I don’t want to worry you but my garden appears to have become a miraculous plot a bit like Lourdes, but for plants. My garden is a place where plants that only flower every 50 to 100 years have started flowering. Now this may be a portent of the end of days or it may be that I am just a very good gardener! I prefer the latter possibility. Let me explain. You will remember that one of my Agave Attenuata has started to flower after 20 odd years; the down side being that it dies after this. But also, there has been another miracle flowering, one of my Agave Americana (known as century plants for the time it takes to flower) has just started throwing up a flower spike. More of this later, let’s get on with the gardening.
6th May 2021. Things I have been doing lately:
😪 Saying goodbye to the Agave Attenuata. Those of you who follow this blog will know that to my astonishment one of my Agave Attenuata threw up a flower spike. This has been a source of great joy tinged with sadness, as after flowering the plant dies. I have been preparing for this moment for weeks, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh was as nothing compared to my arrangements.
The Agave had said all its good byes to its pups and we had already made arrangements for which area of the compost bin she would be laid. She had not requested a blindfold as she said the saw held no fear for her. The music had all been agreed. If you are interested here is the running order:
- Miserere mei Deus
- Chopin funeral march
- Elgar’s Nimrod
After the formal stuff and whilst I laid the large Agave to rest in the compost bin, all the plants on the potting bench belted out the potting bench chorus of happy songs. The biggest hits were “Wind beneath my wings” and “Somewhere over the rainbow”. There was not a dry eye in the house. The whole event was almost spoiled by Cruella (my wife) shouting at us and telling us to “stop that racket”.
The first photo below shows the flower spike at its peak. The second photo shows me about to administer the coupe de grace by saw. Finally, the flower spike lies ready for composting and a return to the earth. But happily the Agave leaves lots of happy pups behind to continue the line. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🛁 Planting out Loofahs. You may remember that I sowed Loofah seeds earlier this year and they have been very successful. Loofahs need lots of heat, water and good supports to help them climb. You need to pot on seeds and cuttings when you start to see roots creeping out the bottom of their pot. Unfortunately loofah do not like being disturbed so it is a dangerous time when you are potting on.
I have decided to grow my loofahs in our pool area so that they grow up and along balustrades. I haven’t told Cruella (my wife) yet, but it should be ok as she cannot go out in daylight!. The photos below show the loofah ready to be potted on, followed by their place in the pool area. The final photo shows them beginning to take off. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🧹 Little things you need to do now. Now that everything is coming along nicely in the garden, there are little jobs and activities that you should not neglect. These include:
- Tidy overgrown grass at the edge of paths
- Now that the first bloom of Roses is almost over, prune further back for shape
- Shade your potting bench in the afternoon sun to stop scorching
The photos below show my efforts in each of these areas. Yes, I know the potting bench shading is like a shanty town; I’m a gardener not a builder. Click on each photo for a larger view.
🇺🇸 Celebrating Agave Americana blooming. I am obviously a very lucky gardener to have two of the most reluctant flowering Agaves to come to bloom in my garden. Just when I was at my lowest point, mourning the loss of Agave Attenuata, God sent me comfort in the amazing flowering of Agave Americana. For those of you who don’t know, Agave Americana is known as the “century plant” as it takes a very long time to flower. The downside is, like the Attenuata it will die after flowering. However the good news is that the flower spike is spectacular rising in many cases to over 20 foot. I am looking forward to the next few weeks as the flower spike emerges (sometimes by two foot a day).
I don’t want to be morbid, but we are planning the funeral already. The potting bench chorus are rehearsing “Pie Jesu”, this will be followed by “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” which the Americana has informed me is its favourite hymn. Watch this space for future updates, I am thinking of getting a funeral plan.
The first photo below shows the Americana when I first noticed the flower spike emerging. The next photo shows me pointing out the obvious. The third photo shows me standing in awe, Cruella decided this blog’s photos are too boring and she insisted that I posed dramatically; perhaps you can tell I didn’t go to drama school. Click on each photo for a larger view.