I've stayed close to home for the past week, taking advantage of comfortable temperatures to tackle several small garden projects. The project with the biggest impact involved harvesting a large agave "pup" from one section of my garden to fill a vacancy in another. It remains very dry here and the prospects for rain in Southern California aren't especially favorable. Although one expert says he remains "optimistic" that it won't be quite as dry as last year, it's not likely we'll see normal* rainfall either. Given that scenario, it seems reasonable to introduce more succulents.
The mid-section of my backyard border is still fairly bare since I removed several dead and dying shrubs. I planted a Grevillea 'Pink Midget' I purchased at a Santa Barbara garden center in early October in one spot, only to watch it die in record time. The spot in question is particularly dry so I decided an agave might be a better choice. I didn't want a puny specimen that would take years to make a statement and, as good-sized plants generally come with hefty price tags, I decided to shop my own garden. Agave 'Blue Flame' is a prolific pupper and needs regular pruning to remain manageable so it was an obvious choice.
|This "before" shot taken in late September shows the area from which I took the 'Blue Flame' cutting|
|Here's the transplanted "pup" in the back garden border. It's approximately 21 inches tall and 2 feet wide at present. Once it takes hold, it'll start producing its own pups.|
|Here's the south side area after the "pup" was removed. I'm not sure most people would know anything had changed.|
|This is a closer look at the spot formerly occupied by the Agave 'Blue Flame" I removed. I planted cuttings of Crassula pubescens ssp. radicans, which in time should spread to fill the space.|
|The Aloe pulled apart into 3 distinct pieces, all of which I replanted closer to the bed's edge to give them a better chance to grow and shine|
|I popped the Salvia in a spot formerly occupied by a couple of sad dwarf Verbena bonariensis. The Salvia is already showing a a few of its signature dark purple blooms.|
|There are a dozen clumps of this grass dotted along the back of the border. I don't have a "before" shot so you'll have to take my word they were a thick matted mess.|
|This was a time-consuming but otherwise satisfying task|
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