These two echeverias are worth considering. Pink Frills is e. shaviana, meaning it was hybridized and named for Henry Shaw of the U. of Missouri. It will grow to 3’ high and 12’ wide. It’s a good one for the garden,and will form offshoots.
Aztec Blue , on the other hand, might be a better choice for a pot. It’s an echeveria subsessalis meaning it tends to stay “fixed”. It’s going to stay smaller 2-4” x 8 ” . It’s flowers are pink, like the edges of it’s leaves. It looks really well in a group if you are going to plant it in the garden.. (see http://www.bloomingnursery.com ) Pink Frills will form its’ own group. Both are summer bloomers with pink flowers.
This is one tough, undemanding orchid—a gift . It bloomed madly a few months ago, got put out in the shade garden at the bottom of a bamboo hedge. Got sprayed with the hose—maybe every 10 days. Now, here it is, blooming again. Think it is an epidendrum hybrid, but not sure. If you can identify it , let me know!
This week has been a minor disaster. The lithium battery on my digital camera gave out. No camera, no blog and no batteries anywhere to be had. Finally located the battery on line---still hasn’t arrived. ( Did get a notice it had been shipped---gee thanks, fellas). Finally marched into one of the big box stores that had assured me they didn’t have the battery. Found the battery—the only one. Saved..
More good news. Lots of butterflies everywhere in the garden. Have the Gulf Fritillaries been gossiping about the food supplies? Added a Butterfly Bush (Asclepias curassavica 'Red Butterfly") which the
growers aver is the delight of Monarchs. And there are Monarchs! Still no Swallowtails in spite of Fennel growing in the garden. Apparently, (conservative creatures!) fennel is not a substitute for wild anise.
The Spiral Cactus ( he refuses to be photographed, not ready for his close-up) is actually looking better. Shade cloth seems to be working.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Echeveria Domingo, Echeveria Subrigida Fire and Ice , Agapanthus Winterdwarf and updates on aloe polyphylla and sempervivums
|Echeveria Subrigida 'Fire and Ice'|
Here's Fire and Ice --- it can grow to twice this size . This one is about 15". Both these hybrids were grown by Native Sons ( nativeson.com/plants.htm) whose website is an education in itself. Anything you see on the site it can be ordered through a local nursery on the Central Coast.
Hhere is the latest blooming hybrid agapantha to date- Winterdwarf (about the same size as Peter Pan) --- but with even later blooms.. Anything to extend the agapantha season!. Not only is Winterdwarf beautiful, unthirsty, easy care (to no care) but the butterflies love it. Sulphurs, White and Skippers are feeding on it now.
Update on sempervivums. Don't be fooled into thinking these guys are as undemanding in our climate as most succulents. Though used in roof gardens all over N. Europe, in So Cal they need at least weekly water, otherwise they start reproducing and dying off.
Update on aloe polyphlla (Orb Cactus, Spiral Cactus,).This aloe takes the cake for temperamental. I've seen it grown to 14" across in the nurseries, and from the looks of the leaves they are growing it under shade cloth??......but caring for it at home is a real challenge. Let it dry out completely between waterings, don't water the crown, and keep your fingers crossed.After a year, mine is alive but sulky. Haven't tried it yet under shade cloth. Just moved it.Spiral Aloes can spiral either left or right. The maddened collector naturally needs both.
This site has beautiful Spiral Aloes http://www.ecotree.net/contact.php with great photographs. I'd be in heaven if I could get my waif to look like these pictures! The site also suggests watering aloe polypylla about as much as you would a cymbidium then gives authoritative directions for the potting mix. Might try re-potting with orchid bark in the mix. Stay tuned.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Agave parrasana (Desert Rose)
|My Confederate Rose|
Which twin has the Toni ? Still a mystery......
By the way, I must recommend a knock-out mystery story to any who-dun- it fans.....it's called Special Topics In Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl ( http://www.calamityphysics.com/main.htm)
One of the better things about a succulent garden is you have time to read mystery stories.
This one is a winner--if you liked Holden Caulfield of The Catcher in the Rye you'll appreciate Blue Van Meer. The mystery itself is so well plotted , found myself going back and checking all the clues to be sure Pessl was playing fair.
Back to the mystery agave Confederate Rose. It really is Agave parrasana Desert Rose, and you can find it at Terra Sol Nursery along with Tony the Agave Man who solved the mystery. He doesn't quite approve of the name Confederate Rose "I'm not sure it's a real name...." Probably isn't, but it does have an intriguing connotation Desert Rose lacks. (Why is it a Confederate Rose ? Were Southern girls prickly, or great survivors, or extremely fertile? ) Lacking Tony, you might be able to ID the agave by comparing the leaves very carefully. Truncata has some very fine stripes in its' leaves.
We've mentioned boutique agaves (Debora Lee Baldwin's term) last January and here's one that is resplendent---: Agave lophantha v. Splendida . It's leaves are shiny, as though lacquered, it glows. Grows grows 1' x 1.5', just right for a knock-out pot (which this isn't). This 4" plastic pot will not be it's home. Time to consult Debra Lee Baldwin in her book on Container Gardens, for the Perfect Pot..
Sunday, August 1, 2010
SUCCULENT GARDEN IN OJAI- This is one of the more remarkable gardens around.The whole garden is about an acre, covered with live oaks, on the edge of a ravine. The gardener has managed to blend an astonishing array of plants (roses, Peruvian lilies, poppies, day lilies on one side of a path (in the sun) culminating in this triangular succulent garden under an oak, in semi-shade. (One reason the succulents look so lush is the shade).The top of the triangle is the wall of the house containing two doors.The succulents are combined with a lavish hand.
To the top left of this arrangement is E. agavoides v. Maria (photo from San Marcos Growers)
Presiding over this exuberant succulent garden is a terra cotta statue of the benevolent Hindu deity, Ganesha, the guardian of thresholds and remover of obstacles.
Assuming you are going to race out to get your passion flower vine so you can have lovely orange butterflies( Gulf Fritillaries) as we suggested last week, an added bonus is ---you can eat the fruit of the passion flower as long as you are careful to buy passiflora incarnata (and the butterflies will like it fine) --- or maracujá (P. edulis) , the fruit of which you can buy at the grocery store in SoCal. The blossoms are quite similar, and butterflies like both vines.
maracujá (P. edulis)