Thursday, November 5, 2009

New bed in the making

Out beyond the back wrought iron fence there's a line of ugly scrub cedars. Beyond that, several acres of floodplain land with a wet weather pond. The cedars give us some privacy, but let's face it, these are ugy. Not unique, or interesting cedars, just ugly.

So I've been whittling away at them making space for a little xeric bed to give us something drought-tolerant and prettier to look at. My guys came today to dig out the rock and deliver soil.
This bed won't get watered, and deer will wander through her regularly, so it's my "tough" bed.
Here are the tough characters who will spruce things up in the back:

Quadricolor Agave
A Fishhook cactus
Rats - it's dark outside and I can't read this pot, can you? Something bronze!
Bamboo Muhly
Cycad - I think it's Zamia Herrerae - an upright, skinny leafed one
Pride of Barbados
A Pindo Palm tree
Whale's tongue agave
Barrel cactus
Not pictured, a Texas Mountain Laurel and Gulf Coast Muhly.

I am hoping that these things will get some rain this fall to get established and then will survive (for the most part) on their own next summer. (Assuming we don't have 68+ days over 100 again!)


Pam/Digging said...

Where did you get that lovely 'Quadricolor' agave? And I'm sure you meant to type bamboo muhly instead of Gulf Coast muhly, as I see bamboo muhly in your tags. :-)

There's been some discussion as to whether the agaves that Barton Springs Nursery is selling as 'Whale's Tongue' agaves really are A. ovatifolia. Jenny first expressed doubt, and I agreed that they look not quite right. I sent a picture and description off to agave expert Ivette Soler (The Germinatrix) in L.A., and she thinks they are not 'Whale's Tongue' based on the fact that they're producing pups and based on the leaf shape. I've recently written to BSN to see what they say, and they agree that offsetting is not expected with WT agaves, esp. so young. But they continue to sell them as such. I think they've got some other agave or a hybrid. Still it's quite pretty, isn't it?

Your new bed looks great, and these are some tough plants. It'll be fun to watch them fill in.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

The new plants will definitely add some visual interest to that area!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The Quadricolor agave doesn't look so tough but that fishhook cactus looks scary. These plants will add great interest to this area Diana. I can't wait to see them grow in.

Diana said...

Pam - the Quadricolor came from Great Outdoors. Thanks for the heads up - I fixed the post - I have both Bamboo and Gulf Coast, just didn't take pics of the little GCM. I did a little research after your AO tweet. Hard to say until it gets bigger I suppose. I watched the delivery guy try to convince someone at Nat Gardener another one I bought was AO and she labeled it a Paryii and was right. Guess I will be watching for pups on the BSN plant.

Robin -- I think so -- It will be so much prettier than scrubby cedars.

Lisa -- Yes - that Fishhook is menacing isn't it? I don't plan to have to get to close to these guys too often!

Janet said...

Such great plants Diana! Love the first Agave. Think your new bed will be great!!

Diana said...

Janet -- That agave is something, isn't it? It went right into my cart when I saw it! I almost didn't put it back there because I won't see it much, guess I will have to make a trip to look at it!

texasdeb said...

What fun - you now have the perfect hardiness/heat/drought/deer resistant test garden. Perhaps you should offer your new beds to local nurseries for trial runs then they could label and market the survivors as SNG/Diane Certified.

I am goofy for agaves. If I won the lottery next week I believe a quarter of my winnings I would happily spend on specimen plants (along with truck loads of dirt, crushed granite, and crews to spread both).

Linda/Central Texas Gardener said...

I like this new bed! Where did you get that cycad? Maybe the bronze one is dyckia? It all looks great, even as newbies. So fun to do a new design!

getgrounded said...

You will be the definitive tester to see if these are really deer resistant or not! That bed is going to look most excellent out there...can't wait to see it planted out.

getgrounded said...

You will be the definitive tester to see if these are really deer resistant or not! That bed is going to look most excellent out there...can't wait to see it planted out.

getgrounded said...

You will be the definitive tester to see if these are really deer resistant or not! That bed is going to look most excellent out there...can't wait to see it planted out.

Lancashire rose said...

I knew you were pumped up after last Saturday. You certainly 'got weaving' as my mother used to say. That quadricolor agave is super. I hope the deer appreciate this bed!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Just let those deer get a mouthful of spines. Teehee! It's going to look great with all those architectural plants.

Diana said...

texasDeb -- Ha ha! Wouldn't it be nice if I got something out of making a bed? Besides deer munching on it, I mean! I think they will leave this all alone. Plus, it's right up by the fence. The soil is soft, I'll be able to see hoof prints if they show up to check it out.

Linda - CTG -- I will check to see if that plant is dyckia -- no idea. The Cycad came from Great Outdoors. They are hidden on the end path down the hill past the agaves!

GetGrounded -- I really don't think the deer want any part of this bed. But I've been wrong before!

Lancashire Rose -- I was inspired! And it's just amazing how much better it looks out there. I always wonder, why didn't I do that before now?

MMD -- Yes, the deer would not like having a snoot full of that Fishhook, would they?

Annie in Austin said...

It must be fun to have the space for these dramatic plants, Diana! The cedars will just be a stage curtain in the background once they get going.

Linda is probably right - I bought a Dyckia from one of the Master Gardener tables on the tour - it's about 4 inches tall and looks like a dollhouse version of your mystery plant.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Diana said...

Annie -- I didn't realize quite how big it would be once the cedars came out, but it just gave me enough room to spread those plants out nicely. My mystery plant is not that big, not 4 inches tall. Maybe 2-1/2-3.

Pam/Digging said...

Yes, that is a dyckia, by the way.

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