Friday, September 25, 2020

Found an Agave ovatifolia across the street from my barber...

So started a Facebook post from my fellow Portland gardener and blogger Matthew Hubbard. He shared a few photos and I begged for the location, I had to see this garden for myself...

Unfortuantely when I was driving nearby and remembered to stop, I discovered I'd left my camera at home, iPhone to the rescue!

The Agave ovatifolia are what Matthew called out in his FB post, and both are amazing—but there is so much more to love here...like a few palms (Trachycarpus wagnerianus I'm guessing) and at least eight Agave parryi.
There are also a few choice yucca, like this small Yucca rostrata...

And these two large, trunking, guys...

Oh, and also several spiky opuntia...

I bet seeing the agapanthus in bloom with all the spikes adds a nice color to the mix.

Everything is tucked away behind a short, but substantial hedge.

I wish I knew the story behind this garden. How long has it been here? What did they do to prep the soil?

Looks like those agapanthus were super dark blue.

The mix of gravel and rock is quite fabulous, and unusual for Portland, at least in my experience.

There's the largest Agave ovatifolia, isn't it gorgeous?

Seriously stunning.

The garden next door caught my eye...

It's not as "all out spiky," but still rather inspiring.

I have no idea if I'm correct, but I want to call the conifer Cupressus arizonica var. glabra 'Blue Ice'.

It was pretty fabulous and looks like it's been taken care of (pruned well) over the years.

The line of Cupressus sempervirens (again, I'm guessing) along the sidewalk were also impressive.

And then there's the grass...you'd better like plants brushing your body to walk up to this front door.

Looks like you'll be rewarded with a lush little Yucca linearifolia if you do make the trip.

Looking back at the garden that brought me...

I wonder if there was vandalism after planting and that's why the hedge?

Super tidy palm...

And btw, that hedge was approximately 33" tall (measured with my hip), so I am guessing the agave is about 40"? Wow...thanks Matthew for finding (and sharing) this gem.

Weather Diary, Sept 24: Hi 72, Low 60/ Precip trace 

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

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Let’s drop by the Huntington; plants on plants

Hey, look at that, we're back at the Huntington Garden in San Marino, CA...

One of the first blog posts from my December 2019 visit to the garden was about jungle cactus growing in and on other plants, such as an opuntia, and a low branching tree (here). This post continues the theme of plants growing on other plants. Look closely at that bleached bare stump behind the tall white cactus in the center of the photo...

That one there...

Did you already spot that cute little ball cactus perched on top of a branch? Seed grown I wonder, perhaps "planted" by a bird? Or a plant placed there by a gardener?

Next up we have a palm...

At first glance there is nothing remarkable about the palm's trunk, but look closer. See anything?

The Kalanchoe are what I first spotted but there's another ball cactus and a small columnar some-something too. I absolutely love this.

Our third installment isn't technically plants on plants so much as it's plants on a rock, well, unless you consider the moss, which I suppose I am, so plants on moss!

This one I'd believe happened naturally, but the fact there's both an opuntia and an agave makes me think there was a human hand at work here.

The name of this series "let's drop by the Huntington" was inspired by a fantasy of living close enough that I could stop by and wander the pathways any old time the mood struck. I can't help but think there are more of these "plants on plants" out there to be discovered, if only I were able to visit more often and hunt for them...

Weather Diary, Sept 23: Hi 67, Low 60/ Precip .74" (seriously) 

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Wednesday Vignette: how many trashcan lids do you see?

You know those comment or identity verification images where you're asked how many red lights, or tractors, or bicycles you see in the photo grid pattern? Usually there are a few photos so poorly done that you can't tell what the heck you're looking at, they're kinda irritating aren't they? 

Hopefully this isn't like that.

How many trashcan lids do you see in this photo? Look closely, things aren't always what they seem to be...

Give up? 

There are five trashcan lids. How many did you see?


And geez -louise sorry for how blurry this photo is! I took it when we were smoky and I guess my eyes had gotten smoky too because I didn't realize how blurry it is! Maybe it is as bad as those photo grids I referenced...

—   —   —

Weather Diary, Sept 22: Hi 75, Low 61/ Precip 0 

Wednesday Vignettes are hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum. All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Please be aware...

This mossy scene can be found at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, Washington. I stopped at the garden on the way up to the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival, in Seattle, in February, also known as the last adventure before lockdown and the COVID nightmare. The late afternoon light combined with the moss and green pond was such a visual treat. 

I almost wrote that it was a mood lifter, but heck, my mood didn't need lifting then. I was on my way to a garden event where I'd see friends from all over the country and spring was happening all around me. COVID was in the news—in fact the first death in the U.S. (in Washington) would be announced that weekend—but we had no idea what was headed our way.

Here was, however, a warning that not everything was as it seemed, although I had to ask myself, "really!?!" Who would think the surface of the pond was a solid surface?

There is I suppose a corollary here for the state we are in as a country, but I don't have the energy to suss it out. Instead I'll just enjoy all the green.

Weather Diary, Sept 21: Hi 75, Low 56/ Precip 0

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

Monday, September 21, 2020

Agave 'Mateo'

Late in the summer of 2013 we were on the Oregon coast celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Never one to pass up the opportunity to visit a plant store I stopped in at Bear Valley Nursery where I was thrilled to find a (new to me) large Agave 'Mateo' and snapped it up. This portrait is from 2013...

Here's that same plant today...

I hate to admit it, but for several years it languished in a too-shady location in the back garden, until spring 2019 when I moved it to a large cement pot in the front garden. I believe that's why it's shape is a little open and lanky, compared to when I brought it home (top photo) or...
...compared to this specimen Gerhard—of the blog Succulents and More—photographed in his friend Troy McGregor's garden (here

It's responded to it's new location with lots of growth and increased drama in the contrast between the light green center strip and darker green margins.

From the San Marcos website: "This plant was discovered at San Marcos Growers in March 2003 by our salesman Matthew Roberts (AKA Mateo). He selected the plant from a crop of otherwise uniform Agave bracteosa that was grown from seed sowed in 1999. The seed had been purchased from Aztekakti Cacti and Succulent Seed of El Paso, Texas, who noted the source as wild collected. We speculated this plant to be a hybrid between Agave bracteosa and Agave lophantha because of the look of the plant and because the range of Agave lophantha overlaps that of Agave bracteosa."

In the back garden I have another Agave 'Mateo' planted next to the standard Agave bracteosa. On the right is A. bracteosa and on the left A. 'Mateo.

There are a couple of 'Mateo' pups in between them. If memory serves these pups are ones I removed from the front-garden plant back in 2013 when I brought it home. They were tiny little things then and got hit hard with a bad winter that year... but survived!


The stripes on this plant are nearly impossible to see, probably because it's in too much shade to really bring them out.

Since we're talking about stripes though, I thought I would share this cutie again, Agave bracteosa 'Daddy Longlegs'...

He was a generous gift that came into my collection in July.

The variegation here is reverse of what's on 'Mateo', with the dark green in the center of the leaf.

This plant should be hardy into Zone 7, but I don't know that I'll ever be able to risk planting it in the ground. It's just too rare.

Weather Diary, Sept 20: Hi 74, Low 57/ Precip 0

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