In case there was any mistaking what's inside.
I didn’t see this warning…
…until I’d already torn into the box and lifted out the plants.
They came wearing little custom shower caps to keep their soil in place.
Exhibit A, Little Miss Figgy, a fig sized to grow in a container!
For now she’s living in a container just a smidge bigger than the one she came in, while I decide exactly where to plant her, long term.
The second plant (Exhibit B) is Skyscraper® Senecio, Senecio ficoides 'Mount Everest' PP22188. In their words: “Like Blue Chalksticks, on steroids. Senecio Skyscraper is a strong, upright grower, reaching 2-3' in one growing season. No staking or support necessary. Fabulous new structural component for succulent gardens.”
Unfortunately there was a hitchhiker in the pot, my nemesis the dark oxalis. There aren't many weeds I continually battle but this one is a problem. I tried removing the soil and working the oxalis roots out from around the senecio but finally just gave up and...
Beheaded it! Ha, yep! I chopped it all off and tossed the weedy soil.
You see I have a history with this senecio and I've beheaded it before. My friend Janet Sluis, director of the Sunset Western Garden Collection, shared a small start with me during a visit I made to the Bay Area in December of 2019. Getting it home in my luggage proved tricky and I injured it. After winter spent under lights (in the basement), spring came around and I cut off the good parts, stuck them in this container—and they thrived. Since that first year I've overwintered them in the shade pavilion greenhouse and they've loved it. Here they are last winter...
And now they're outside and doing even better. It's true these blue chalksticks stand tall!
So what did I do with my new blue chalksticks? Well the majority went in this container...
The fact it's placed right in front of a Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress' (another Sunset plant introduction) is purely coincidence.
A few short pieces were tucked into my dish planters.
They'll tower over the other plants by the end of the season.
A front view of the dish planters, in case you were curious.
Any left over senecio were tucked in the ground. I used do this annually with the common senecio. Tuck them into the ground in the spring, let them grow, and take cuttings in the fall to overwinter. Rinse, repeat. I'm not sure I'm ready to start that up again but it will be fun to see how they do in the ground vs. in a container.
Since we're here and talking Sunset, I thought I'd quickly hit on the past plants I've been given to trial in the garden. We all know I LOVE my Mahonia x media 'Marvel'.
This wonderfully fragrant Lavandula allardii 'Meerlo' has been happy for a few years here, even though it's rated as a Zone 9 plant (and I garden in a Zone 8 plot). I thought our "out of the blue" February freeze (and snow and ice) was going to be the end of it. When I snapped this photo on March 17 it was not looking good.
But what do you know?
That's some fresh new growth.
Then there's the podocarpus, P. macrophyllus 'Miu' (aka Roman Candle™ Podocarpus). Can you spot it below in my overplanted wonderland?
Some tips have extreme variegation and others are a bit splotchy.
I pruned back a few things that were taking advantage of the available sun, so I'm hoping it will be a little happier going forward.
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