Monday, January 25, 2021

It was Portland's wettest day in over 3 years, why not stop and take photos of a desert garden?

It was a very wet day, yet here I was driving right by a garden I'm rarely near ... so of course I took a little detour. These photos aren't great, the light was bad and there was no way I was breaking out the real camera in the rain, so the phone would have to do. If you're curious here's a post with photos of this garden on a sunny day back in 2011: "I am not in the desert southwest"  and one from 2012 that's busting out with blooms all over the place:  "More Cacti blooming in the wet gray Pacific Northwest…"

It's only fitting that we start this rather wet tour with a rotted, moss-covered, opuntia ...

Wowsa, the Yucca rostrata has put on a few feet of growth since I first saw it. I do like the look of the old leaves left in place, but as someone with a small garden I decided to cut them away on my plant, to give me more space to plant.

Everything has grown so much since I first saw them. Starting this tour with the mossy opuntia may have given the wrong impression, as most everything is extremely healthy and good looking.

Well okay, not all ...

Yucca in the hellstrip ...

And turning back around to focus on the main garden.

A nice clump of Agave parryi, maybe var. couesii.

A few pups have busted out of the low retaining wall.

Agave salmiana in the back, maybe?

Another view ...

And another ...

I thought this was a fun shot, the property line between the crazy plant person and the neighbor. "Yo! Your plants are leaning over onto my lawn, AGAIN!" ...

Moving back across the plant filled front garden ...

Here you get a glimpse of a piece of plastic tucked over something. More on that in a bit.

Oh yes! What looks to be a fern volunteer, probably blown in from a neighbor, right in the middle of a very spiky opuntia.

Those flawless agaves again.

Here's what my camera saw when I stuck it under the plastic protection. Maybe there is a bit of rot that the owner is trying to hold at bay?

Just a few more images to wrap up this soggy grey visit ...

Interesting to see my yucca wasn't the only one that was pollinated here in the Portland area. I wonder if the moth has moved north? 

Weather Diary, Jan 24: Hi 41, Low 39 / Precip .36 

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden . Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. You being you, I'm not at all surprised you stopped to compile an update. Moss-covered succulents surrounded by ferns are definitely clues that you weren't in the desert southwest, or even coastal Southern California. Have you ever had the opportunity to meet the garden's owner?

    1. Some wickedly spiny plants in this garden. Not sure I would want to try and weed out stray ferns. Yucca seed pods are so cool. Will you try and start some from seed with yours?

    2. know me well! And no, I have not met the owner. I know people who have, but our paths have not crossed., I don't have the patience or a good spot to wait as long as seed starting yucca would require. If I had more than one kind blooming at the same time I might be a little more tempted. Just to see if there was some strange cross that might pop up.

  2. Agave pups busting out of a retaining wall... that's a life force for ya.

  3. Even in the grey weather it still looks fantastic. Yuccas, once they get themselves established their growth seems far from their reputation of being slow.

    1. I haven't seen that here, but I hope to.

  4. Most all the plants look great. They've done well, and undoubtedly a true "low maintenance" garden.

  5. Gosh, I think that garden may be even spikier than yours! Hard to imagine, ha!

  6. Have to agree with Eliza! Love those pups in the retaining wall.


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