Friday, June 8, 2007

The One That Got Away

Some plants are tough to forget, and this Agave victoriae-reginae 'Compacta' falls in that category for me. Years ago, I saw it in Lowe's Garden Center and although it was love at first sight, I didn't buy it because I really didn't have a place for it. When I returned to Lowe's about a month later I was surprised to see it still there. It was the most expensive plant among the gallon container plants, and I think that's why no one had snagged it. I took it home that day, and found a place for it in my garden. Every time I looked at it, I marveled at its symmetry and flawlessness.

Queen Victoria Agaves are a staple in Arizona low desert gardens, and they come in a variety of forms. Some have long, narrow leaves edged in white; some are tight rosettes with wide leaves like the Compacta, and others have a more open, spiky appearance. None of the varieties, in my opinion, is as beautiful as the Compacta. Queen Victoria Agaves are native to north central Mexico where they are considered endangered. A nurseryman told me that they are getting harder to find, and that's why they are more expensive than other Agaves. Even he had not seen the Compacta variety in several years, so I was grateful to have stumbled upon mine.

Several years after planting it, we sold our home. I wanted to dig up that Agave and take it with me, but with a twinge of regret, I left it there for the new owner. When we started to landscape our current property, I looked in vain for another 'Compacta' but I've never found another one. I eventually settled for a couple of the more common Queen Victoria Agave varieties for my new garden and they are thriving, but I still remember with fondness the one I left behind.

There's part of the sun in an apple, There's part of the moon in a rose;
There's part of the flaming Pleiades In every leaf that grows.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very sad to hear...And very nice plant indeed, its like your quote on the bottom of the page...Nothing comes more clearer when looking at it with astronimical thiunking(badenglish)