Friday, February 19, 2021

Photos from walking in the neighborhood...

I had this post all lined up for earlier in the week, before the storm pushed it to the sidelines. Diving back into it now I had to laugh at the white rock sprinkled around this small desert-style planting I found in the neighborhood. My first thought upon seeing it again was "snow!" But of course it's not.

This planting is tucked into the corner formed by a driveway and sidewalk, a great spot to soak up a little bonus heat.

I've not seen an Agave americana var. striata planted out in the ground here before, it will be interesting to see how it does.

Not sure on the ID of this other agave, it looks to have sustained a little damage early on, but is recovering nicely.

Same house, up in front of the garage.

And on the other side of the front garden. The shrub up near the corner of the house is a Schefflera delavayi, but I don't know what the one between me and the schefflera is. I am curious.

One last shot from the garden, a Sophora prostrata.

Okay I lied, that was the last plant shot, but they also had this pile of busted up cement in their hellstrip. I wonder if they have plans for it? Maybe a nice little crevice garden made from urbanite?

Love the agave on the front porch of this house.

But I was very tempted to march up there and pick up the poor toppled over opuntia.

The hard to read sign says "Hug Someone With Your Eyes", a nod to our current masked faces I assume?

I've walked by (and shared) this spiky little patch in the past, just thought I'd check in with an update.

Dasylirion wheeleri at the top, and Agave ovatifolia.

Another A. ovatifolia I believe, and I am just not able to ID the great looking agave at the bottom of the photo.

Now we've jumped to another walk on another day and a brief look at the McMenamins Kennedy School spikes. Photos in this post were taken before the recent winter weather, but these plants have all seen it before and should be fine.

Agave 'Sharkskin'

This next garden was a fun find on a street near me, first a gorgeous Yucca desmetiana 'Blue Boy'...

And a tall shaggy Echium wildpretii with an agave tucked in just behind it (Agave parryi). I need to do another walk-by and see how these held up to the cold, snow, and ice.

Oh, and there's also a nice Agave utahensis, which doesn't usually like our wet winters—it looks good though!

Agave ovatifolia in another garden. Do you get the idea there are a lot of these in Portland? Yep! You would be correct.

Which came first, the hamamelis (witch hazel) or the shutters painted to match?

Such a good color, and it looks even better with lichen.

Nice colorful combo of hebe and Yucca 'Color Guard'.

It's an Arctostaphylos double shot! And another reminder for me to get out there and prune on my Arctostaphylos densiflora ‘Harmony’.

Moss makes a beautiful ground cover...

Rock cover too!

This guy! I think he's been up there for awhile, judging from his festive hat.

Yep, another Agave ovatifolia! Andrew spotted this one and snapped these photos.

I love the combination with the colorful grass-like plant, which I think is libertia.

These final three photos aren't from a walk, but taken as I varied my route home one day to avoid a traffic back-up. Some of you might recognize this as the former home and garden of Sean Hogan. The agave, palm and arctostaphylos are all in the hellstrip.

I think this is another A. ovatifolia, just grown in shady conditions. The pup throws me though, as they don't usually send out babies... so I could be wrong, or maybe it's not a pup.

And that's a wrap on this completely biased look at what a few of my fellow Portland gardeners are up to...

Weather Diary, Feb 18: Hi 47, Low 37/ Precip .21 

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


  1. When I see all those lovely agave, I wonder how they came through the recent storm. The photo of witch hazel bloom and lichen is an eye candy, and I chuckled out loud when I saw the skeleton on the electric wire. If not for the boney tail, I'd say it was Mary Poppins...

  2. I think your walks are more interesting that mine, although maybe I don't walk far enough...I'm curious to know how these gardens have done during the arctic blast so maybe you'll consider a repeat tour later (once you've got your own garden sorted out as I know that'll have priority!). I love the flying skeleton and I hope he survived the snow/ice storm intact. It's be wonderful to see him wearing a sun hat!

    1. I wish I could remember exactly where the skeleton is, but I know the general area and imagine I'll run into him again sometime. A hat change with the seasons would be a lot of fun!

  3. This garden makes me smile... for so very many reasons! A gardener making themself happy with planting what they love... with the flying skeleton! My cheeks hurt with the grin on my face. YES!!!

    1. Well it's actually many gardens, but I do agree with your sentiment.

  4. I wish I had the nerve to plant out my agaves. I'm worried I'm just too far away of the urban heat core, your walk-a-bouts are inspiring though. I love seeing more people in PDX get interested in adding these spiky loves to their gardens.

    1. Depending on the species you're growing I bet you could get away with a couple in the ground, try it!

  5. It's fun to see the updates. When I first saw that first photo, I too thought you were showing some snow photos. The agaves are really special.

  6. Great to see photos of plants looking semi-tropical after all the snow. The agaves are all lovely, I like the blue-green color. At least our snow is mostly melting away now.

  7. I feel the monkey skeleton floating away in the wind deserves a post of it's own. It's like a story line cross between the flying monkeys from the "Wizard of Oz" and "Mary Poppins". What's going on there?!

  8. I would move the palm (photo after the toppled Opuntia) away from the house a little. Too close! Funny it seems like there are more Agaves in your neighborhood than in mine.

    1. I could do an entire post on palms planted too close to houses, and just in my neighborhood! I don't really understand why it's a thing... but it is.

  9. I am totally surprised that these succulent plants grow in rainy/snowy Portland. Here in Phoenix they get so little watering. I know you mentioned proper soil prep but I wonder how many people actually do that before planting. Do you see many like, for instance, Agave ovatifolia that don’t survive there?


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