Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New Foliage Plants!

For today's foliage follow-up post, I decided to focus on a few of my newest foliage acquisitions.  Most are relatively small, at least by comparison to their projected sizes at maturity, but I expect them to have a major impact on my backyard borders in the future.

The largest of my new purchases is Agave attenuata 'Raea's Gold', which in a break from my usual practice I bought in a 3-gallon size.  I planted 2 smaller specimens of the conventional A. attenuata nearby but as none of these plants grow especially fast, I wanted to give the area more impact with one larger specimen.  I also assume that the raccoons won't be able to dig up and toss about a plant this size as they've already done with one of the smaller specimens (now caged for their own protection).

As the name indicates, 'Raea's Gold' has a more yellow cast than the more common form of Agave attenuata


Several feet away, closer to my new stone pathway, I also put in Agave bracteosa.  Another spineless agave, it's considerably smaller than A. attenuata.  I knew it by the common name of squid agave but I've since learned that it's also called spider agave and candelabrum agave.  This one is a clumping variety and came with a couple of pups, one of which I planted in the same area.

What do you think?  Does this agave look more like a squid, a spider or a candelabrum? Mom and her pup, now separated, are shown in the photo on the right.


To the right of these plants in the same general region at the south end of the backyard border, I added 2 new plants to complement a Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset' I planted this past March: Coprosma repens 'Pacific Sunset' and Leucadendron 'Red Devil'.  The plants form a scalene triangle.

Coprosma 'Pacific Sunset' (left photo), which I was excited to find in a 1-gallon size instead of the 3-gallon size commonly sold locally, will reach 2-3 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide (someday).  Leucadendron 'Red Devil' (middle photo) is a compact version of L. 'Safari Sunset' (right-hand photo) and should reach only half the height and width of the latter plant's 6 foot by 6 foot size.


Roughly in the middle of the main backyard border, I added 3 Hebe 'Purple Shamrock'.  I literally fell in love with this plant.  On 2 separate trips to my local garden center, I picked it up and carried it around for awhile before returning it to its shelf.  The problem is that it requires regular water and I've worked hard to stay away from such plants.  Nonetheless, on the third trip to the same garden center, I picked it up and brought it home, putting it in a section of the border that gets more irrigation than most others.  Planted relatively close to the walkway, hopefully I'll also notice if it begins to suffer from water withdrawal.

Hebe 'Purple Shamrock' is a relatively small plant by comparison to most members of the genus in my garden.  It should keep to a neat 2 feet tall and wide.  


The last new plant I have to feature is also variegated.  I bought 2 Cordyline 'Electric Flash' with the idea of planting them in pots by our front door as part of a combination for the poinsettia challenge set by Loree of danger garden.  They didn't have the effect I was seeking so I abandoned that plan, leaving me with 2 relatively pricey 1-gallon plants to incorporate somewhere in my garden.  With the removal of our last remaining backyard lawn, I have a lot of space to fill so I rearranged an area I'd planted only the week before and placed these 2 specimens on either side of the intersection between the stone pathway and the backyard patio.

Cordyline 'Electric Flash' is a heat-tolerant clumping variety said to grow 3-4 feet tall and 5 feet wide

As an aside, I think it looks remarkably similar to Phormium 'Ed Carman' which I planted this past March about 10 feet away from one of the 2 Cordyline


That's it for my foliage follow-up post.  Visit Pam at Digging, our host for this meme to find more wonderful foliage.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

15 comments:

  1. You've been busy! I love them all...and that's a big Agave bracteosa pup, not that much smaller than mom.

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    1. I'm already a little afraid about how big a clump of Agave bracteosa that may become.

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  2. You've made some good choices--they are all very pretty. I'm finding Cordylines to be tougher than Phormiums, and not as huge.

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    1. I have great hopes for the Cordylines - both 'Electric Flash' and 'Renegade'. Most of my Phormiums have been disappointing. The exception, thus far anyway, is 'Maori Queen', although I understand that its colorful variegation can fade as it ages.

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  3. Love Cordyline 'Electric Flash', and you're lucky to have scored some pups with your Agave bracteosa!

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    1. I don't know if it was luck on the Agave pups, Amy. From what I've read recently, it appears that Agave is quite prolific!

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  4. Every time I see agaves on blogs I think they look a bit alien, possibly because over here I don’t think many people try them outside. Your hebe is lovely, now on my wish list! New plants are always exciting and I find it very difficult to go browsing window shopping online without buying something – there are so many plants I would like to have!

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    1. I love that Hebe, Helene. I hope you find it!

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    2. Found it already ;-)
      It is in stock and I could have bought it right now, but I will wait…no more plants for me until I have planted some more of my already huge pot ghetto!

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  5. Such a varied and beautiful collection of agave. Too bad that most of them can't be grown here in freezing NJ.

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    1. Ah, but you can grow the things that like a bit of cold that I can't. Regrettably, most of the bulbs you mentioned in your last post don't flourish here.

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  6. Your post makes me want to go and plant new plants! I'm already going stir-crazy and it isn't even winter yet (officially, at least).

    Can't wait to see what your 'Raea's Gold' will look like in a year. It has a lot of potential. And you don't get the occasional freeze that makes it so difficult to grow Agave attenuata here in Davis.

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    1. No, freezes aren't generally an issue here, although it has been colder than usual of late.

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