We are rapidly approaching the last few weeks where the xeriscape in my front yard will look good. We have already been experiencing serious rainfall, but true cold temperatures are still to come. The combination could be fatal to a few of the more tender plants, but with any luck they’ll pull through. Or I’ll see them start to drown in the icy rain and pull them out to stick them in the greenhouse somewhere.
Anyway, I thought I should take a few pictures. Today has been warm and sunny, so the plants are looking good.
These three have always been in pots, and will probably continue to live in pots forever. The aloe and the cactus are marginally hardy here anyway, so I wouldn’t want to plant them in the ground. As for the rest of the plants, hopefully excellent drainage will afford them the protection they need.
I do appreciate a good agave, but they don’t always cope well with our winters. I am still exploring my options, and doing a bit of experimenting. I’m hoping that I’ll have a winner with Agave montana, especially with excellent drainage on a rocky slope. If it survives the winter, you can bet that I’ll be getting more of them in the future. This one received no water this year from me, and it looks great.
Silver Surfer is another supposedly hardy agave. I hope it is! It looks great, and the pale silver color of it’s leaves looks incredible in person. It did have a damaged leaf this summer, from a deer running over it. I bet it received a nasty stab, though. Other than that, it seems fairly bulletproof. We shall see what happens this winter.
The one agave that I know will take our wet winters with ease is what I assume is Agave americana. I have had it for several years, and even though my original plant is still growing in Vancouver, I cut a pup off of it before I left. It has now become 6 plants.
Even though the driest portion of my garden features heavily in Agavaceae, I do have other plants. Agaves just have incredible leaves, so it’s hard not to like them!
This may be a farewell to some of these plants, but I hope not. I’m not expecting the octopus agaves to do well over the winter, especially if we have another winter like last year. I’ve had them come back a few times, but what kind of life is it if they have to resprout from the roots?
I have one more plant that I wanted to include in this farewell to summer. Another kiwi native (yes, I have a lot of them), Cordyline australis ‘Red Sensation’ is a fast grower here. If you can protect them from the worst of our freezes, they can get pretty big. There is a pair of large cordys just down the road from me, and they survived last winter without any troubles. The are about 6 feet tall currently. Hopefully being up against the house will play in their favor this winter!
I love a challenge. Whether it is germinating seeds from exciting new plants (at least exciting and new for me), keeping and raising fish, poison dart frogs, and ornamental shrimp, or navigating new areas of the world without maps or guides, I am interested in it. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest most of my life, and I'm still fond of moss and gray skies.
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