Showing posts from August, 2023

Grounding Queen Victoria

Agave victoriae-reginae  was described in 1875 and named after Queen Victoria who ruled over the United Kingdom and the British Empire for a large part of the 19th century. If there ever was an agave fit for royalty, this is it.  There are many forms of  Agave victoriae-reginae . Some have fewer leaves, some have more. Some have lots of white markings, others just a few. Some are bigger and chunkier, others smaller and more delicate. But all of them are instantly recognizable. I didn’t set out to collect  Agave victoriae-reginae , but somehow I ended up with half a dozen different forms. Most of them are in pots and pupping vigorously – often a survival mechanism in containerized plants that are severely root-bound.  In the process of overhauling the areas in the front yard that had become available after I’d removed the bloomed out Agave bovicornuta  and Agave shrevei  × guadalajarana , I decided to finally put the prettiest of my potted  Agave victoriae-reginae  in the ground: It has

Public Land Summer Cactus + Succulent Sidewalk Sale

Public Land Store  is a plant store and gallery in Sacramento’s Curtis Park neighborhood . As their website says, they “offer an eclectic assortment of unusual cacti, succulents and tropical house plants along with goods, collectables and original art from a wide range of artists who use various mediums to explore and re-imagine the ways we experience, interact and perceive our natural environment.” Last Sunday, Public Land had their Summer Cactus + Succulent Sidewalk Sale. A Facebook friend was wondering what a cactus sidewalk sale might look like, and I volunteered to investigate. Seeing how a picture is worth a thousand words – probably even more now, considering inflation – I herewith present my findings in photographic form: Public Land Store at the corner of 21st Street and 1st Avenue in Sacramento Tables on the sidewalk along 1st Avenue. Many of the plants were grown by Public Land co-owner Austin in his own greenhouse. The selection was cactus-heavy Every specimen I saw was pri

A few drops of rain courtesy of Hilary

Tropical storm Hillary  broke all kinds of records in Southern California and Nevada this past weekend, but it bypassed us by hundreds of miles. Still, we felt some of the effects. Humidity has been much higher than usual for the past four or five days. When I got up this morning (Monday, August 21), it was 79%. Typically, it would be around 30%. As I was making coffee, I heard the unmistakable pitter-patter of rain drops through the open kitchen window. Could it be? Indeed, it could. While the wet stuff falling from the sky never amounted to what I would call “rain,” every drop of precipitation in mid-summer is welcome. When all was said and done, the street was wet and a bit of water had begun to puddle in the gutter. Here are some random photos from the garden, taken on Sunday afternoon (overcast, but still fairly hot and muggy) and on Monday morning (warm and humid). The flagstone walkway hasn’t seen rain since May Oops, I shouldn’t have left a paper sack out in the open (pumice) S