Friday is one of my favorite days of the week, seeing how the weekend is just around the corner. But Friday gets even better when a big box of plants arrives on my doorstep, like it did this morning.
After opening the box, the first glimpse gives nothing away…
…but the packing slip, posted visibly on the outside, does:
So many intriguing names: “horrida,” “Meat Claw,” “Frostbite,” and especially “Extruding Pain” (a freebie).
After digging through the layers of newspaper and shredded paper strips, I come across the first treasure: Agave xylonacantha ‘Frostbite’.
And what could this paper-topped beauty be?
Agave × ‘Royal Spine’.
Ten minutes later, I had unwrapped my six agaves:
Three were bare root, the other three were in pots, but I decided to put them all in new containers:
Aside from the Agave flexispina ‘Extruding Pain’, which was a freebie, I had bought them during Yucca Do’s big summer sale. I had asked the nursery to hold them until now, and they did. This was my third order from Yucca Do and as before I received beautiful, healthy plants. In my experience, they are one of the best mail order succulent nurseries in the country. I highly recommend them, especially if you’re looking for less common plants.
I had also ordered two shrubs for the front yard. The first one is a compact cenizo, Leucophyllum frutescens ‘Compacta’. The UC Davis Arboretum has a regular-sized specimen and I admire its velvety leaves every time I visit. Mine is a compact cultivar, just perfect for our small yard. I can’t wait for the beautiful purple flowers.
The second shrub is a red bird of paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima). My wife and I fell in love with it during our Southwest road trip. We saw it blooming its head off from Needles, CA to Tucson, AZ.
I was very happy to see that Yucca Do carries it. However, their web site does warn prospective buyers:
This Caesalpinia is susceptible to shipping shock, where the leaves sometimes turn yellow and fall off during or just after the shipping process. However the plants tend to recover quickly if watered well and given a little time. Do not panic if your plant arrives with yellow leaves.
The plant I received definitely fits this description. It dropped all its leaves in the box…
…and is now completely bare.
With our hot late summer weather, it should grow new leaves quickly. At least that’s my hope. I’d love for it to be happy and healthy when it goes in the ground this fall.
NOTE: I just saw that Yucca Do still has a bunch of plants on sale. Check them out here.