Weekend Warriors Я Us, 10/10/21

Another weekend, another bout of weekend warrioring. This time I went a bit easier on myself because of ongoing shoulder issues and some pain from a recent flu shot. Plus, I kept getting distracted by pretty sights like these:

Guernsey lily (Nerine sarniensis) in full flower, set off beautifully by a backdrop of hechtias and agaves. Unfortunately, the flower stalk snapped off in yesterday's high winds.

Multi-branched Aloe fosteri inflorescence nearing its peak

With its orange and yellow flowers, Aloe fosteri is the perfect Halloween aloe

 Last weekend's main project involved a bunch of flagstone remnants I originally got at Urban Ore Ecopark in Berkeley:

The goal was to build a raised planter in this spot along the sidewalk that had been empty since early May. It had been the former home of Agave 'Crazy Horse', which I removed because it had grown too large—and was producing too many pups on rather long runners. At the time, I wasn't sure which replacement to plant, either Agave 'Desert Love' (A. ovatifolia × parrasana) or Agave salmiana var. ferox 'Medio Picta'. In the end, I chose another species altogether, as you will see shortly.

 Somebody with more skills and better tools might have been able to build something truly amazing. My construction is more primitive, seeing how it's nothing but dry-stacked flagstone pieces, but I'm happy with it:

The new occupant of the flagstone throne is a juvenile Agave sebastiana 'Silver Lining'. Agave sebastiana is found on several islands off the western coast of Baja California, notably Cedros Island, best known as the home of Dudleya pachyphytum. 'Silver Lining' was selected from a batch of seedlings for its perfect symmetry and stunning leaf color and put into tissue culture by Rancho Tissue.

Agave sebastiana 'Silver Lining', currently about half its mature size

I chose Agave sebastiana 'Silver Lining' because with mature dimensions of approximately 3×3 ft., it's a perfect size for this spot. It'll have great presence, but it won't dominate visually the way Agave 'Crazy Horse' did.

In addition, there's room on either side for two Echinopsis hybrids I brought back from Arizona, Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer' and Echinopsis 'First Light'. Both produce spectacular flowers—see here for 'Flying Saucer' and here for 'First Light'.

 I also did some work in the area you see below. It's only a few yards from Agave sebastiana.

As much as I like the unusual flowers of Osteospermum 'Astra Purple Spoon', it has a limited bloom time and is a fairly featureless (and ever expanding) blob the rest of the time. Time to be ruthless!

A deep breath and a good yank later:

I also moved ×Mangave 'Life on Mars' (a variegated form of 'Mission to Mars') a few feet away from its previous spot to give it room to grow. 

And I planted one of two Agave ocahui I had waiting in the wings:

The space previously occupied by the osteospermum will be filled in soon with plants as yet to be determined; I haven't completely made up my mind yet.

 Next week is our first curbside yard waste pickup of the season. That means the Manihot grahamii and Salvia leucantha in the photo below will get a good trim:

 Stella isn't allowed in the front yard unless she's on a leash, but I have no doubt she would have been a great help (NOT!). While I was working outside, she was busy shredding boxes (a favorite activity) and being cute. Here she is graciously taking a wild turkey feather from my hand:

 And finally a random find after 24 hours of high winds:

Random sock deposited by the wind in Agave colorata × parrasana

© Gerhard Bock, 2021. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. Your Nerine is so gorgeous!
    I think you did a fabulous job with the flagstone throne (you have an interesting wheelbarrow). The area sans Osteospermum looks better! Waiting to see where the rusty pipes are going.

    1. Thank you! The more I see the "flagstone throne," the more I like it. Maybe I'll find a few more pieces to put on top.

  2. The impromptu raised bed you created for new-to-me Agave 'Silver Lining' was a great idea - I should try something similar in some of my hard-to-dig areas. The wind has been miserable here too (making spreading the 3 cubic yards of mulch I had delivered last week all the more difficult). I gather we're in for true Santa Ana winds at the end of the week too (with a massive fire already burning in Santa Barbara).

    Stella is adorable. Her cardboard shredding would be useful in preparing it for inclusion in a compost bin ;)

    1. The results of Stella's shredding go right in the yard waste bin for composting!

      I hope you'll be spared the Santa Ana that's in the forecast. It's dry enough already.

  3. Who knows what the wind will blow in. So much easier to rip things out when they are not in bloom Silver Linings looks good in it's new planter. However, something about the name 'Crazy Horse' makes the plant sound more appealing. Ha! Hopefully your shoulder will feel better soon.

    1. I just did some cleanup. 4 socks (two white, two pink), an orange (!), and a Toyota Prius airfilter in its original box.

      'Crazy Horse' is a great name, and it's a great agave, too, it just needs room.

    2. It's amazing how a garden gets better and better by these weekend projects, and you've definitely made some nice improvements. And that Stella looks to be as much of a handful as Billie!


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