Ruth Bancroft Garden miscellanea (June 2015)
Yesterday I made an impromptu trip to the Ruth Bancroft Garden to meet up with friends from Portland, OR. I was too busy talking to take photos in an organized fashion so what I ended up with is a series of vignettes rather than a connected narrative. But that’s OK because you can enjoy the garden Instagram style as well. Sometimes that’s all we have time for in our busy lives.
This Agave parryi looked particularly luminous, but the outer leaves are turning purple. Just stressed or getting ready to flower? It looks too small, but I had an Agave parryi in pot that flowered when it was smaller than this one.
Yucca rostrata in bloom
A rare sight: agaves being watered
I believe this is the Channel Island buckwheat (Eriogonum grande var. rubescens) I bought at Annie’s Annuals a couple of weeks ago. Looks great!
LEFT: Furcraea macdougalli
Quite a few agaves are flowering at the RBG. This is Agave parryi.
LEFT: Agave parryi RIGHT: Agave marmorata.
We ran into assistant curator Walker Young, and he said they’re trying to cross Agave marmorata with several other agaves (including Agave gypsophila) as well as with a Manfreda to make a super large ×Mangave. Keeping my fingers crossed!
Walker also showed us some rarities like this variegated Agave colorata
×Mangave ‘Espresso’ (a variegated sport of ×Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’)
Pachypodium rosulatum var. gracilis
Walker’s preferred fertilizer: Jack’s Professional 21-8-7-7 Acid
Doug Norseth and his friend David Kurtz from Berkeley Horticultural Nursery next to a stunning Encephelartos horridus (which may or may not have some Encephelartos lehmanni in it)
The curious-looking aloe on the right is Aloe sabae
×Mangave ‘Espresso’ planted out
Lots of aeoniums
Flowering Agave mitis
This little fellow in the foreground is Leucophyta brownii. I bought one at RBG’s spring sale.
Athanasia atherosa, another shrub I’m considering planting
I’ve enjoyed following the progress of this colorful planting. It makes me think of an under-the-sea garden.
Agave salmiana with oddly crinkled leaf tips
Fancy planter in the new retail nursery
The good folks at the RBG have not been sitting on their hands. I saw lots of progress—new beds being built, new plants tucked in here and there, new lighting being installed so the garden can be used for evening events. Change is everywhere, and change is good.