoors.

  2. I do like the look of the opuntia and sedges. Looks really natural. The stones are cool too. Looks like mosaic art.

  3. I like the size and color of the pebbles very much. I wonder where they came from?

    1. Ya, I was wondering the same thing. I don't remember seeing them at our local stone yard.

  4. And I wonder how many of those landscapes were inspired by you? I'm grateful for the inspiration you've given me here in Ohio!

    1. Ah, thank you Kylee! And actually I did chat briefly with one of the garden owners, turned out he knew of my blog and garden.

  5. The multi-colored stones with the wide stepping stones is so attractive, almost like a basket of Easter eggs!

  6. I'm very impressed by that Opuntia - they scare me but I may be coming around. I'm wondering if the plant between the 2 agaves and behind the black mondo grass might be Aloe 'Blue Elf'. It grows in dense clumps like that.

    1. Have you ever seen Aloe 'Blue Elf' become that color? I have one (in a container, it's not hardy here) and it has remained decidedly blue. Also my plant's leaves are longer have little spikes along the margins.

  7. I think walking is going to become very popular.Many of our Norcal botanical gardens have closed, so I'm ready to walk in unfamiliar neighborhoods.

    1. Take your camera! Or maybe your phone. You can be less conspicuous that way.

  8. What awesome neighbors. These plants will be fun to watch mature. Hopefully they inspire more neighbors to do the same.


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