Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May Miscellany

My Vitex agnus-castus or Chaste Tree (a shrub at this point) really grew a lot this spring. It has been languishing in my landscape for the past four years, which didn't bother me because I want to keep it as a shrub because of its location. The heavy rains earlier this year probably caused this sudden growth spurt, so I'm thinking of changing the irrigation emitter to a larger Gallons Per Hour (GPH) size to help it along.

Agave ocahui var. ocahui

I acquired this Agave ocahui last spring and it's turning out to be one of my favorite Agaves. I like the color and shape of it, and the fact that it is solitary, so I won't have to worry about offshoots popping up all over. Many of my Agave species freely produce offshoots--especially Agave angustifolia, which I can't even give away. Even the Agave huachucensis (Fort Huachuca Agave) is putting out plenty of offshoots for the first time this year, as well as my one Desert Agave (Agave deserti).

We've had some strong breezes this past week, which knocked off most of the Desert Museum Palo Verde blossoms. I'm glad that most of them came down at once so I can get the "Blow and Go" guys over here to clean up all the spring debris. I've pulled up most all of the dried wildflowers, and hundreds of the overly abundant Desert Marigold and Brittlebush plants that overtook my garden this year. Our weather has been unusually mild, so I'm glad I got most everything done before our first 100 degree day.


Lancashire rose said...

I love the look of the palo verde tree with attendant plants. Also your vitex. I have many vitex and it was only last year that I discovered you were supposed to cut them down every year. Some are beyond that being large trees with huge trunks but the smaller ones I have started cutting back to make a more bush like for like yours. I;m sure like us summer is upon us and promises to be another stinker. (0s every day this week.

Julie said...

Hope all is well at your house, Aiyana! Nice to see ya! Your yard just looks so purdy with that big yellow tree there, and all of the other plants just flowing!!! I never knew there was/were agaves that didn't make pups! Duh!!!Interesting!!!

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

We have a lysiloma tree that the winds finally blew all the white puffy flowers to the ground and my husband cleaned up. There were more flowers than ever this year because of the wonderful weather.
So good to have you back Aiyana!


Hello. I've been considering a chaste tree. The location I would plant it would be in full sun from spring to fall but in shade all winter. I'm zone 9 in Bakersfield, Ca. What do you think? Would this be a good choice for a small tree?

Aiyana said...

Chaste tree is suited for Zones 6-10, and can grow in light shade to full sun. It does need high summer heat to look its best, and I think Bakersfield can supply that! The chaste tree needs occasional trimming to look neat. The spent flower stalks should be removed.
Another small tree is Caesalpinia mexicana, or Mexican Bird of Paradise, that's suited to your zone, but it does take full sun.

danger garden said...

Wait a said there Agaves you can't even give away? Do you ever make it up to Portland, Oregon? Because if you do I can certainly hook you up with a few people who would LOVE to take them off your hands!

North said...

Gorgeous Palo Verde tree! I love checking out your blog and drooling over your beautiful garden. I live in downtown chicago, so don't get to grow much beyond windowsills, but I get so much inspiration just looking at your work! Was down in Tuscon not too long ago, and was blown away by those trees in full bloom.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Hi Mabelline!

I love your yard and blog. I have a passion for succulents too and live in Northern CA. I have way too many to count. I think I have your Agave ocahui var. ocahui but never new the name. It has stayed pretty small but it is putting off babies at the base just this year. I've had it in the ground for a few years. It about the size around as a dinner plate. I may have to post a picture to see what you think. I hope we can be blog friends as we have a love of succulents in common!