Sunday 13 March 2011

Getting carried away

Well it was always going to happen, no matter how much my OH wished otherwise, I had to make my first purchase of the year at some point. I have been good up until now and held off for as long as possible.  Then yesterday I popped down to one of my local nurseries. It is a weird place mostly a normal garden center but the owner is an avid succulent collector and has used part of the nursery to store spare or unwanted plants.  I have very mixed feelings about it, on one front it is an excellent source of affordable plants (many of my larger and rarer purchases have come fro here), on the other the plants have been ignored and many have died and been binned. It is such a waste and I hate seeing how many amazing and often rare plants have just been left to die. Anyway I posted before about agave utahensis, showing this picture

I had an idea that I had seen some in among the other plants at the nursery and so popped along with a friend to see what was still around. It turned out I as not wrong, and I don't know if it was seeing the plants being so unloved, or something else but I bought one or two:

Do you think I have enough to keep me going?  Before my OH gets too concerned they are not all for me, I have a small group of friends and we try to help each other out.  One of the things we do is to keep an eye out for plants we know the others are looking for. So many of these will be making their way to other parts of the country. The source means that the plants are not labelled so it is very much guesswork,  but there seemed to be three varieties.  The first with the very long terminal spines:

Then a blue version, which at least at this size is my favourite:

And finally the short spine version:

It is going to be great fun trying to untangle these; there are about 20 plants in one of the pots. I will leave those for some other brave soul, but I did untangle one pot.

This pot was full of the longer spined variety and i am still pulling splinters out of my fingers.  It was worth it though:

Having so many plants to play with will give me an opportunity to explore this plants hardiness.  It is well known that agave utahensis is one of the most cold tolerant plants, the one plant I owned up to now has been left under a rain cover every winter and never has any problems.  How it will cope with a British wet winter is unknown.  It is a very slow growing agave and most people are unwilling to risk old plants, I should have enough to mean loosing one would not be an issue. A few of these will be planted out in the dry bed once it warms up a bit more and we shall see how it does.

The shopping year has started, the question is after yesterdays little extravagance  will I be allowed out unsupervised again?


  1. You made out! If your OH is anything like mine, they've given up trying to dissuade you! Mine just shakes his head and asks "where's this one gonna go again?"...that's part of the fun! You're doing better than me though, I've already made several trips but haven't gotten around to posting them.

  2. My OH pretty much says the same. I have been very good this year (up until Saturday) and probably held of buying for about a month longer than usual. I couldn't pass on these though.