Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Color or form?

How about threads? I love the thready spikes this agave filifera wears. I tried to separate the pup next to its mama, but it didn't want to come loose, and I was afraid to force it. Maybe when I get more experience with agaves I'll feel braver about trying again.

Here's a filifera pup that was growing inside the pot, scrunched up next to the plastic. It's making a very slow recovery since I liberated it. I hope it will eventually open out a bit more than it has over the past two months.

Speaking of pups, here's a lovely agave Americana pup, courtesy of the danger garden. It is putting the baby filifera to shame, growth-wise, having put on several new leaves. I love its great combination of both form and color, with its open rosette shape and its sleek stripes of cream down each leaf edge.

Now we have perfection, in both form and subtle color. This is probably my favorite agave, so far. Agave parryi var. truncata has it all. Can you believe that rosette?

And how about those perfect red thorns and terminal spikes?

Eucalyptus debeuzevillei has lovely gray-green color on its side, but I'm pretty happy with its form this year, too. It added at least four feet over summer. You can see how much higher than the fence it has grown.

The leaves of this ficus carica Negronne have beautiful, long, deep green fingers. It's hard to see how Adam and Eve could have used leaves like that for modesty. But this fig has also grown about four feet this summer, so I'm thrilled, even though its form is pretty rangy. It even has a few figs on it!

I hope you can see how this carex flagellifera 'Toffee Twist" is developing the most delicious coral color on some of its leaves (stems?) this fall.

And the pink in my phormium "Pink Stripe" has deepened so that it's becoming more of a magenta. Along with the gray-green leaves, it's a wonderful contrast.

The Meyer lemon, sitting out in the garden for the summer, is surrounded by toffee twist carex and sage. The lemon leaves are such a bright green by comparison. It's not a tree I would grow for its form, but the lemons ripening on it and its fragrant indoor blossoms through winter let me forgive its slightly ungainly shape.

Here's a final contrast: Agastache 'Acapulco Orange', helichrysum italicum microphyllum and toffee twist carex. I love the way the gray curry plant makes the other two look so rich. Color wins in this graceful grouping.


  1. Jane it looks as though you have quite a bit of both color and form going on there, great pictures. Your garden looks fabulous! I think my fav is your A. filifera, it's a beauty. And the coloring on your flax is wonderful along with your use of multiple 'Toffee Twist." Best of all I am so happy to see your Americana pup is looking so good. You've got the agave knack!

  2. I love all this foliage. The last photo does have a great color combo. I'd like to try my hand at agaves as well. Great photos!

  3. Hi Jane. I just got up the nerve to repot and separate agave pups this year, both A. Americana variegata and A. havardiana. I really thought I broke the plants, it didn't seem at all right. The big parent plant seemed all floppy and disconnected from it's root system, and the babies hardly seemed to have enough root left to go off of. That was this spring, and it seems everything was successful. The pups have put on a bunch of new growth, and the big ones look fine. The A. Americana even put out another 6 pups or so! What I like, as they get bigger, is having the babies as back ups, that are easy to take inside, and then I can risk leaving the bigger ones outside in hopes they're as hardy as they claim.
    Your garden is looking fantastic, love all your foliage!

  4. Your hairy agave looks like a good candidate for Halloween decorating. A friend gave me two curry plants, which I never properly appreciated. Thanks for showing me their true minor players in an ensemble.


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