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Agave is Over

May 5, 2011

Before, Agave still intact.

Before, Agave still intact.

The sunny side of our garden is looking sweet. We do like to keep trying out new plants and tweaking stuff. We’re down to about three Agave americana succulents (Century Plant) left in the garden. There’s the mama which we don’t plan on getting rid of even though it is going to over take our back yard some day…and two of her pups still floating around.
Agave americana - Century Plant

Agave americana - Century Plant

Don’t worry, even though today’s title is “Agave is Over”, we still have a bunch of other Agave species…just slimming down on the americana. Oh BTW, as the title implies, we can’t get enough of Portlandia. So here’s one last look of this guy in our garden.
Matti's special tool

Matti's special tool

I’m the official Agave ripper outer in the garden. Strapping on my hori hori…time to get to work.
Clearing rocks.

Clearing rocks.

Back when a lot of these plants were just tiny guys, we put a bunch of beach rocks in on this side…mainly to help stabilize cuttings and also to dress up the side while they grow in. Now we’re finding that we need to pull out a lot of the rocks while shuffling plants around.
Ripping out the Agave.

Ripping out the Agave.

Couple strategic cuts, this baby is coming loose. Max is always there to help.
It's out.

It's out.

Hey, I am getting good at this. Oddly enough, the roots were not as big and deep as I thought they would be. It was a win win. I brought this pulled out Agave to the curb for somebody to take. Before I could even twitter about it, 30 seconds later someone was already hauling it away to plant in their garden. We love sharing.
Filling in the hole.

Filling in the hole.

So what to put into this bare hole. Against the fence and just to the left of the bald spot is an Athanasia pinnata…and to the right is a Leonotis menthifolia (Lion’s Ear).


We decided to pop in an Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’ that I picked up from my work. It looks small now, but all three of these mentioned get pretty big. It’s gonna be a battle royale to see who get all the air space. Seriously, I think that they’ll be happy as they fill in. Some like to snake around when they grow, some will get pruned every so often…and maybe just maybe one will get too big and will get ripped out in a year. Then we get to experiment with another cool plant. — Far Out Flora

22 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2011 7:35 am

    you must have made that person’s day – what an amazing curb find!

    • May 5, 2011 7:48 am

      Hey Ellie, it was great. It was a new person who just moved to the neighborhood and wanted to start a succulent garden. We ended up giving them about 6 nice sized Aloe species too. She was jazzed.

      I would say over the month of April, we put out about 10 flats of cuttings and plants for the hood. All gone by days end. We feel better that they aren’t just being composted.

  2. May 5, 2011 8:25 am

    It is my dream to someday live in a place where there are free agaves on the curb.

  3. May 5, 2011 9:28 am

    Lovely! I took some agave pups from my mother & aunt’s So Cal gardens and put them in urns here in my WI garden. They spend winters in my basement and sunny bedroom windows. I’m have a bit of a succulent obsession as well, and I love all your succulents! I grew up in So Cal and I also dream about having a California garden someday- on a street where people leave Agave curbside! My husband is in the military, so I imagine we’ll live there sometime or another.

    • May 5, 2011 1:26 pm

      That’s awesome. Hey, did you know that we are from Madison? Back in te day we converted a closet into a succulent grow area for the winters.

  4. May 5, 2011 11:16 am

    ooh, that athanasia is going to look great mixing with the leonotis someday. i have an athanasia/phlomis aurea combo that i like in my yard.

    and also – good boy max! a virtual pat on the head to you. wish i could throw that ball for you!

    • May 6, 2011 8:48 pm

      I’m getting excited for the leonotis to bloom, it has buds all over it! Those were two of the first plants I brought home from Annie’s after I started🙂

  5. May 5, 2011 4:48 pm

    Excellent work! May I ask what kind of gloves you used.

    • May 5, 2011 5:22 pm

      I have an old pair of cheap Atlas gloves you can buy for $5… the ones with rubber palms and fabric tops. Funny, now that I remember, I picked up year gloves from our local grow your own store for $4.20. I’m just mostly delicate where / how I grab. If I were doing more often, I would use my hard core rawhide leather gloves but they are a little over kill or this project.

  6. May 5, 2011 5:08 pm

    I always enjoy photos of your garden. Lucky guy to get the lovely Agave in his garden🙂

  7. prometheus permalink
    May 5, 2011 6:54 pm

    nice garden. nice aeoniums.

  8. May 6, 2011 3:26 pm

    You always have the biggest smile for the camera! Of course, with a garden like that, who wouldn’t be smiling? And that’s my first look at Portlandia, so thanks for that. Just brought an athanasia home this spring and still get goose bumps when I walk by it. It’s so great when plantings mature to that tweaking and editing stage like yours. It all looks fantastic.

  9. May 6, 2011 11:40 pm

    You’re having too much fun!

  10. May 8, 2011 8:58 am

    Update: The Euphorbia wasn’t right in that spot, so I moved it somewhere else and threw in Nigella ‘Curiosity’ instead.

  11. May 11, 2011 10:45 am

    Hi. I really like your updates. I had to do something similar when my Agave americana got too large and started pupping.

    I have a question for you. I keep seeing those beautiful aeoniums in your photos. They look like Zwartkop, but I think they’re different (shorter leaves, tighter rosettes, don’t get messy). Could you tell me what kind they are? (And possibly where you bought them?) I’d be so thankful. I have seen them around my neighborhood in Oakland and have been trying so hard to solve this mystery on my own.

    • May 11, 2011 1:52 pm

      Hi Mark, it challenging to say which are in our garden…most cam to us as cuttings. Plus they seem to grow a little different in color and rosette for us depending if they are in our shady va sunny part of the garden. Common purple Aeoniums found around here are Zwartkop, atropurpureum Pinwheel, atropurpureum, Voodoo, Plum Purdy, and Rubrum. Good place to check out in east bay would be Annies Annuals, Cactus Jungle, Berk Hort or Dry Garden. Flora Grubb if your in SF. Matti

      • May 11, 2011 2:23 pm

        Thank you, Matti, for the information! I hear what you’re saying. I have trouble myself just researching the different cultivars online visually. If I search for atropurpureum, I come up with just about every color and shape of aeonium possible in google image search. Interestingly enough, Annie’s doesn’t have any purple ones right now. But I’m planning to visit Cactus Jungle this weekend and will be sure to quiz the staff there. Anyway, very nice garden. Thanks for sharing all your great work and pictures.

  12. May 13, 2011 7:03 am

    Wow! there are multicolor trees in your garden, so beautiful🙂


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