It was May last year that I posted my last entry on the cristate aeonium (here), not sure if anyone remembers how big it had got for that very narrow stem. That stem has always looked a bit fragile.
As usual it wasn't given great winter protection and I forgot the golden rule of keeping plants on their edge of their hardiness. That is know how they react to frosts. Some wilt then firm up, some show no initial damage and then rot, other turn to mush overnight. With aeoniums the stem wilts. If the wilt was not been too bad, the plant recovers when it warms up.
You can guess where this is going.
Checking the plants after the last cold period I was greeted by this:
You can see how the stems have rotted where they wilted due to the frosts. I had to cut the main head off to get this photo. Out came the scissors and exploring; some stems were firm others were rotted all the way up to the leaves. I probably caught it just in time and had to apply a liberal dose of anti mould treatment to try and stem the rot. The majority of the plant had to be binned, but a couple of the heads were hopefully saved.
I should be able to re-root this and start from a wider base. Who knows what this one will turn out to look like. Maybe next year I'll remember to give it proper protection. I am beginning to see how much extra warmth my old shed provided to these very marginal plants.
Tuesday 19 March 2013
Tuesday 12 March 2013
On the walk back the tide had gone out, when it does there is some walk to get to the sea!
The place we were staying had planted a little dry bed, I think they need a bit of help:
The poor agaves did not look good:
There was only one that showed any real signs it may survive:
I am guessing they made a very simple mistake of planting directly into soil and not giving any rain shelter over this very wet winter. They could have spent a bit more on landscaping!
Anyway on the last day it we visited the desert. It is just along the coast from Rye at Dungeness and has another claim to fame with its 3 power stations. Apparently it got the desert status due to its lack of water: despite having sea on one side and man made lakes on the other. The last part to the drive is strangely beautiful, you have lakes surrounded an arid landscape, on the horizon lots of electricity pylons and the power stations. Then you get to the coastal road
This is the desert and it is covered in skeletons of old boats and buildings
We did get out to look at the light houses though, the old one is up by one of the power stations. It seems a long way form the sea, but at least they would never run out of power.
The new one sits in the middle of the desert, which is another strange concept.
It really is a fascinating place and one I would like to re-visit on a much warmer day!
Monday 11 March 2013
|Agave "Snow Glow"|
|Agave "Sun Glow"|
In the mean time here are a couple of plants and one set that I have been watching grow: the agave "blue glow" group, the normal form, the white leaf variegate "snow glow" and the yellow leaf variegate "sun glow". I have to say for me, like the weather at the moment is is all snow. You can see the difference in growth for my two plant, given that they were the same size when they arrived.
Right lots of catching up to do. Hopefully that is it for my hibernation this winter.