I’ve been in a “stock taking” mood lately, looking at various parts of the garden to see how they’ve come along. Comparing the current state to, say, last year is useful in assessing what has done well and what hasn’t—and whether you’re happy with the way things have progressed.
I’ve already made some changes recently to one small part of the succulent bed next to our front door, replacing crassulas and echeverias with colony-forming cacti that should tolerate the daytime heat and the searing summer sun a little better.
Now I’m looking at other areas of the succulent bed to see where tweaking might be necessary.
This post describes the origins of this succulent bed. The larger plants have now been in place for 2½ years. Succulents don’t grow as explosively as bamboos do, for example, so progress has been more measured. However, you can see progress even compared to last year. Just take a look at the first two photos.
|Succulent bed in July 2010|
|Succulent bed in August 2011|
The biggest difference is the size of the variegated agave (Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’) and the coral aloe (Aloe striata) in the center of the photo.
|Closeup of Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’. Its leaves were marred by hail in May; you can still see the pock marks in the bottom leaves. However, it’s amazing how many new leaves the plant has produced since then.|
|Some of the pups surrounding the mother plant. I definitely have enough to trade now.|
|While the larger architectural plants form the backbone of this succulent bed, I added quite a few smaller succulents for variety. On the right is a Pachysedum (a cross between a Pachyphytum and a Sedum) and on the left an Aloe aristata.|
|These two have proven to be real troopers: |
Left: Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’
Right: Aloe striata
|Agave schidigera var. filifera. One of my favorites, but others find it a bit too intimidating. This specimen has a lot of threads, nicely complimenting the white marking in the leaves.|
|Our Beaucarnea recurvata is actually a little family of three plants—I assume three seedlings sprouting in close vicinity. The caudex (the modified round stem that stores water) looks quite impressive even in an immature plant.|
|The hanging leaves from the Beaucarnea recurvata provide effective sun protection for smaller succulents that don’t want to bask in the hot late-afternoon sun. This Queen Victoria agave (Agave victoriae-reginae) is loving its spot. A mature specimen is easily one of the most stunning of all succulents.|