Showing posts from August, 2021

Huntington Desert Garden and a few other goodies (August 2021)

When I was in Southern California for the Inter-City Show a few weeks ago, a couple of friends from Sacramento and I made a quick stop at the Huntington . We only had a few hours, so we focused on the Desert Garden .  As part of the Desert Garden Improvement Project , the entrance to the Desert Garden and the upper portion are undergoing major renovations, which, among other things, will upgrade the Desert Garden Conservatory and open up another half acre of garden previously closed to the public. Because of the ongoing construction, most paths through the Old World section are currently blocked off. As a result, we spent most of our time in the lower garden, i.e. the New World section. Agave applanata , the non-variegated counterpart of the popular 'Cream Spike'. Yes, 'Cream Spike' will eventually get this large! Huntington Desert Garden tapestry Aloe erinacea , grown hard. This is what many aloes look like in habitat. Miniature forest of Aeonium  'Zwartkop' A

Octopus agave spreading the love at the Huntington

Agaves are very adept at reproducing. Many species grow pups or offsets as a matter of course, most produce copious amounts of seed after blooming, and some go even further: They generate identical copies of themselves that emerge as tiny plantlets along the flower stalk. These plantlets, commonly called “bulbils,” detach themselves from the inflorescence once they've reached a certain size, drop to the ground, and—with any luck—root and continue the cycle.  One such species is the octopus agave ( Agave vilmoriniana ). In milder areas of California, this is a popular landscaping plant because it grows fast and has unarmed rubbery leaves with only a weak terminal spine. And it's attractive, especially in mass plantings.  When the Huntington   remodeled its entrance complex in 2013-2015, they planted large quantities of Agave vilmoriniana in the green area separating the parking lot from the entrance plaza. They look happy as can be, growing under California pepper trees ( Schi

Los Angeles County Arboretum (August 2021)

As in previous years, the 2021 Inter-City Cactus and Succulent Show  was held at the Los Angeles  County Arboretum and Botanic Garden . Located in Arcadia in northeastern Los Angeles County, the Arboretum is all that remains of Rancho Santa Anita , a Mexican land grant originally encompassing more than 13,000 acres and covering all or parts of the present-day cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, and Pasadena. With each successive owner, more and more of the property was sold off for development, leaving just the current 127 acres.  The Arboretum opened to the public in 1956 and houses a variety of gardens and landscapes  as well as biogeographical collections , including succulents from Africa, Madagascar and the Americas. It's also home to about 200  Indian peafowl —descendants of the original birds Lucky Baldwin , one of the former owners of Rancho Santa Anita, imported from India in the late 1800s. I didn't photograph any peacocks this time, but this May 2017 post features several