Friday, January 2, 2009

The "Gardeners Dilemma": I don't want all these plants but I don't want to throw them away!

The Agave angustifolia variegata suckers riduculously. The "mother" plants have only been in place for 6-12 months.So what I'm going to do is put the puppird in the bag in the picture and bring them home and make them available. What else can I do?

59F this AM; as cold as it has been this trip, but still a bit warmer than average. This is the time when nighttime temperatures hover in the low fifties or high forties occasionally dipping to freezing or a bit below. Consequently many things are flowering: Cuphea hyssipifolia, Dietes iridioides, Aloe saponaria, Asclepias curvassivicia, Bougainvillea, Aloe vera?, Camellia, Salvia greggii, Osmanthus fragrans, Odonotonemma stricta, Conradina grandiflora, Dianella tasmanica cvs.,Cestrum fasiculatum newellii, and the newly purchased Hibiscus cannabinus (for the leaf shape!).

Ever since I realized just how xeric this area is I began planting taxa that could survive 6 months with minimal rainfall. I guess it shouldn't have surprised me how quickly these plants respond to water but I am nonetheless amazed at how much recovery has gone on since I watered last Friday. The succulents have swelled up, the deciduous shrubs have refoliated, buds that had been sitting quiescent have opened. Wow. Although I had decided not to water this winter based on last year (when I softened everything up and the temperature dropped to 27F three days later) I relented in part because it has been dry since August and in part because the 15 day forecast suggested no temperatures below 39F. A week later the forecast is even more optimistic with low temperatures only predicted to go into the 40s. I know we aren't 10b, hey it has already frosted, but I think that given two weeks to harden up they'll be okay. There isn't any of the soft new growth that I saw last year.

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