High Wind Warning

 

Okay with wind

A high wind warning for tonight.  Though we've had a few mild Santa Ana events lately, this looks to be the first strong one, with accompanying fire dangers and possible power outages.  The electricity not going out and no wildfires will be plenty to be Thankful For. 

Wazzup in the garden--the latest mild Santa Ana stripped the 'Oshio Bene' Acer nearly clean, leaving a heretofore well hidden bird's nest exposed.  

 A Mockingbird was hanging around the Acer this spring, an unusual thing.  Was it her?  Or a Pacific Coast Flycatcher, like last year?  Mockingbirds are usually roving out front, near the Oak.  Whoever she was, I hope she had success raising her chicks.  

On the other hand, resident Mockingbirds suffered disappointment this week in the loss of the towering Agave marmorata flower stem they loved to perch upon.  Time to bring it down before it fell on the neighbor's expensive car, which is usually parked right below it.  

 The car was absent one morning, so I jumped on the opportunity and dropped the stem down pretty much where I aimed it--between the Kumara (Aloe) plicatilis and one of the Yucca queretaroensis.   

Right about there:

 A snapped off Limonium flower stem and an Agave parryi truncata leaf tip were the only casualties.   


 Free Christmas Tree substitute, too.  I could spray paint it gold or silver and stick it on the front slope, to amuse or annoy the neighbors.  

One recent plant purchase, Salvia 'Heatwave Breeze', a hybrid between S. microphylla and S. greggii.  S. greggii has not done well here.  I asked a Texas gardener about that species, because it looked fabulous in many different gardens during the Austin Garden Blogger's Fling back in 2018.   She replied that the deer constantly nibble them.   That's a clue--regular tipping back may help. 

Besides the towering Agave stem, the Puya finally came out last week.  It had a moderate but very stubborn root system.  45 minutes of rocking back and forth in different spots with a garden fork popped it out.  The fork is where the Puya was:

I had to saw it into several pieces to make it light enough to get into the green waste.  The leaves were light, but the stumpy bases were dense and heavy.  It was growing on the slope for at least ten years.  I didn't treat it quite right, but it didn't do much for me, either. 

Not much in the way of beauty shots this post.  One of the Alstroemerias never did go dormant, and it is flowering again.  One leaf of a Cordyline 'Festival Grass' makes a perfect intrusion, color-wise:

The trunk of the smaller 'Hercules' Aloe has a wonderful texture just now:
The texture resembles something like bare branches, stripped of leaves by strong winds. 

 I'm very thankful this year for 'Beloved' the rose, and Beloved, the husband.  

They are both gems.    Happy Thanksgiving.  Gratitude is a beautiful thing. 

Comments

  1. You did a great job bringing the Agave marmorata down. Given what newscasters are saying about a shortage of Christmas trees this year, I think you should told the top in reserve - if not needed for your own use, it might come in handy to gift to a tree-less neighbor ;) After today's weather forecasts and two notices from my cell phone provider, I admit to some nervousness about the coming wind event. We have a portable generator but it doesn't power the whole house so Thanksgiving dinner may not turn out as expected. Whatever happens, I hope you and yours enjoy the holiday!

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    1. I've gotten practice with Agave flower stems over the years. Aloes are easier--when they get super dry a tug pulls them free.

      We skipped the Christmas tree last year because of Covid--I just was not in the mood. Hopefully we can find one this year--but if not, maybe next year.

      The wind was bad here but the power never went out, so all's well. Hope your day was lovely.

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  2. Well, I'm sorry you have those Santa Anas to contend with. We had so much wind this summer but less heat and I think there was only one power shut-off and that was at higher elevations. I love so many of the S. microphyllas and the greggiis but they do look awkward after they bloom out -I've started to just cut them in half after each bloom cycle to try to get below those bare sticky-uppy flower stems . Wishing a happy Thanksgiving to you an Beloved.

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    1. Hope you had a lovely TG.

      Salvias all seem to need regular clean ups, but they are mostly worth it. A lot of bang for the effort. and Hummers!

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  3. Gratitude IS a beautiful thing indeed! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your Beloved. I love the idea of using the Agave flower for a Christmas tree substitute! That photo truly shows off the scale... wow! I'm always amazed how large those plants actually get when in a climate they love (looking at my own tiny agave attempts - LOL!).

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    1. I hope your TG was lovely.

      The monumental Agaves are so impressive, but removal after bloom is a big challenge. Not sure I'm up for that any more.

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  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Hoping your wish for power and no fires is granted.

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    1. Hope yours was a good one, Loree. We got though our latest wind event pretty well. Whew! Big relief.

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  5. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope the winds are not too bad.

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    1. Hope yours was lovely, Phillip. The winds were pretty bad, but no serious damage--just everything dried out.

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  6. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Good job with the agave stem. A bit of the lumberjack in you.

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    1. Agaves are more of an adventure than I expected!

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  7. I like the "Christmas Tree substitute" idea. It could look fabulous and a way to keep on enjoying the Agave marmorata flower stem in its afterlife.
    I don't ofter think of agaves as very approachable, but 'Hercules' Aloe trunk looks very enticing and huggable.

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    1. I often pat that trunk when I walk by. It's strangely touchable.

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