Thursday, August 8, 2013
The state of the agaves, summer 2013…
I started this series to document how my agaves, and other succulents, planted in the ground (as opposed to those in containers) were doing here in “wet” Portland, Oregon. “Wet” is in quotes because we are anything but right now, having only seen a trace of rain since June 27th. For those of you who don’t know this is typical for us, summer’s are warm and dry (some would say hot, some would laugh) and winters are cool and wet.
My last “agave report” was made December 27th and things were looking good. The rest of the winter was unremarkable for the most part, and I kind of forgot to do a spring follow-up. Now it’s August! My dad was right when he said time goes faster the older you get. Shown above and below is my oldest "in ground" agave, Agave americana. It was planted the summer of 2010, are those of you in the desert laughing? Can you imagine how big this guy would be if it had been in the ground in in the SW United States for 3 years?
Agave ovatifolia, also smaller than you would think after a couple of years in the ground. I believe the stunted growth can be blamed on a lack of water during the summer months, when these plants are actively growing. What can I say, I'm kinda stingy with the water!
This one has been identified by an reader as A. lechuguilla. I'm still not 100% on board with that ID but whatever it is, it's looking good. The Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis (Cow’s Tongue Prickly Pear) behind it finally grew a new pad this year too.
Here's the southeast corner of the front garden, next to the driveway. These Agave americana have been in the ground since spring of 2011. The smaller one on the right almost died the winter of 2011/12, it's making a slow recovery.
While I would be thrilled to see these explode with growth I'm also happy they're not out-growing their space and poking people walking down the sidewalk.
They certainly aren't lacking drama...
This Echinocereus triglochidiatus v. gonacanthus hybrid sailed through last winter. I thought the babies at it's base would be bigger by now though.
A pair of Echinocereus triglochidiatus new this spring.
Opuntia x rutila in the front with Opunita basilaris ‘Sara’s Compact’ behind.
The new (this year) Puya chilensis backed by an NOID (full of buds!) opuntia.
Agave americana var. protoamericana, part of the agave rescue this one just went in the ground this spring.
More A. bracteosa (there are several)...
My oldest A. parryi 'JC Raulston' (planted spring 2011) which has produced several pups I've been able to share with friends. You can see another on the right.
I kept meaning to take a picture of the curling bark on my Arctostaphylos x ‘Austin Griffiths' but never did. Earlier in the summer every branch had curls.
I added 2 more 'JC Raulston' this year, thanks to a "buy one get one" sale. Here's one...
And the other...
This one is older, having been in the ground since spring 2012.
I wanted to empty a couple containers of less than stellar agaves so another trio of A. americana went in the ground this year too, so far so good.
A. ovatifolia twins with another A. americana in the front.
This little Agave montana has got to be the runt of the bunch, barely haven grown at all.
I think every bit of water it should get is sucked up by the tetrapanax behind it, of course it shades the poor guy too.
This is one of the newly planted (when the rhody came out) Agave ovatifolia along with it's friend the Manfreda ‘Macho Mocha.'
The second A. ovatifolia
Unknown Cylindropuntia from my visit to Hillside Botanical Garden.
It had a little issue last January with rotting on the tip, but the new growth seems to say everything is okay now.
This one also came from Hillside Botanical Garden, doesn't it look like one of those ridiculous parking lot blow-up guys with the waving arms?
This was supposed to be a photo of multiple agave and aloe pups, you'll have to look close.
Agave americana 'NoPo'
This one came from the Cistus Nursery tough love sale last fall, no tag. Any guesses?
This photo is deceiving as the A. weberi is about 3ft accross. It's being over-taken by ginger mint which I thought I'd eradicated from the container before the agave went in. Oh and the reason this one is included in the report is because this container is too big to move so he stays right here, in the driveway veggie garden year round.
Aren't those the most amazing spikes?
Now we're in the back yard. These guys have been dug in prior winters but I think I might leave them this year. We'll see.
Here's the newest agave planting which just went in last June. Everything seems pretty happy so far.
The group next to the patio stairs is being overtaken by zealous Dragon's Blood Stonecrop.
Since winter seems to be the best time to cut back the stonecrop, when it looses it's leaves, I think I'll let them battle it out until then.
And here's the other planting next to the patio, at the north end.
The A. gentryi ‘Jaws’ is going crazy! (that's a good thing).
Finally here's my A. attenuata 'Ray of Light' getting to vacation in the ground for the summer. It was down to just 3 leaves and not looking good this spring, I figured it would enjoy a stretch in the soil. Since it's very much not hardy (melting in the low 30's) it will have to be dug before winter (which thankfully still seems so far away!).
Oh wait one more! Check out this tiny seedling, the smallest cactus in my garden...
Those rocks are 3/4-1" across so that gives you an idea just how tiny he is. I'm guessing it might be an Opuntia humifusa since they've bloomed and set fruit fairly close. It makes me very happy to think my garden is worthy of cactus seedlings!
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