September 07, 2021
I’m somewhat infatuated with mangaves, these succulent-leaved hybrids of agaves and manfredas. I’ve been rising a pair hardy mangaves (hardy most winters in our zone 8b) for years as focal factors in protected beds or containers. My hardy faves are ‘Macho Mocha’ and its variegated counterpart, ‘Espresso’. I additionally like petite ‘Bloodspot’ mangave, which I develop in pots that I defend throughout freezes.
I’d be a mangave collector if I lived in a frost-free local weather or had a greenhouse to stash them in winter. However I often simply strive a brand new one yearly or so, in a container I pass over all yr, till a tough freeze will get it. ‘Pineapple Specific’ lasted a number of years, often dying again to the roots however coming again shortly. Final yr I grew ‘Spotty Dotty’, and it made all of it winter till the epic February freeze.
Now I’m rising a brand new one, ‘Moonglow’, which can be my favourite but. Simply have a look at these elegant, slim, starburst leaves splotched with eggplant purple and seafoam inexperienced! Lovely. I’m rising it in a blue pot in a partly shady mattress with Philippine violet and chartreuse ‘Everillo’ sedge, one other favourite for my dry shade backyard.
In the identical mattress, native chile pequin (Capsicum annuum) is approaching sturdy, its little spherical berries reddening up. Each August and into September, I eagerly look ahead to indicators of summer time’s finish. Chile pequin ripening is one. American beautyberry berries turning purple is one other.
Flowering garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) is one other harbinger of summer time’s finish. Oh and I simply noticed a pair little oxblood lily snouts poking up. All they want is one good rain to burst into bloom and herald the waning of the Dying Star. I can’t wait.
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