This Year's Garden Show Purchases

Garden Show Buys.  Agave cupreata marmorata or zebra.  The banding is areas of glaucous roughness alternating with areas of...non glaucous roughness.  This is a pretty good looking Agave when it grows up, from what I can tell. 

An unknown species Echeveria, just a cutting.  I'll have to root it, but I've rooted and re-rooted a bunch already this spring, so I'm reasonably confident trying.  Update 6/29/11. It rooted fine.

An unknown Agave.  The name provided by the seller is not a valid name from what I could tell.  Perhaps it's an odd hybrid--hopefully it's not Agave attenuata.  The leaves are soft, the terminal spine isn't much of anything at all, there is a bit of serration on the edge of the leaves.  Jury will be out a good while on this one.  I like a little mystery, though I would be disgusted if it turned out to be A. attenuata.  Nothing wrong with the very beautiful A.attenuata--it's just that I can get those for free.   6/29/11 update. Possibly A. ellemeetianas


Galvezia speciosa, Channel Island Snapdragon.  For the slopes.  Hummingbird bait--red flowers full of nectar.  I have found that simply planting things Hummingbirds adore is a lot easier than filling a feeder every day.  It's also healthier for the birds. 

And Bursera simplex.  My first (and possibly last) "fat plant".  It's all about the caudex.  God please don't let me kill it.

From what I have read they are fairly easy to get going.  This plant had a root system but most of it was broken off.  I bought it bare root.  Apparently they can re-root themselves without too much trial.  Bursera drop their leaves in times of drought, are hardy down to around 20F, and can be left out in the rain here in winter, according to the Cactus and Succulent club PDF I found.  Most are native to Mexico.  In nature they are small trees.  Collectors make bonsai out of them; the plants are prized for their peeling outer skin and caudex, which can be dramatic and sculptural.  Here in Southern California, a desert plant is a lot easier to maintain as a bonsai than an Acer palmatum or Mugo pine, due to the heat and lack of humidity.  Update 6/29/11 the first leaves are appearing! It's alive, alive!

When I first started going to garden shows I bought roses and clematis and begonias and orchids bouncing with water and bursting with bloom.  I would have walked right by the vendor who I bought everything but the Galvezia from without a glance.  The guy was selling no color, no pretty flowers, no immaculate pots with colored labels.   Everything was bareroot in boxes with the dust of the land still upon them. 

Now I buy stuff that looks dead.  I will never buy another orchid--growing them I discovered that they are not for me.  Sheer curiosity prompted the desire to grow a Bursera.  The A. cupreata and Echeveria were too cheap to pass up.  The questionable Agave was an amusing mystery.  Gardening has become an increasingly winding road.  When I started I expected it would always be a straight shot down well trodden, wide, smooth, beautiful Hybrid Tea Rose boulevard, but this journey is taking twists and turns.  More and more I'm enjoying the anticipation of discovering what is around the next bend. 


  1. i heard the garden show was fantastic!! sorry i missed it!


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