Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Protea Flower Update/New Thankfully Small Project

'Pink Ice' 
 
Almost a month ago I expressed hope that the Protea flowers were about to open.  The buds are bigger, fatter, prettier, but not any more open.  Oh well.  The wait continues.  
'Mini King':
 New (small) project:  redoing the section containing all the Agave augustifolias (two now bloomed-out) and some jammed-together Agave desmetianas.
 This bit, roughly:
 My blow-off-the-driveway-guy was going to do it.  While I was waiting for him, I started.  Filled two 96 gallon bins quickly.
 The miracle July rain must have prompted Agave stricta to bloom.  Or is that Agave striata? I checked back;  it is indeed stricta.
Cleared out.  I thought about duplicating the triangle of 'Bright Star' for a bit of symmetry to the lower left of Leucadendron linearfolia, using 'Joe Hoak's instead.  The color is nearly identical, the plant size roughly so, and I have several 'Joe Hoak's already. 
 I have several Aloes and Agaves that need a spot in the ground. 
 While the area is empty, Lagerstroemia 'Dynamite' will distract.  October is planting time.  August is not. 
Happy color. 
 Something to enjoy, while waiting for Proteas.

24 comments:

  1. Going to look great. You have so many lovely sized plants to pick and choose from.

    Hope the wait for the protea is not too much longer.

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    1. Too many. Need to quit shopping for a while.

      I do a daily Protea check. Having never grown one before, I had no idea how long it would be.

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  2. Beautiful plants and happy colours dear Hoover. I apologise for not commenting lately, I have had and am still recovering from a very painful bout of 'shingles' and have not really felt like blogging or doing much at all.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. No apologies required, Dianne. I had that 2 years ago. I know how it feels...horrible, horrible, horrible, like electric shocks. Get well!

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  3. Just to think of it as succession planting :)

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    1. Just a very slow succession. Works for me.

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  4. To my eye that's admittedly not experienced in looking at beds/plants of this type this area looked great in the "before" shot. Can't wait to see how you improve it now!

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    1. The A. augustifolia was too aggressively offsetting to be manageable. The desmetianas were all mooshed in there, the stricta/striata is too close to the street, and was also mooshed in there, creating a great environment for mealy bug infestations. Those were the very first Agaves planted. Hopefully I've learned something by now and can do better.

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  5. Really? You confuse Agave stricta and A. striata too? I feel better.

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    1. Oh yes.

      I think the Starr book explains the difference very well, must find the book and look. The puppies chewed the book up pretty good, so I don't keep it out in the open.

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  6. That's a gorgeous view. The roses love that dark background!

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    1. Another one of my completely accidental successes. If only I could do that on purpose!

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  7. The Bloom Watch: I patrol the grounds, looking for the first signs of several things that seem to be taking forever to put out that first bloom. The anticipation is the best part. I don't even care that much about flowers.

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    1. The anticipation is fun, isn't it? Where you are, with a sort of winter, and herbaceous perennials emerge from spring soil, that must be a delight.

      I remember the very first rose bloom ever in the garden--it was a thrill. The first Protea might match it.

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  8. I love how you're not rushing things. That's sometimes my undoing.

    I'm waiting for your proteas to open up, too. I need a protea fix.

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    1. I don't want to watch plants die, and I don't want to have to redo it.

      I think we all need a Protea fix. Running out to check...

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  9. After last week's trip, I'm contemplating a fall Protea purchase, probably either 'Pink Ice' or 'Mini King', both of which are currently available locally, so I'll be interested in your perception of how the 2 compare. After my recent failure with another Leucospermum, I'm approaching proteas with a degree of caution.

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    1. The Leucospermum don't appear to be all that drought-tolerant at least when newly planted. Ditto Protea and Grevillea. The California Protea Growers website has some good info: water deeply twice a week the first two years, extra water in very hot weather when there are flower buds, lest the plant abandon the flowers to protect itself.

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  10. Proteas are looking better all the time! Your project will look marvelous when it's finished...oh look, something pretty and red. What were we talking about?

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    1. Yes the project will be...ooh yes, pretty and red! Love pretty! Love red!

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  11. Missed that this is your first Protea bloom ever, so now am regarding the plant as a really tormenting tease. And it's getting extra water, too (per the Cal Growers recommendations). This flower should be / better be good!

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    1. 'Pink Ice' is also apparently psychic, as it began to open today, of course the day after I posted. I'll feature it for bloom day--should be fully open by then...maybe.

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  12. What species is on the left of your outline nearest the concrete? Also, what species is in the cut out next to it?

    Are you like me and feel horrible throwing them out? Or is that something I'll get over, seeing as I'm newer to this obsession?

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    1. The one on the left is Senecio cylindricus, aka S. vitalis, aka S. talinoides ssp. cylindricus. In the cut out is Oscularia deltoides, aka Lampranthus deltoides.

      When you have hundreds of a plant, you get used to keeping the best and discarding or giving away the rest. The more you garden I think the more ruthless you become, but also more skilled at saving plants.

      I rooted new fresh plants of the Senecio from cuttings already, and made a bunch of cuttings of the Oscularia to root--and already have other clumps of that. The Agave desmetiana I have hundreds of them; the augustifolia I thought suckered too freely to be manageable. I prefer the solitary or nearly solitary Agaves. The ones that offset a lot can become a big mess.

      It's a happy obsession, practiced in moderation. :)

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