Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sunny bed 1

As per our agreement, Karen left me the long sunny beds on the SE property line to weed. The bed nearest the front of the property (in the foreground) has an eclectic mix of plants from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. I call it, for ease of discussion, "Sunny Bed 1."There is a significant proportion of Florida scrub natives, maybe 30%. The second bed, is a little less confused, containing mostly Florida scrub natives, three plants from South Africa, and a couple from Mexico.

Sunny Bed 1 was constructed a year ago, in August 2007. The initial planting included the Pinus palustris, the 'Knockout' roses, the transplanted Podocarpus, the Aloe saponaria (flowering in front), and the variegated Agave in the middle. The Aloe is one that I transplanted from an existing colony on the other side of the property; I split the group up and sited the transplants so that they would provide some visual continuity/rhythm through repetition. I think that's working, but what I know is working is the fact that these flowers are hummingbird magnets. The end of this bed is the Meyer lemon that appears to be just beyond and left of the variegated agave.

I added some interesting plants to the front of this bed in April of this year. Two Puyas, exotic Chilean xeric bromeliads that will eventually bear, one blue and the other purple flowers. One Puya is visible to the left and behind the Aloe, the other is hidden to the right of the limestone boulder. Strange strange plants. From Yucca Do Nursery, I planted Agave stricta, which you can see to the left of the Puya. They are small now but they have only been in the ground 4 months and they survived 7 weeks with total rainfall of .54". Farther back and out of view is another wonderful Agave, Agave tenuifolia, ex Brad Evans. Both of these produce fine-leafed rosettes that will provide wonderful texture and punctuation in the planting. Still farther back is Aloe polyphylla, the Spiral aloe from Plant Delights Nursery. I grew this plant for two years in a pot in Adelphi and it never "spiralled" but it is beginning to now. My theory is that leaf positioning depends on either the movement of the sun (likely), or an electromagnetic awareness of position (not so likely). Either way, moving the pot changes the relation of the plant to either determiner and so disrupts that special spiral arrangement.....? I do have some odd theories though.

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