Saturday, November 19, 2016

Before the cold snap

We're supposed to get a cold front tonight, so I wanted to immortalize some of the recent additions in case tomorrow it's a frozen wasteland. (Do I sound overly dramatic? Maybe I am a little.)

First, this bed is DONE:

I pulled that Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies' out of a pot in the front, where it had grown to gargantuan proportions in the short span of about a year. I was SO worried about hurting the pot and the plant, and surprisingly neither happened!

I still need to put down pea gravel as mulch, but I can do that next weekend.

'Lafter' rose
My big "accomplishment" was finally getting the area along the fence back to a respectable state. I have hated it all year, and yet when we're out there sitting/grilling it's the only thing you can really see. I made some impulsive buys, which are sometimes my best decisions.

This bed now consists of:

  • Odontonema strictum aka Purple Firespike (as labeled, however the flowers are pink and not red, and google searches aren't helping to clarify)
  • Bicolor iris
  • Fatsia japonica 'Camouflage' (or maybe Murokamo Nishiki? Not sure if they're really the same)

Odontonema strictum...maybe?

Fatsia japonica 'Camouflage' or 'Murokamo Nishiki'
Sorry for the overly shaded shot, you can tell I took this one on a different day.
 And then in the category of garden surprises, two plants blooming unexpectedly!

Surprise #1: this Yucca that was left for dead, and given to me almost as a dare to rehab:

When I trimmed back all the dead foliage I discovered it was double-headed, and as you can see both heads bloomed!

What this picture hints at, but it isn't obvious, is that it's covered in brown bugs. I don't know what kind of bug they are, but they lost their minds on the blooms. They covered the plant and the fence behind it, like it was a standing-room only concert and they're just waiting for their chance to push to the front.

Surprise #2: this experimental Ligularia 'Gigantea' bloomed! (I've killed some before, so this is trial #2.)

Now that it has validated my choice, I'll have to buy more in the Spring.

Last but not least, I leave you with this guy:

Stay warm out there!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Kill all the things

So last week I was cleaning up my yard and discovered this:

In case you need a refresher, that was this in the Spring:

And then it was this:

I haven't posted a lot about this bed, but since the Spring I have lost:

  • 1 Agave 'Green Goblet'
  • 2 Agave striata 'Live Wires'
  • 1 Yucca rostrata 'Sapphire Skies'
It's either bugs or drainage, right? I put down a granular product for bugs (contains Imidacloprid as per all the recommendations), and that's all I can do about that. The only other logical step is to elevate the remaining living things to address likely possible drainage issues. 

So now the bed looks like this:

I'll have to get another Yucca to fill in that gap, or maybe a Dasylirion wheeleri? I hope I didn't hurt the Yucca in digging it out.

While I was at it, I divided and elevated the Aloes, so now I have pups in the bed across from it and in the back. Maybe someday that aloe will bloom again somewhere?

New back bed with some transplanted Aloes:

So now I wait to see if the surviving Yucca is on it's way out or not. Ugh.