The large dry bed – getting ready for the season

2 May

There was supposed to be a blue theme to this bed, but it’s gone to pot a bit. Mingling succulents and grasses works well though, I feel.

This agave is the largest I have. It suffers from a fungal infection, like most of them. Hence the spots. Not sure what I can do about that, except move somewhere drier. The soil in the pot was pretty much bone dry when I took it out, which must have helped it. I should use hydroleca or perlite instead of grit in the pots, as grit makes them incredibly heavy.

I moved a few things about, this euphorbia included. Happily it didn’t mind being moved from the desert, which it had outgrown, and is now in full flower. Not everything liked being moved: I now have a dead grevillea on my hands. The Montezuma pine hasn’t produced any signs of new growth yet. A long Winter has seen to that. 100_4216

The ‘sheepkiller’, Puya berteroniana. This is one of three i’ve grown from seed. Putting your hand into that rosette would be easy. Getting it out again would involve PAIN. 100_4217

The Crown Imperials, Fritillaria imperialis. These are in no way blue, or even arid looking, but I am loath to disturb them. They have a hard enough life as it is.100_4225

The bed as a whole. See that wall? One of these days you won’t be able to see it for a sea of foliage. The banana overwintered very well in the garage with no light, no heat, no water, just a sheet of bubble wrap wrapped around it. 100_4227

Grasses and agave, beautiful see? This look reminds me how much inspiration I get from following American arid gardeners. “Plagiarism is the most sincere form of flattery.” – Oscar Wilde. The green, green grass in the foreground is Deschampsia flexuosa ‘Tatra Gold’, which is perfectly hardy with me. Not many of my favoured plants are. The tassels belong to Helictotrichon sempervirens, Blue Oat Grass. 100_4231

This agave still suffers from my misguided attempt at propagation – I chopped off too many of it’s offsets and left the mother plant with too few roots. It’s since shrunk and suffers worse than the others with the fungal infection blighting the leaves. 100_4233

I still have plenty of smaller elements to add – fifteen black aeoniums, a half dozen blue Senecio mandraliscae, ten baby agaves, cuttings of Lotus berthelotii, some echeverias, some chocolate coloured aloes, so on and so forth. I was stocking up on Echeveria glauca, the colour is so good, but Winter wet killed a dozen of them. I’ll wait a little longer before I risk them outside in the open. The nights are still cool and the ground is still cold after the Spring we haven’t had, though there’s no frost forecast for the foreseeable future. This the best time of the year to garden – deciding where things go afresh, buying in new things. Readers in temperate climates, I hope you are enjoying re-installing tender things outside and reclaiming your garden from the Winter. I love doing this!


5 Responses to “The large dry bed – getting ready for the season”

  1. Loree / danger garden May 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    So many beautiful things! And that Puya from seed? Amazing.

    • thechthonianlife May 4, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      I’m taking them out of their pots this year. Means more work getting them back into their pots come autumn, but i’ll deal with that when I get there.

  2. Becca May 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Wow! That is SOOO much work! I am way too lazy to do anything as demanding, no matter how awesome the results. I only use xeric plants because that makes my indolence a bonus rather than a negative…well, that and not wanting to waste water I suppose 🙂

    • thechthonianlife May 4, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      How often do you water? I use the garden hose most days, at least in the greenhouse, and that’s just in my climate.

      • Becca May 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

        Apart from the vegetable garden which is every other day or every day, depending how hot it is (usually somewhere between 60 and 80 during the day but we get a few 50s and a few 90s here and there) I water the lawn, fruit trees, pittosporum, and roses 2x per week if I’m being diligent. The phormium, chiapas sage, wild iris and all the succulent pots get watered about once a week, and the lantana, rosemary, and buddleia get watered once a month but only in summer. I never water the ash tree or the big ficus–they’re on their own. I assume they’ve figured out some strategy for managing.

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