It's been almost two years since I first had the pleasure of meeting Loree (Danger Garden) Bohl in person and seeing her magnificent garden as part of a celebration of a significant birthday. She gave me a couple of agave pups, some black mondo grass and a paddle of Opuntia ellisiana (I think.) She was clearly trying to recruit me into her dangerous plant world in a gentle way. O. ellisiana is glochid- free and the agave pups didn't have any sharp points. I potted the paddle and pups. The agaves have grown steadily but the Opuntia seemed to just sit for a while. I brought it inside the unheated glass room this winter and ignored it. When pulling out some of the plants recently, what should I see? Is that sweet or what? This is my first experience of how cacti put on new growth and I'm giddy!
Loree's enthusiasm for desert plants is infectious and I've come to enjoy many of these plants myself. I bought the next furry Opuntia last summer. The label says that it's hardy to zone 7 if kept dry enough. It got the same dry and ignored treatment this winter and look what's happening!
I'm loving this. No attention for months and they reward me with new growth. This is so different from many of the plants that I'm a slave to all winter trying to meet their needs and keep them alive. (I'm talking to you Solanum quitoense!)
Loree's plant gifts were the beginning of what I call my Danger gardenette. This changes each spring and fall as some things stay outside and others come in for the wet winter. Each spring comes a rearranging of things. Here it is taken apart with a few plants placed around.
Some of the ladies in waiting.
The Agave Americana mediopicta aurea spent the winter inside the house and got mealy bugs. I'm happy to say that they're gone now through the use of systemic insecticide. The Aloe 'Goliath' came from our recent WeHop visit.
Where should I put this stuff? Notice the big green bag of pearlite waiting to be added to potting soil for better drainage.
More Opuntia growth that I discovered while moving these around. For those of you who've experienced this a lot, this is old hat but I think it's the cutest thing ever!
It's interesting how the generosity and enthusiasm of one gardener can influence another to find joy in a previously dismissed group of plants. One of my favorite things about gardening is that I keep making happy discoveries even after gardening for nearly 40 years! It also helps that I've a memory like Teflon - nothing sticks so every day I discover something new!