Honestly, I'm not sure how much further my trust in the party currently in power in the US can sink. The behavior of the White House and its minions in actively subverting the will of the people to gratify the ego of the current incumbent this week strikes me as tantamount to treason and the GOP's failure to stridently condemn it may forever cement this independent voter's position on the integrity of all members of that party. I grudgingly accepted the court challenges filed by the incumbent but manipulating the electoral college process is beyond the pale. That said, I'm still trying to manage my blood pressure by keeping my focus on the garden. The good news is that the physical effort involved helps me sleep (most nights).
I took a good look at my potted succulents this week. Some look good while others are in serious need of an overhaul. But let's focus on my current favorites.
|A friend passed this fountain base off to me years ago for use as a pot. I planted the Mangave 'Red Wing' and its companions there almost exactly a year ago and it just looks better and better.|
|This mixed succulent pot near the front door, planted in June, makes me smile every time I look at it. It contains Crassula platyphylla, Graprosedum 'Vera Higgins' and Sedum rupestre 'Angelina'.|
|This Aloe deltoideodonta and Cotyledon orbiculata have been virtually untouched in this pot since 2014|
|This quartet of pots alongside the front door was unplanned but I like it. The noID red Aeonium probably needs to be beheaded and started over but I haven't gotten around to it (beyond replanting one broken rosette). The Mangaves are 'Bad Hair Day' and 'Kaleidoscope', the latter a gift from a friend. The plant in the small yellow pot is Kalanchoe beharensis 'Minima'.|
|Another friend passed along a second Mangave 'Bad Hair Day', which I popped into a pot on the other side of the front door. The taller pot behind it could use a refresh, though.|
|The Crassula pubescens radicans in this pot could use a refresh too but I love the stressed red color of the scrappy plants against the green frog|
|I had more Crassula in this pot but it looked pretty sad so yesterday I pulled it out and planted fresh cuttings of the Crassula from elsewhere in my garden along with a small Echeveria hookeri I picked up on the fly on my last trip to the garden center|
|A friend, a true Mangave aficianado, gave me a pup of Mangave 'Mayan Queen' this summer and I decided it needed a pot upgrade. I can't even remember what I previously had in this pot but 'Mayan Queen' is a perfect match (until she gets too big).|
There are several pots and hanging baskets of succulents that need a rehab but my local garden center has already switched into its holiday season mode so there's not much of a selection to be had, and I suspect that's true of the local stores I haven't visited recently as well. I expect I'll need to mail order succulents if I want to make major changes now rather than waiting until January. One pot in particular makes me sad every time I walk by it so I need to do something about it sooner rather than later.
|The pot is a rusted wok and I expect it got too much sun and too little water, cooking the contents this summer. Mangave 'Tooth Fairy' in the center certainly deserves better!|
The shortage of succulents in small pots is impacting my ongoing project on the front slope as well. There, I've been using cuttings taken from other parts of the garden but the result thus far is underwhelming in the extreme.
|Everything I've planted looks so small! With only three exceptions, all the plants in the newly renovated space shown here are transplants, cuttings or divisions from other plants in the garden.|
|Top row: Aeonium arboreum (rooted cuttings still in their pot), Aeonium haworthii 'Kiwi Verde', and Agave bracteosa|
Second row: Aloe striata, Baccharis mangellanica (new), and Graptoveria 'Fred Ives'
Bottom row: Lomandra 'Platinum Beauty' (new), and Pelargonium peltatum (new) with a transplanted Mangave 'Kaleidoscope'
|These are two of the three bulbils I harvested from my two bloomed-out Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' in September 2019 and planted out in this bed. They looked much more impressive in the pots I'd had them in.|
I did a little work in the street-side succulent bed as well this week, although it wasn't my own idea. After I told my husband I needed to cut back another of my 'Blue Flame' Agaves because the mother plant was careening into the street after producing two good-sized pups, he decided to tackle the job on his own.
|He'd already started massacring the mother plant before I arrived. I spent a good deal of time cleaning up the area after he'd finished. I'll probably plant one of my homeless Agave colorata, and possibly Tithonia diversifolia (aka tree marigold), here after I supplement the soil in this bed.|
I did a little work in my cutting garden this week too, though it had nothing whatsoever to do with succulents. I finally cleaned out the remaining contents of the third of my raised planters to make room for more cool season flowers. I'd pulled the last dahlias and zinnias weeks ago but a large segment of the planter had been taken over by strawberry plants and those had to go too.
|The strawberry plants seemed to put more energy into reproducing than into producing berries in the raised planting bed. I transplanted many of the plants into two containers and offered the rest to my neighbors.|
|I've planted some 70 Anemone corms and have sowed sweet pea, larkspur, Orlaya, and Nigella seeds in the three raised planters, as well as adding small foxglove and feverfew plants to provide color during our cool season. The upturned plastic flats are intended to protect developing seedlings from bird visitors. Every flat I had is piled up here but I could use several more.|
I'd like to find some flower plugs to fill the two half-barrels in the cutting garden but there's little other than pansies, snapdragons, and Iceland poppies available at present. I do love snapdragons but they're rust magnets here so planting them seems an exercise in futility.
|I planted Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) and Violas in this half-barrel in the front garden in the hope they'll do better here than they've done in other areas of my garden in the past|
I received a dozen tulips in lieu of the more climate-appropriate Triteleia bulbs I'd ordered from one mail order provider but they'll be chilling in my refrigerator for another couple of months and, even properly chilled, the likelihood that they'll bloom in my garden is low. All the other bulbs I ordered, including those that were received nearly two months late last week, are now in the ground or in pots. Meanwhile, I still have lots of seeds that need sowing elsewhere in the garden but that's a project for next week.
Best wishes for a pleasant weekend puttering in your own garden.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party