Monday, February 16, 2009

Same old, Same old.

Other than a few Desert Marigolds, some shrubs and a Penstemon here and there, not a lot is blooming in my garden. In looking back on last year's posts, I had far more going on than I do this year. I think it's the difference in precipitation and temperature.

Bryophyllum 'Crenatodaigremontianum'

Eleven weeks after the stalks of this viviparous plant reached their maximum height and formed buds, the flowers finally opened. The little flowers and the stalks are a nice color, and no telling how long they will last considering how long they took to bloom! The leaves of this plant really look awful right now; yellow, flabby and browned at the margins. After doing some research, I learned that unlike most other succulents, this plant should not be allowed to dry out in winter as it will cause wilting of the leaves. I don't know if I can turn it around at this point. Even if it dies, there are hundreds of babies growing in the pot to replace it.

Larrea tridentata

This Creosote Bush has now achieved the look that I like. Of the four bushes I have on my property, this one receives the least water, so it looks far more natural than than the others, which are larger and more lush. Their roots are able to reach out and get water from nearby plants. I did not adjust the size of this photo so that you can click and see the dark rings on the gray branches. That's why I like it with fewer leaves.


Claude said...

those yellow dessert marigolds against the agave look really wonderful.

I've been reading a book about bonsai, and it struck me that a creosote bush, with it's dark rings on the trunk, might make a striking one... have you ever heard of it being done?

Lythrum said...

I can see why you would like it more sparse, definately looks more natural that way. I think that I have more going on now than I did last year, mostly because I planted some more bulbs.

Dee said...

I like the Creosote bush with the gray ringed branches. It really is beautiful the way the branches curve around.I really have nothing to compare with last year in my garden- this is the first winter for the majority of my plants.

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

Your posts are never the same to me. I love them all. I learn so much too. I need go look up "viviparous." I don't know what it means!
I wonder if Claude is on to something with Larrea as a bonsai?

Aiyana said...

Viviparous means producing seedlings on the plant. It describes a plant with seeds that germinate and develop into seedlings before being shed from the parent plant. That's what 'Mother of Thousands' plants do. There are several other plants of various genera and species that do the same. Some Agaves do this when they send up a stalk that has fully formed baby Agaves that drop off the stalk and root where they land. So do Spider Plants. These types of plants are all around us!

Aiyana said...

I've never heard of this, but I suppose it's possible. Some plants seem to be used over and over in Bonsai, and I don't know if that means they are the most suited to form and miniaturize, or if they are just popular. I'll ask next time I run into a Bonsai specialist. Some of them are also Master Gardeners, they occasionally attend the advanced training sessions I manage to make once a year. So, it may be awhile before I have an answer!

WiseAcre said...

Bryophyllum Crenatodaigremontianum

... It's going to take me a week to untie my tongue after attempting to say that.

I'd love to see just one little bloom outside right now :) I'm not complaining but I'm up to my eyeballs in deer and ice. On a more positive note I'm beginning to see birds hanging around. I even spotted a robin yesterday.

Julie said...

I cut the stalks of the Mother plant way down low, and it comes back beautifully, year after year!!!

beckie said...

Aiyana, I love those desert marigolds. they are perfect with the aguave. Now the next plant is really unusual. I've never seen anything like it. The bush is much prettier when you enlarge the picture and can see the branches. No wonder you like to let it go natural. And while all of these may be 'same old' to you, I find then very interesting. Thanks for sharing them.

Jon said...

May I ask a dumb question? Do you have underground trickle irrigation for your specimen plants? Or do you just let nature take its course and let your plants fend for themselves when it comes to water? Just curious as I am totally ignorant of gardening in an arid climate.
Whatever you are doing keep on keeping on because your plants look wonderful to me.
Jon at Mississippi Garden

Aiyana said...

I have an emitter irrigation system--four valves. Two for the front, two for the back--separately for trees and shrubs. The system is programmable, but I manually manage the tree watering now that they are established. I only water them a couple of times in the summer if it's extra dry and hot--nothing in winter. They are mostly desert trees so they don't need supplemental water. If they need water, they'll get it from nearby shrubs or rain.
Water is expensive here, so I am careful with the program--and I change it each season. The length of watering never changes, (that's determined by how long it takes the water to reach the proper depth.) Only the frequency changes, depending on the season.
I have no emitters to any of the cacti. Same with most established Agave, but some Agave species require some supplemental watering, so I do that by hand.

Jon said...

Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like you have the perfect setup for your lovely garden and use it wisely. I can well imagine water is very expensive out there.

Jon at Mississippi Garden

Barbara said...

What a beautiful contrast, this lovely marigold and agave; not only in colour but also in form, shape and probably texture too (several years ago we had some agaves too and I liked to touch their "leaves").