I thought it was time for an update on my echeveria adonis blue hybrid. Last summer the original plant flowered it self to death. I did a post on it at the time (here), and showed this photo with the first offsets ready to be cut off.
Those three were cut off and when it became obvious the main plant was going to die (or look terrible) I top cut it to force more offsets.
So my original plant has given my 16 babies to play which is a pretty good parting present. If each of these gives me even half as many I should have one or two spares next year. Now all I need is more space to store all these new plants!
Wednesday 28 March 2012
Monday 26 March 2012
Given that winter pretty much puts my gardening on hold, spring holds a special place as once again I can do more than just looking at plants in the shed. For once my OH agrees, although for her it is because she gets her windowsills back and no longer has to worry about getting spiked as she walks around the house.
So what signifies the start of spring for you?
Monday 19 March 2012
The dry bed is well and truly waking up. There are signs the agaves are starting to get into growth, but this time of year really belongs to the alpines. On my wish list of things for a new garden I have: more space, a greenhouse, a south facing slope and a stone wall for alpines. It would be a dry stone wall where every crevice has some interesting little plant to catch your attention. One group of plants that would feature are saxifragaceae. There are so many varieties, the ones I like are the tight clump forming ones. I have a few in flower at the moment, although they don't look as good in the ground as stuck to a wall.
Thankfully they don't all have yellow flowers, the next one does, but I love the shape of the clump.
Finally a different flower type
This one is so small it tends to go unnoticed in the dry bed for most of the year. Another good reason for my alpine wall. If I ever get my wish, part of the fun will be searching for lots of other varieties to complement the few that I currently have.
Saturday 3 March 2012
It looked glorious all summer and then autumn arrived, and I suddenly wondered where on earth I was going to store it. It was too big for the house and the shed, the only option was to build a cold frame and hope it would cope with some harsh treatment. It did, flowering again next spring which confirmed that many aloes are tougher than we give them credit for. The next three years were all fine, flowers every spring and looking great all summer. Then we had the winter of 2010/11 and for the first time it was damaged. I had got so used to it getting through winters without problems, that i didn't think much of the damage as it seemed to be growing again.
Then last weekend I found this. All the lower leaves are dead and the plant is only being supported by the cold frame. It was one of those horrible moments when you reach towards the plant, hoping for the best but knowing perfect well what you are going to find. I felt under the leaves and sure enough the trunk was soft. Having been caught out once I couldn't leave it again and giving it a gentle tug, the top came away in my hand.
The trunk had obviously rooted last winter, but the surprise was the roots that had grown through the rot to allow the plant to keep going.
Sadly the rot would only continue if left unchecked, so I had to remove all the dead leaves and get back to health trunk. I had to remove a lot, but finally I got back to good health stem.
Not quite the large, dramatic plant it was a couple of summers back.
What is left has been placed on a wire rack while the base dries off. in a couple of weeks, if it warms up, I will place it in very light soil, on heat and leave it for another couple of week. Then i will start to water it, adding a bit more each week. If everything goes according to plan, it will be well rooted by the end of summer.
I hope it will forgive me for my shocking treatment. Hopefully this will be the last winter I have limited winter storage space and they will have less of a fight to stay alive from now on.
Friday 2 March 2012
Every spring and autumn I take photos of a lot of my plants to see how they are growing. Then on quiet evenings I can look through them to see how things have grown. Variegates work well for this as you can really see the plant come into its own. Some of my favourite series are the experiments or plants that I am shaping. This is echeveria secunda brevifolia, I have posted about it before, as I was trying to shape it into a little tree. This was it in March 2010:
Then a year later in March 2011, it has filled out nicely:
And finally Last week:
I really like the new plants forming underneath the original growth. I am now tempted to cut the outside ring off to expose the dome below. Then again I may leave it and see what happens, after all I can always cut hem off later if leaving doesn't work out.