Not me...but our Agave plants!
When I purchased plants for the our Ojai landscape, I included three varieties of Agave.
They are very drought tolerant and add so much interest to our garden beds.
I wanted these to be companion plants, to the many other softer,
more willowy plants that complement the style of this garden
Sometimes they are called a Century Plant,
because they bloom about every 15 to 20 years,
but what I have learned is that they will bloom sooner
if you pamper them a bit...which it looks like I have done!
Most of the Agave that we planted were in 3 and 5 gallon containers...actually pretty small
I planted the T Webber's Blue, Americana
and my favorite the Desmettiana Variegata
Almost all the Agave have become really large, 4 years later
and most of the plants are surrounded by "pups"
We will try to dig up and divide these this winter or early spring
to use in other areas of the garden.
Let me add that these pretty but pesky plants
are really difficult to dig around...my husband and I have both gotten some pretty nasty "pokes' from the sharp ends
and they leave bruised and tender lumps when you get jabbed!
now for the
part of this post
about a month ago two of them started to sprout this
crazy weird asparagus stalk thingy...
what is that....?
I don't think this is a good thing!
the stalks are about 4 feet high right now
and seem to be growing about a foot each week...
it's like a Jack and the Beanstalk event
I did some research and came across a great blog called
You must visit this site
if you are even somewhat into gardening...trust me on this one.
One of the blog writers happens to be a well known author and lecturer named Debra Lee Baldwin.
I realized when I read her bio, that I have one of her books, which I love:
Designing With Succulents.
I highly recommend her book
if you have a desire to use succulents in containers
or in your garden.
It is full of info and inspiration!
Agave are a type of plant called Monocarpic,
which means the plant will die after if flowers.
The mother plant grows this tall stalk, in order to reproduce more agave
and expends all of her energy as she does this.
In the photo above you can see where the stalk is staring to produce
the beginnings of lateral branches.
Here is a photo of what this stalk will eventually look like
courtesy of Debra's web site
The stalks will go from green to red
and form these 20 foot tall "trees"
Each branch will have many groups of blossoms.
When the stalk can no longer support the weight of the blossom clumps
it falls over.
The idea is
that the small little Agave babies
will start to grow where they land...how efficient is our Agave mom!?
This type of agave offers highly nutritious nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds too
It is also used as a sugar substitute
which I think we have all seen in the super market as
similar to honey but much sweeter
The longer I garden in this climate
the more I have come to love succulents
and the beauty of these unique plants
I will keep a good "gardeners journal" on this happy event
I may never see this happen again in our garden..or in my lifetime even!
I have decided to buy a pair of really long leather gloves for dealing with these beauties...and maybe a pair of goggles...
and a helmet
and a...OK I'll just show you