Tuesday, November 3, 2020

In the garden of friends, 2020 version

I know I'm not alone in missing the time I would have spent with family and friends this year, it's been so hard! Usually my friends Erin and Matt—from Seattle—would have visited over summer, and I would have visited them too. Time spent together, on our patios is something we treasure. So, I feel very fortunate that a quick visit to their patio occurred last month—and yes we were careful to obey proper COVID protocols.

Does it make me a bad friend that I had to stop and take a photo of their front steps? I mean we hadn't seen each other for months, but fresh paint and expertly arranged planters—with agaves!—demanded appreciation...

Usually my arrival for a visit would have meant walking up those steps and into the house, but—on theme—nothing's normal. Instead Erin went around to unlock the back gate, while I walked past the door and around the corner of the house, where I discovered this blooming cordyline. You guys, I've been visiting them in this house for over 20 years and I've never walked around this side of the house. How is that even possible?

Okay, now I'm in familiar territory: the back patio. All these plants however, this is a new(ish) development. I mean there's always been plants, but not this many!
Bromeliads and mangaves!
Mangave 'Bloodspot' (?)
Blooming tillandsia...
Dyckia some-something... (love this one!)
I got one of those black spines stuck in an index finger when I brought my bromeliads indoors this autumn—removing it was not pleasant. Bromeliads can be just as dangerous as agaves... you've been warned.
Another look at the gang...
And then we move to admire this eucomis bloom, and in a container no less!
I've always coveted that turquoise pot with the raised squares on it. 
Reminds me of the echeveria I picked up and it fell to pieces.
Excellent bromeliad coloration...
All of my horsetail has moved on, perhaps I need to look into reacquiring a pot or two, I do love it.
Another great cordyline clump, with trunks even!
Matt had hung several tillandsia using a heavy black coated wire which he wrapped around the base of the plant and then looped over branches, or in this case against the house. It's an idea I will be stealing.
Here's a parting shot of the patio and the bottle of wine we finished off (Erin had gone in the house to get dinner going)...
And here's a portrait of the plants I stole. Ha, just kidding. Matt wanted to lighten his load—as far as what he has to winter-over indoors—and he knows I can't say no! I feel very lucky to be trusted with these. The "small" (it's relative) tillandsia up-front is Tillandsia x smalliana, which Matt tells me is a natural hybrid between T. balbisiana and T. fasciculata.
Vriesea fosteriana
Tillandsia jalisco-monticola
And finally Tillandsia novakii, what a visit! Here's hoping that next summer we can resume our traditional style of visiting...
Weather Diary, Nov 2: Hi 66, Low 37/ Precip 0 

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


  1. That was a great visit in more ways than one. What a wonderful haul you took home! Blooms on a Cordyline are something I've never seen - I know they bloom but I guess mine are shy (or simply want more water).

    1. Around here they tend to get knocked back by freezing temps before they can bloom, I forgot that Seattle can be so much warmer in the winter.

  2. Ha. Taking a photo of the fronts steps doesn't make you a bad friend. That arrangement, meant to discourage people from approaching the front door in the COVID era, is both a clear and handsome message.
    Drinking wine and receiving plants... I'd say it was a very good visit.

    1. Actually you enter the house by going up the steps on the left, just slightly out of view. I didn't frame the shot very well. Although I suspect the idea of deterring visitors is one that Erin would appreciate.

  3. That novakii is stunning!

  4. Loved those two dark Dyckias, gorgeous.
    They are good friends to share so many lovely plants with you. Visiting in the times of Covid can be challenging, but we've figuring how to do it with minimal risk. Winter is going to be a bit more challenging, esp. here where it gets too cold to sit around. Lots of brisk walks I guess will be the order of the day.

    1. Yes winter is going to put a damper on so many outdoor activities that helped us through COVID thus far. It doesn't get as cold here as it does for you, but the rain makes being outdoors not so lovely. I fear for all of our restaurants that have survived thus far because of outdoor dining.

    2. Challenging times ahead, one day at a time...

  5. A special experience these days to be able to visit in person. The second Dyckia looks like its frosted. Gorgeous.


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