Placement

 Correctly placed:  Aloe fosteri (above) is growing and blooming for the first time.  Planted at the bottom of a slope and partly shaded by a nearby tree, it's doing well.

October means cooling temperatures (sort of, we're due for more 90's at the end of the week).  Cooling temperatures means its time to get summer purchases into the ground.  After six weeks in a pot getting plenty of water, an Agave stricta went back onto the front slope.  It grew a new root system and already shows new top growth.
 
Looking from the other direction, the plants in the red circle are the new inhabitants:  the Agave stricta, two silvery Leucophyllum 'Thunder Cloud', silvery blue Agave parrasana 'Fire Ball', and silvery Aloe dhufarensis.

I had removed a bunch of stuff back in August (circled in pink below).  I was going to leave the Oscularia, but it looked ratty so I took some cuttings to root and pulled out the rest.

To the right of the Agave strictas, the color scheme is mostly greeny-yallery (Yucca 'Bright Star', Agave 'Joe Hoak', Aloe ferox, Aloe marlothii, etc).  To the left of the strictas, the scheme is more silver/blue/yellow.  I'm attempting to make as graceful transition as possible between the two, with the plants I have.

Agave 'Ivory Curls' mixes pale yellow with pale silver/blue
'Fireball' has the same pale yellow, but the blue is a little bluer.
Agave titanota is more silver.
 The Leucospermum, growing like a weed above the Agaves on the slope, (got that placed right) blooms bright yellow flowers come winter.  I'm hoping it all won't look too random, even though it is random.
 Placement is not just a matter of color or texture, there's also that little issue of the health of the plant.  Agaves are proven on the slope; I'll have to be attentive to the health of the Leucophyllums to see if they can survive the dryness there.  

Rhus integrifolia, common name Lemonade Berry, a California native plant
 I placed a Rhus integrifolia in the back gully, partly because it will need no irrigation once well established, and partly to right a wrong.  There was a beautiful Rhus integrifolia growing in almost the same spot when we bought the property.  I regretted it had to be removed to terrace the back area, regretted removing a valuable native plant--valuable in feeding and sheltering native birds.  A new plant has now been returned to its rightful place.  (The alternative name is Schmaltzia integrifolia.  Schmaltzy!)

Adenanthos sericeus ssp sericeus, newly placed:

The Adenanthos sericea ssp sericea replaces a much-loved 'Julia Child' rose.  I was planning to move 'Julia' to an empty spot out front, but alas, digging revealed another root gall infection.  Eventually, it's fatal.  Perhaps I'll get another 'Julia' this winter for that spot.  It is a most excellent rose.  I have three other copies, all excellent.  The area is dry for roses.  Hopefully the Adenanthos likes it. 

I'll miss you, lovely, lovely 'Julia Child'.  Misplaced. 
'Julia Child' photo aa3332_zps66a4a6a2.jpg
The story behind the little baby lizard in the next photo is also one of placement.  I was cleaning up a pile of clippings in the veggie garden.  Dropping the pile in the green bin, I realized a baby lizard was in among the clippings.  I could not grab it fast enough--it vanished in the big bin, so I left the lid open and a bridge of stems to a planter, hoping baby lizard could safely escape. When I put the bins out on the street for pick up, baby was still in the bin, but I managed to grab the tiny creature--or more accurately it grabbed hold of the base of my thumb and clung there in terror.  I managed to shake it off my thumb without hurting it, into the soft, bouncy mound of Oscularia (left side of photo).  I've seen it there since, eating bugs and growing.  I managed to place it safely. 
I was truly relieved and happy.  Living things should be placed where they can grow and thrive, not in danger, or in barrenness.  

 Though sometimes a good place for the living thing is not a great place for the placer.  The Stapelia I stuck in an obscured place on the east slope is thriving, but no one can see it, and I must climb and walk along a ledge and stretch to look at it while the neighbor's dog barks at me.  But it is looking fabulous...must go climb and see if the flowers have opened. 

Comments

  1. I'm always eager to see what you plant next. The amount of space you have available--and what you do with it--is a big inspiration. You may doubt your own abilities, but you have an innate instinct to do things right. For me, you're a trend setter.

    BTW, where did you find your Aloe dhufarensis? I've been wanting one for years but haven't found a source.

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    1. You are very kind, Gerhard! Thank you.

      I got it at the local Spring Garden Show from Rain Shadow Designs--they are more of a landscape contractor than a plant vendor, but that day they were selling plants. I think Arid Lands lists it, but they did not have it today when I checked. I had quite a scare with the plant. It was in a plastic pot and very top heavy, so I put it, still in the plastic pot, into a ceramic pot with a drainage hole so it wouldn't fall over. I left it where a sprinkler would hit it a little bit. Somehow the ceramic pot's drain hole was not draining so it sat for a good month at least with the roots constantly submerged in a pot of water!!! When I finally noticed that, I assumed it was going to die, but it didn't. When I planted it, the whole plastic pot was stuffed full with big healthy fat yellow roots. So I guess it likes water in hot weather! The advice is to keep it completely dry in winter, and that it is a heat lover. It is now planted in the hottest area of my garden, so I hope that is enough. It is supposed to be very cold hardy, to 20F, but that's not an issue here. If I see one for sale, I will email you...

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  2. I love what you've done! Today is first time I've heard of Stapelia, and I've read about for the second time.

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    1. Some of them have quite amazing flowers, so it's an interesting genus. They can take intense heat, but not much direct sun. It is in quite a shady spot, and seems to like it. The flower is not open yet, but maybe today, so I'll post a photo when it opens.

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  3. You lost me at those gorgeous Agave curls...

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    1. I go out daily for the express purpose of staring at it for several minutes, so I know what you mean!

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    2. I just keep scrolling back to the picture of 'Ivory Curls'... riveting!

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    3. Okay, I've now been on a tour of images of 'Ivory Curls' from all around the world and the web, and yours is still the loveliest. The light, the shadows, the pristine foliage. Had to quickly shut the tab that revealed Plant Delights is offering it; I have nowhere to keep it in winter, and it would look ludicrously out of place almost anywhere here even in high summer (and would need to be lugged under cover to avoid rain). Yet I can't get it out of my mind...

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    4. It's even better in person! (Sorry)

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  4. Great post and play on the word! The lizard is lucky to be spotted and rescued, and nice new plantings too.

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    1. They eat small biting flies, and earwigs, and even aphids. Lizards are great!

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  5. It's nice that the schmaltzy schmaltzia has been replanted. 'Ivory Curls' and 'Fireball' sure are pretty. I'm sure the woolly bush will be happy there. I'm still battling some sort of beetle that's eating the surface of some of the branches on mine, causing sections of them to be stripped. It's pretty bad now. All the best for your newly planted areas!

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    1. Schmaltzia! I love that name. It's almost as good a name as "Prickly Toothbrush"!

      I wonder if anything here would chew on Adenanthos--I hope not. Best of luck to you with the beetle problem. The drainage is very sharp and the soil is very light where I planted it, so hopefully it will be happy.

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  6. All beautiful and happy to be so well-placed. The 'Ivory Curls' is swoon-worthy... I love that a new Rhus integrifolia will grow and thrive, and ditto the little lizard, who will have quite a story to tell his grandkid-lizards. Both fortunate to be in your garden!

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    1. I am fortunate they are in my garden. :)

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  7. Climb and walk along a ledge and stretch... sounds like good placement to me! (Any excuse for exercise and stretching is a good one!) Kudos on the lizard rescue! :)

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    1. The Stapelia flowers are not open yet...maybe today!

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  8. A friend sent me a photo yesterday of a garden with a hodge-podge of disconnected, if healthy, succulent specimens. You do so well with arranging yours to pleasing effect. I hope I can develop as good an eye for placement as I expand my own collection. I'm glad you were able to aid the lizard in his escape too!

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    1. The sophistication of my effort has developed this far: put the greeny-yellowy-gold stuff together, and put the silvery-blue-gray stuff together, transition between the two with greenies. It's not much, but it helped. It's all PBG* here.

      I love lizards!!!!

      *Personal Botanical Garden

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  9. Oh, man...'Ivory Curls' has my number.

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