I didn’t think it would get this big.
How often do we say that?
I certainly say it frequently enough that by now people might be wondering how somebody who pretends to be reasonably smart can be so dumb.
Case in point: Last October I bought a small agave-leaf sea holly (Eryngium agavifolium) at the UC Davis Arboretum plant sale. I always read the label so I must have known that the rosette can get to 2 ft. across. That didn’t seem like it would be a problem in the spot where I’d planted it. However, what failed to register in my brain was the fact that this plant forms a clump of rosettes up to 2 ft. across. The word clump is key here.
As you can see in the next photo:
In less than a year, the cute-looking 4-inch plant became an entangled mass of strappy leaves that smothered everything in its path, including an Agave ‘Burnt Burgundy’, an Agave montana and several Echeveria secunda. The situation was clearly out of hand. I knew something had to be done, and I was only waiting for the weather to cool down a bit so the buried plants wouldn’t go into complete shock upon uncovering.
The time seemed right this morning. We had our first rain of the season on Thursday morning, and the weather had been noticeably cooler than last week. Today it’s been overcast most of the day, with highs in the mid 70s, which made for perfect gardening weather.
Here’s what the spot looks like after the Eryngium agavifolium had come out:
And here’s a wider view:
I didn’t bother to count the individual rosettes Eryngium agavifolium had formed, but the clump looks impressive lying in the gutter, waiting for yard waste pickup tomorrow morning.
My current gardening philosophy won’t change based on this experience. I will still continue to overplant with the understanding that I will need to edit and thin as time goes by. However, I will make sure I will read the small print—understanding that a clump of rosettes gets significantly bigger than one rosette.