Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waste Not

The Aeoniums on the front slope, tall and falling over, needed to be removed.  It was time to pull them all out and plant Agave ovatifolia in their space before the Agave grew too big to move.  
It's heavier than it looks.  
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Planting accomplished, what do do with a hundred or more Aeonium rosettes? 
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A temporary mass-planting on the west slope.
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Just don't mess with his Salvia.
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 The Aeoniums will be able to root, and the slope won't look so empty.  I was planning to mass plant either Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' or Echeveria 'Imbricata', both better suited to a slope than the tall, top heavy Aeonium, and there are three of 'Fred' up there already, but the slope with its unused drip-spots is a perfect place to root the Aeoniums with little effort.  'Fred' and 'Imbricata' will get up there eventually.
'Fred Ives' at the right:
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Echeveria 'Imbricata'
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So the slope planting continues.  

As Aloe capitata prepares to bloom...
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...the largest of last year's capitata seedlings nears 4" (10 cm).  The 'Blue Glow' seedlings remain tiny...
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...while Encheveria 'Arlie Wright' is taking her time about blooming.
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Waste Not. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Some Plants, Mostly Xeric

Euphorbia and friend

All seen recently at the San Diego Botanic Garden

There were some sculptures for sale at the garden.  This one is pretty nice.
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Nature's version of sculpture, Aloe barbarae, even better.
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Aloe classenii had ghostly grey flowers that contrasted with sun-darkened foliage.
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This may or may not have been Aloe vaombe.  The bent trunk is interesting.
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A writhing mass of Aloe leaves.  I forget the species.  I thought it was vanbalenii, but it might not have been.
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Aloe spicata aka sessiliflora, which I didn't realize got that tall. 
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Aloe wickensii, which shields itself from fierce sun and possibly herbivores by closing the older outer leaves over the more tender center of the plant.
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The green version of Agave titanota, some of which are called FO-76.  I like the white version and blue versions better, but this trio looks happy.
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Aloe suzannae, a critically endangered Aloe endemic to one small area of Madagascar.  Goats are eating the seedlings and there are very few plants left in the wild.  The one at the Huntington looked very bad last I was there.  This one is thriving by comparison. 
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This Pachypodium was blooming, and right at nose-level.  It had a delicate sweet fragrance.
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This tree fern grew its way into trouble--full sunlight.  
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This Kauri--well, to show you its height, look down at the bottom of the photo, at the variegated Furcraea.  The Furcraea is six feet tall.  
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It's educational seeing what has grown and what has struggled from one visit to the next.  On my first visit I remember being stunned by an exquisite Encephalartos horridus;  on this visit it was badly sunburnt and in severe decline.  

The succulent lady got replanted a bit.  She's looking better again.
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My favorite plant of the visit was this Yucca rostrata with all its dried lower leaves intact and untrimmed, giving the base an elegant swelling sweep.
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I wonder if the garden over estimated the xeric abilities of this Aloe glauca.
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I ended up getting an Aloe glauca of my own over at nearby Solana Succulents, where I also got the beautiful Tillandsia xerographica.  My glauca will get a little more water.  
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saliva pulchella x involucrata

You know it's my garden because of the dog hair.  
 
I've made progress on the slope planting.  It's getting there.  I suddenly realized while planting this afternoon how wonderful it is to have moist spots every 18" apart, all over the slope.  The spots made moist by the drip irrigation lines are ready to plant, easy to dig, and easy to spot, because of course, weeds are sprouting wherever it is damp.  I'll post photos at completion, though the plants are small and hard to see.   I was frustrated and discouraged at first, but it seems to be not so bad...

In the mean time, Salvia pulchella x involucrata from Strybing Arboretum via Annie's Annuals, has finally decided to bloom after growing but looking wretched all of spring and summer.  Bare stems, yellowed, bug-chewed, and battered leaves, pretty flower with intensely saturated color.  Perhaps the plant will improve this winter with a touch of fertilizer.
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There, just focus on the flowers.  Thaaat's better.
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Across the path from Salvia p x i, Aloe thraskii presented a second flower stalk...
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...and rose 'Secret Garden Musk Climber' broadcast a spicy perfume in the last sliver of late afternoon light.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

November Plant Crush

 Tillandsia xerographica.

What plant do you have a crush on this month?  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fall Planting Binge

Aloe capitata flowers emerging for autumn, Southern California's "second spring"
Fall means it is time to plant all the plants bought over the summer.  

Finally found a decent Agave vilmoriniana 'Stained Glass' at a decent price.  
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On to the west slope with you!
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'Snow Glow', onto the west slope!
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Russelia esquiformus, onto the west slope!
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The Giant White Squill, Drimia maritima, off the west slope, and onto the front slope.  The watering can in the photo shows the scale.  The bulb is the size and weight of a bowling ball.  Like many Southern California gardeners, it is just coming out of summer dormancy
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I was able to split the original bulb into two.  There were actually three bulbs.   Drimia bulbs multiply by slowly dividing themselves over time.  It was seven or eight years to see one bulb divide into two, but only two or three years for two bulbs to divide into three.   One was small, no larger than a medium onion, so I left it attached to one of the halves.  The roots are as thick as fingers. 
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New home.  The other is nearby.  Now that many plants on the front slope have reached a mature size, knowing there is room, I can fill in a few empty spots
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Carry, lug, shovel, plant, dig, plant, water.  Boris found the whole process very boring.  
Throw the tennis ball.
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You're not going to throw the tennis ball?
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Better take a nap, then.  
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Zzzzzzzz...
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I thought my binge was a whole lot of fun. 
Autumn is when a pile of empties doesn't cause a hangover
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Foliage Follow Up

 Bismarkia noblis
Foliage at the San Diego Botanic Garden.
Fiber curls from the Bismarkia frond.
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Nice duet between the stiff, linear palm fronds and the softly weeping Kashmir Cypress.
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Nice trio, an Ozothamnus(?), an Aloe alooides, and a Dioon:
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Nearby, the long languorous tresses of an Araucaria, species unknown. 
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Canna in peak foliage in November?  No problem in San Diego.
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A bromeliad also shows off San Diego's mild climate.
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No sunburn or dry foliage on these succulents.
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What is this--grass?  No, the wax Euphorbia, E. cerifera.  Wax(!) is made from the foliage. 
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Another unusual type of foliage is found on this leafless Strelitzia juncia.  The leaf stems do all the photosynthesizing.  Odd that I saw this species for the very first time yesterday--and today I see it again in a completely different location.  Does that happen to you? 
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San Diego's mildness allows Aloes to be grown extremely dry without sunburning.  This creates brilliant foliage color.
Aloe microstigma, maybe.
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A. peglarae?
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A greatheadii ssp davyana turns a deep bronze.
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And that's November Foliage Follow up from mild San Diego.  For more amazing foliage, visit Digging.