What's Doing At Roger's


We escaped another Santa Ana Wind Event by visiting Roger's Gardens yesterday, where we could be outdoors without getting hammered by blowing dust and debris.

 Lots and lots of fresh new potted roses for sale, just leafing out.  Roger's buys bare roots and pots them up in pulp containers.  I have bought a couple in the past;  they both had the roots wound in a circle to fit into the pot; the moral of that story being pull them out of that pathetic little container right away and either spread the roots out when you plant them in the ground, or spread the roots out and plant them properly in a larger pot.  But everyone knows that.  Or should.  Roger's should. 

I bought no roses.  We spent much of our visit admiring the street plantings--Agaves! Aloes!

'Joe Hoak' a ghost of himself because...
Agave 'Joe Hoak' dying

...he was blooming.  The flower spike is a bright lemon yellow, far less green than the "normal" version of  A. desmettiana.  
Agave 'Joe Hoak' bloom

Agave 'Joe Hoak' bloom

Agave 'Joe Hoak' blooms

I fear my own beloved 'Joe Hoak' will bloom soon.  It has that look.  I only hope I get some offsets or bulbils out of it, because I assume it will not come true from seed.   From what I have read, some Agaves do not offset at all;  some Agaves will offset as juveniles, some Agaves will offset as juveniles and as adults, and some Agaves will offset just before they bloom, or as they are dying.  'Joe Hoak' may be one of the last.  I can only hope. 

Gorgeous Aloes to gawk at while gleaming Mercedes, Maseratis, and BMW's whizzed by feet away on San Miguel Drive.  A blooming Grevillea behind the Aloe:
Aloe in bloom

Splendidly red Kalanchoes in the foreground:
Aloe with Kalanchoe luciae

Aloe in bloom

Sedum 'Coppertone' with Agave 'Blue Flame', dwarfy Dianellas (a bit ratty) and Furcraea macdougallii in the background.  Those dwarf Dianellas look so breathtakingly fresh and beautiful straight from the growers, but I've never seen one able to retain that pristine look.  They get ratty at the edges and tips.
Sedum 'Coppertone' in mass planting

Aloe maculata (saponaria) 'Yellow Form', maybe?
Aloe flower
We parked next to a neat little --Hakea?  I picked up a fallen seed pod, for shame.  Have no idea where the seed is exactly--inside that pod? 

Reminder of the accent virtues of a beautiful boulder:
Agave 'Blue Flame'

And in the parking lot, the Arbutus ('Marina'?) planted a couple of years ago, are growing.  They looked rather pathetic when they first went in, but are developing beauty.  I wonder if they will be allowed to mature.  Roger's switches plants out frequently.  
Arbutus 'Marina' (maybe)

I liked this silver Astelia paired with silver Helichrysum.  The effect doesn't quite come across in the photo, but the two silvers looked right together.  
Astelia with a silver Helichrysum

Now actually in the establishment, rather than out in the parking lot,  a group of Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'.  Do they or don't they reseed everywhere? 
Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition'

And an Edgeworthia.  I've never seen an Edgeworthia before.  Southern California is simply not a mecca for deciduous shrubs.  The flowers looked like--Lantana.  Of all things.  Hmm.   It wasn't advantageously lit for photos;  I did what I could.  
Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Gold Rush'

I played around with Photoshop and considered the Lantana-ness of the Edgeworthia.  It had a much sweeter fragrance than Lantana. 
Edgeworthia watercolored

Roger's ferox has more spikes than my ferox.  Sniff.  
Aloe in bloom

Yes, I bought some plants.


  1. Yes, they do change things up frequently -- like the planting of agaves in the nursery that has been ripped -- yes, that's right, ripped out! I was at Roger's last week too and chatted with a nurseryman, who said the plantings had grown too large. You know the one I mean, opposite the shade plant area? Some Blue Glow were left and parryi and a couple aloes, but the whole area is being redone. And oddly enough, I don't think I bought any plants that day!

  2. Yes, that's what I was thinking of, those gorgeous Agaves suddenly gone missing. I assumed they will sell them as specimen plants. Who in their right mind would have trashed them?

  3. Gorgeous bloom on that 'Joe Hoak,' is the purple/pink blush on the leaves a winter thing or is that part of what you're seeing as a signal of yours being about to bloom?

    I hope you and Denise are right about them selling the agaves that were mysteriously ripped out.

  4. It must be such a bittersweet event when a favorite agave decides to bloom. In the colder north we can only dream of that heartache. Those aloe blooms are spectacular! As for Edgeworthia, it smells wonderful in bloom, but I find it an ungainly, squat shrub the rest of the year, leaved or bare. Grow those gorgeous aloes, astelia and agaves for which you have the perfect climate! (Then again, who am I to say such a thing with my own zone 8 denial?)

  5. Danger I think the pink coloration is winter+dying: photosynthesis has either ceased or slowed to a crawl, and inherent color normally hidden by the photsynthesis appears.

    What I see on mine is newest leaves subtly smaller than recent leaves--that is the tip off for approaching bloom.

    Mulch, happier to think of it as a celebration/culmination, rather than an end. I've decided to think of it like that, anyway. I will leave Edgeworthia to other climates with larger yards and cheaper water! :)


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