Endless Summer, But Not In A Good Way

'Cousin Itt', you are going to have to wait in your pot.
After a very few (two) days of cool autumn weather, heat returned.  All gardening stopped.  Again.
The Beaucarnea doesn't mind.  
 Might as well make the climb to see if the first Stapelia flower has opened.  Past Agave marmorata...
 Past Agave 'Joe Hoak'...
 Past Agave guiengola.
 Past Yucca linearifolia--oh, no.  Something is wrong.  Look at how the lowest green leaves of the Yucca are hanging limply downwards.
 Oh, boy.  Look at the base of the leaves.  They are brown.  Something is seriously wrong.  Darn!
Darn.  I thought Yucca were immortal here.  What could have happened?  Yuccas don't tire of summer.  Ah...the Stapelia flower did open, and a fly is enjoying it.  
 They are such cool flowers, but I wish they didn't attract flies. 
As for the Yucca...there is a spare, a Y. queretaroensis planted too close to a Metrosideros 'Springfire' that really must be moved.  It can has linearifolia's spot, if linearifolia doesn't live.  I moved the other queretaroensis successfully about two years ago.  
Here is the queretaroensis just after planting in fall 2011, circled at uppermost left.  If you look carefully you can see the sprinkler head in both photos, though I changed out the type of sprinkler in the mean time:
Yucca queretaroensis

We'll see what happens.  This seemingly endless summer--our first really miserable heat wave of the year was back in March, and it's mid-October.  Seven months of summer.  I begin to think a shadier garden might be a good thing.  

Yesterday, I visited a shady garden of mostly standard evergreen shrubs, trees, and lawns.  It's completely different from my own.  I like it a lot.  It's well maintained, with a peaceful vibe. 
 Many succulents do great in shady spots in California.
 The homeowners have cut back on water to meet conservation goals, but only the lawn and a few recently planted shrubs show any hint of less water.  Most plants are long established and have had little trouble with less water.  
There's an air conditioning unit right there, completely hidden.
 Large, long established Camellias with shaded root systems looked great.
 Lush and green, but meeting conservation numbers!

 Lots of gateways and paths. 
 Even a thirstier plant like a Hibiscus looked healthy and happy:
 One of the few less common plants in the garden, a Mayten tree,
 Shade!  Ahhh....
Shade.  A way to fight endless summer.


  1. I am amazed at how quickly those plants grew and they are gorgeous. I have some baby Joe Hoaks but they will live in a pot. the same with 'blue glow' It is a pity about the stapelia. I snip off the flowers after I have admired them for a day because they are always full of wiggling larvae. Such a pity to end the show early but flies I do not like. Summer is back here too. Will it ever end? Not this week.

    1. They did grow faster than I expected, and hold up to direct all day sun without an issue. Tony Avent at the succulent symposium was talking about how a few Agaves are tetraploids instead of diploids and that the tetraploids have an extra layer of photosynthesizing tissue in their leaves. I wonder if 'Joe Hoak' is one of those, with that layer of frosting.

      In this heat the larvae will surely shrivel? One of the reasons I placed the Stapelia where I did was so I didn't have to lure flies to close to the house...

  2. Yeah, but Endless Summer had beaches. This is more like the place where Santa Anas aka devil winds dwell. I know other gardeners and gardens in the south and southwest live with it, but this is coastal (and a bit inland for me, 26 miles) California, where, darn it, we're supposed to have pleasant weather! Garden is taking it rather well especially those old established plants that have been around a long time, like those you mention above. That camellia is blooming now, is it? You have a photo of a nice looking yellow-flowered plant in photo # 11 with the little black circles in it, what is it?

    1. That was my yellow version of Aloe arborescens, which developed a very bad widespread case of gall mite, so I wrapped the whole thing in a big plastic bag and dumped it in the trash. Sigh.

      Yes, darn it, the weather used to be nice here almost all the time! When did they move us all to Alabama?

  3. One of my 3 Yucca 'Bright Star' is showing similar signs of stress. I haven't been able to identify the cause - the 3 are near one another and I don't detect an obvious irrigation issue. But, with only giant 'Bright Stars' available at horrid prices, I'm worried. My patience declines with each new heatwave - I hope this is the last one! I'd like more shade but I lost more just this week, not by my decision but by my neighbor's. Our view conservation ordinance ties my hands when it comes to planting anything that gets really big but maybe some more understory trees are the ticket.

    1. I'm getting some lovely shaded spots (though small) from a 10' Iochroma and a 10' Valencia orange. It doesn't take that tall of a plant, just strategic placement.

      I moved a 'Bright Star' last year, pulled off a tuberous bit of root in the process, planted the root and it has produced a new plant now about 3" in diameter. The big issue with those are how slow they are, hence the expense. I'm baffled about the linearifolia. It was thriving and glorious up until a few weeks ago. I hope your Bright Star settles in.

      If you still have patience left, I admire you. Mine is long gone.

  4. Your garden's gorgeous, heat or no. A nurseryman told me yuccas love water, but all mine are in pots (yuccas, not nurserymen), so I'm no help there. Your agaves are something -- I'm swooning over that guiengola, the marmorata, the Joe Hoaks... all of them. So beautiful.

    Another heat advisory here [sigh].

    1. More heat today, double sigh. Stay cool and hydrated!

  5. Our heat up here seems to finally have dissipated. I wish you get a break too, soon. Most of my garden is in fairly deep shade. I can't really grow much of that pretty, spiky stuff with much success, but in the heat of summer I am ever so grateful for that dense tree canopy. Hope you cool off soon, down there.

    1. Are you more cold in winter? That is one thing I wonder about when adding more shade. Though we have not had a good winter since about 2005. Enjoy the mild temperatures, I envy you today, that is for sure. More 90s here.

  6. Such a great picture of the Stapelia flower and plant, with that unopened bud as well. I'm sorry about your Yucca linearifolia. It can be so hard to lose such a handsome, mature plant. As for shade, I get it, but then, of course, one gets it and one then can't grow the sun-lovers. It's a conundrum.

    1. As GrowingObsession pointed out a couple of days ago, here a carpet of bromileads will color up shade. I'm so tempted, as the heat drags on and on.

  7. Your garden looks great dear Hoover, lots of green and healthy plants despite the long summer temperatures and water restrictions. Will you just remove those brown leaves from the base of the yucca and see how it fares? We have had some mixed temperatures for October, some cool and pleasant days and some very uncomfortable days where the temperature has risen above 35 degrees C... and its only Springtime. I wonder what horrors Summer will bring?
    Shade is such a wonderful asset in a garden, I need to plant more medium height trees in strategic places.
    xoxoxo ♡

    1. The Yucca looked even worse yesterday, I'm afraid it won't make it. It happens... I hope your summer is not as bad as expected. It is more difficult for you than for us here, even more dry there.

  8. I'm with you on the endless summer bit. In the 90s again today here in Davis. Hey, weather gods, it's October 12! Enough already! I thought I'd be working in the garden every weekend in October. Think again!

    Loved the photos in your post though. They make me look forward to the planting season that is bound to come.

    1. We got two days of cool weather as a teaser, then back into heat-prison. :(

      Oh well, it has to cool off sometime soon, right?


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