— — —
I'd been working on a new planting project. I limbed up the loquat so it could finally look more like the tree it is, which meant I had shady space to plant underneath... fun! So I finished planting, and like a good blogger I wanted to take photos. It was late though, I went in to fix dinner and thought... tomorrow. Then this happened. A windstorm swept in and crap from the fir trees behind us rained down...
Obviously this isn't the newly planted area, but it looks similar to this. Forget the nice compost mulch I'd just spread, the dark brown is now heavily spotted with orange.
Who would have thought two tall fir trees—this is #1...
...here's #2, leaning in—could drop so much crap in just a 24 hour period.
But they do...
And they did...
It was everywhere! No, I am not looking for your ideas on clean up. I'm just sharing the mess.
The container plant disaster mess.
Which is especially irritating when it involves agaves.
Water is fun too—not.
Buckets and buckets later (actually several 11-gallon tubtrugs) I finally had most of the mess cleaned up. That wind storm was insane. I'm used to these many cones falling gradually, not all at once.
In more exciting news, Mr. Big was moved and just may be in his forever home, finally.
Who's Mr. Big? My oldest agave, a variegated Agave Americana that I bought at Rare Plant Research back in 2006 or 2007 (record keeping pre-blog is a little hazy). That's him on the right, in his new container.
Here he was in August of 2007... back when containers were staged along the driveway. Before there was a patio, before there were stock tanks in this very spot. Oh how times have changed.
It's also interesting (to me at least) to note that the poor guy spent some serious time frozen during the cold of December 2009, when his container was moved into the garage (no shade pavilion greenhouse yet either). However he recovered just fine, the benefits of being kept dry. There are photos of those limbs frozen solid in this post.
My god look at how clean the patio and wall were back in 2009...
PVC cover for him come winter.
Back in 2014 he spent some time in the tall green container to the left of the stock tank pond, although then he was in a black nursery pot that could be lifted out in the fall.
Another 2014 shot. Note the green container on the right of the stock tank, that's where he's living now.
For the last few years this corner of the upper back garden has been Mr. Big's home. The same black nursery pot slipped right into that metal cache pot. And no, it's not your imagination. Mr. Big (so named because he really was HUGE when I brought him home) has been steadily shrinking.
Now that his roots have been freed from the confines of a small (5 or 7 gallon) pot... hopefully he'll be very happy.
He is a beautiful plant...
PVC cover for him come winter.
Longtime readers may have also noticed the wire wall around the back of the stock tank is gone. I decided I was done fighting the raccoons. The canna in the tall planter is (I think?) designed to be raccoon proof, "ish" I mean they can't knock it off it's cement block pillar, like they did with the old pond plants. It's got a heavy base and is sunk into the tube. That's not to say I think the little masked asshats can't still destroy things.
I know the water hyacinth are begging to be cut up with their knife-like paws. I'm not attached, they were just the only floaters available when I went shopping. Since then I've added bits of my Lysimachia nummularia as it needs to be pulled (it's a very abundant creeper). It seems to be quite happy floating and I like to have a place to toss it besides the yard waste bin.
I'm enjoying the tank pond without the reinforcements around it. So far no raccons have gone for a swim, but they usually hold off until late in the season, so we shall see.
On to the plant surprises! Over where the Lysimachia nummularia is planted in the ground, I was stunned to find the rhizomatous begonias are coming back...again!
Crazy! For some of these plants this means they've made it thru two winters.
I never would have thought it possible.
Then again—even though there was snow and cold and ice—it didn't dip below the mid-20's in my garden so I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised?
The final surprise of this post are these adorable leaves. A desert fern, Bommeria hispida. One of my Agave ovatiolia in the front garden had a yellowing leaf low, against the ground, that I wanted to remove, it required armored clothing and laying down in the gravel.
I was successful and while there discovered this fern had been happily existing between the agave and a Euphorbia rigida—I thought it had perished. Now that I know I'll be keeping an eye on it—but trying resist the temptation to move it, since it's happy there.