Monday, October 3, 2022

I had to start sometime...

Our September weather was dreamy. Well, that's my take on it. Not everyone feels that way. Many are worrying about the lack of rain. I can't get too worked up, knowing that it will show up eventually—it always does. Meanwhile I am still enjoying the sunshine, but with cooler temperatures.
Containers along the front sidewalk

Rumor has it that Tuesday the 27th's 90 degree high was a record, the latest in the year that we've hit 90 degrees.
Agave montana, with sempervivum and sedum

There have been oh so many records set this year! If not for a random .03" of moisture at the official recording station, we would have blown away the record for days without precipitation, a full three months with nothing. Plus August and September were both the hottest of those months ever recorded. 

We actually had measurable rain last Thursday, almost a whole quarter inch! That sounds like more than it looked like, concrete under trees wasn't even wet. But now it's back to sun and warm temperatures in the 80's, what a start to October!
Agave ovatifolia 'Frosty Blue' x 2—in my front garden

Those of you who've been reading faithfully for years know that the fall migration has to start at some point—containers and non hardy things moved under cover for the winter months. Usually I follow forecast and get going with the beginning of the rain. But when there's no rain...

Well, since there are so many things that need to move I decided I'd just go ahead and get started with the non-hardy plants that want to be dry over the winter. My schedule had a day open last week so even though it felt a bit premature—ridiculous even, after all there are temperatures in the 80's forecast for this week—I cleaned up and carried plants into the basement, like this Echinocactus grusonii with it's cute lil baby.

And this red-headed Irishman (Mammillaria spinosissima?) that came from Alison.

Two very different euphorbia, in the front E. platyclada and in the back E. tirucalli.

This strange mash-up came about because I had some "leftover" plants and nowhere for them to go. It worked out pretty well!

Haworthia tessellata in the front, maybe H. splendens behind it and then a NOID aeonium that I think might be 'Kiwi' that just hasn't gotten enough light.

This is exciting, a split trunk on one of my Pachypodium lamerei. I think this may have started last autumn, if so that's not much growth in a year. 

Then again didn't water these guys all last winter and when I took them out last spring their trunks were deflated and bent over—they made an amazing recovery and I vow to do better this winter. Here they are in place in the basement.

Agave victoriae-reginae 'Golden Princess'

The tufted tip of Agave albopilosa

This plant was a gift from my friend Gerhard, it's been such a slow grower. I finally repotted it a couple weeks ago and discovered a very small root system hopefully a little pruning and new soil will get it going.

This is the point in the migration where I think "hey, I don't have that many things to move in after all!" I mean look at all that space!

But this is just the beginning. There is so much more to come...

Oh! There's a new plant, well, new to me this summer and the first winter for it here, Eulophia petersii a desert orchid.

It came to me as a gift from Lance Wright who has left his Portland garden behind and moved to a new home in Eastern Oregon.

So many small plants, but they're easy to collect and before you know it, you've got dozens.

I bought this chunk of Deuterocohnia brevifolia back in 2019 and didn't realize just how much it had grown until I potted it up into this larger container. 

So that's the very first round of this year's migration. Looking ahead I wonder if we're not going to hit a point where things take a very drastic turn—temperatures drop deep and sudden. I hope not, but since I've only got my self to get things ready for the weather change—whenever it decides to show up—I have to keep chipping away at the chores.

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All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I think you're smart to start early, especially when you use the transition period to tidy-up and tend each individual plant. And I expect you take your time arranging the plants in the basement much like a museum curator ;) I love the Sempervivum in the pot in your first photo, with the same plants echoed in the surrounding bed.

    1. Part of the tidying is making sure I don't take any hitch-hikers into the basement. It's amazing how many spiders and ear-wigs (slugs, pill bugs, etc) are living in those plants!

  2. I really like the weathered, mossed, sidewalk planter holding Agave montana. I like the pebble dressing and use it in some of my house plants, but then I find it difficult to stick a finger in to see if it needs watering.
    The red-head cactus is gorgeous! When you said you get plants "cleaned up" for the migration, I pictured you using a tiny vacuum on those spiny treasures.
    The Deuterocohnia brevifolia look awesome in its new container.
    I remember Andrew assisting in the migration process. Some of this work is just too daunting.

    1. A tiny vacuum would be excellent! Andrew assisted when the ankle wasn't fully recovered, but now it's all back on me. Well, except for one plant that's just too heavy for me to carry.

  3. Rain and frost forecast for later this week. Plants have come indoors, been planted in the ground, still emptying pots of soil. Then wash the pots etc. Fall change-overs are endless. Luckily I only brought in 4 plants that I hope to keep alive. Nothing like your job.

    1. Yikes! Frost, all ready!? Fall change-overs ARE endless...

  4. It must feel so weird moving plants inside when it's still so warm outside. But you have lots of stuff to move, so it's good that you're pacing yourself. By now you're a pro at this, ha ha.

    Glad to see your Agave albopilosa is still alive. It's been a frustrating species for me. Soooooo slow, and very picky about where it's happy. I've lost at least two plants over the years, one a gift from Greg Starr from the first batch of seeds he collected in habitat. I think it's too hot here in the Sacramento Valley for its liking. But then Greg grows it in Tucson....

    1. So weird! And while I'm sad to learn you've lost a valued agave, it's good to know I'm not alone in finding this species frustrating.

  5. I like that this gives you a chance to highlight some of these pants individually. The Deuterocohnia brevifolia is beautiful, reminds me of some of the Haworthias, but of course it is completely different.


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