Weekend Warriors Я Us, 11/21/21

This weekend's weekend warrioring was more like gentle sparring than spirited jousting. With sunny weather and highs in the mid 60s, the conditions were ideal to do some fall planting. This year, the backlog of plants waiting to go in the ground is much smaller than in years past. This is by design because there isn't much room left except for compact fillers and low-growing groundcovers.

NOTE: In the labeled photos below, green is for plants I put in the ground this weekend, and yellow for existing plants.

The first tray of plants—small mesembs to be planted along of the edges of the succulent mounds in the front yard—fits the bill perfectly.


The second tray is a mix of perennials from the UC Davis Arboretum fall sale and a couple of plants from my trip to Southern California in early August:


I also planted two Aloe 'Dwarf White' that came from San Marcos Growers via my friend Troy McGregor. This is a super compact hybrid, under a foot in height, with whitish flowers:


The mesembs from the first tray went into the larger of the two succulent mounds in the front yard:




In the large succulent mound, I removed a Mangave 'Red Wing' that had gotten too big for its breaches as well an Aloe verdoorniae that simply wasn't special enough:



I replaced Aloe verdoorniae with a cool hybrid from Nick Deinhart, Aloe lineata × erinacea. In terms of growth habit and color, it's a much better fit:


Mangave 'Red Wing' left a surprisingly large blank spot (I took the photo below before removing Aloe verdoorniae):


I replaced Mangave 'Red Wing' with Yucca endlichiana, Dudleya candida, and a Dudleya attenuata hybrid. These dudleyas are native to Baja California and are able to handle hot summers better than most other species.


In terms of color, these three new additions complement the Mangave 'Iron Man' next to them as well as most of the agaves nearby.


Here's what I planted in the long bed next to the sidewalk:


I took these photos in the morning, so the colors are on the warm side of the spectrum. That's winter light for you.




The three Thymophylla pentacheata plants I have came from Tree of Life Nursery in Southern California. I've started a batch of seeds I collected from these plants, and the germination rate has been satisfyingly high. This wonderful low-growing wildflower (less than 1 foot in height) has a large native distribution from southern Utah to southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. It has a number of common names, including golden dyssodia, dogweed, and fiveneedle pricklyleaf. I plan to spread it throughout the sunny areas of the garden, much like Jeremy Spath has done at his Hidden Agave Ranch.


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

Comments

  1. The dogwood is going to spread itself believe me! Here in Phoenix I have it all over my garden to the point that occasionally I have to pull some. Luckily it come out very easily! I do love it for color all year long. Where did you put the Mangave 'Red Wing'? I have lots of Mangaves, mostly under a Texas Olive tree. Your garden is looking wonderful in the beautiful light now. It is heavenly here too.

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    1. I got some dogweed seeds from Greg Starr, too. I think those sprouted before mine. I've never seen it growing up here in Northern California, but it's such a perfect foil for succulents!

      As for the 'Red Wing' I removed, unfortunately, it got mangled so I ended up tossing it in the yard waste.

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  2. With your meticulous curation, your succulent collection looks better with each viewing. I love the new-to-me Thymophylla. My Mangaves are dinky by comparison to yours - I can't imagine any of my 'Red Wing' or my 'Black Magic' ever getting that big.

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    1. Your mangaves will grow. Just give them plenty of sun. My 'Black Magic' has been in the ground for 11 months, 'Red Wing' a few years.

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  3. "weekend warrioring" is a fun expression that is difficult to pronounce after drinking a single beer.
    Putting those beauties in the ground is exceedingly satisfying chore. Mangave 'Black Magic' knocks my socks off!

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    1. It's a quick and easy sobriety: You should only engage in weekend warrioring if you're able to say "weekend warrioring" without tripping up!

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  4. The Thymophylla at Hidden Agave Ranch was fabulous and memorable--must look for some--perhaps a Tree Of Life visit is in order. Seems like an ideal plant for the spaces between Agaves and Aloes.

    A great variety of all sorts of good plants in your photos, so many colors and textures. Well done. 65F sounds lovely. We had a 2 day Santa Ana event here, but no fires of any significance, which is what counts.

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    1. I've started a lot of Thymophylla seed. I only need a dozen plants. I should get a lot more if I manage to keep the tiny seedlings alive and will be happy to share.

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  5. I'm glad to hear your Davis plant sale order came to fruition after all.. I'm hoping that spring will be a return to in-person shopping. I'm sure they are too, based solely on how much more I buy when I go there-that has to be the case with the majority I would think. Your collection just gets better and better ! The 'Dwarf White ' Aloe..I would buy that in a second ! And I'm really happy to report that the Aloe 'Moonglow' chunk that you gave me, and has been moved twice is now sending up blooms..I really didn't expect that after the disruption it has endured . I'll be covering it with frost cloth on Wednesday-looks like we might be getting our first now that the rain has stopped.

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    1. UC Davis Arboretum sale: Yes, it worked out in the end. I also think the spring sales will be in person. Fingers crossed!

      Glad to hear your Aloe 'Moonglow' is going to bloom. It's such a forgiving plant.

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  6. I also got Thymophylla pentacheata from Tree of Life. On one visit I noticed what appeared to be just a volunteer plant which was mound of flowers in the gravel along side the driveway leading into the nursery.

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    1. I bet that's what it was! Thymophylla seems to flower non-stop. To me, it's the perfect companion for spiky plants.

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