dbarronoss

A likely couple of natives

dbarron
August 10, 2018
last modified: August 10, 2018

Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed) and rudbeckia triloba (brown eyed susan) made quite a cute couple this morning.

(photo below due to repeated failures)

Hmm, I may have to retake photo....I think it would be better with light on the grass and not on the tops of the Rudbeckias.

Comments (324)

  • texasranger2

    Camps, here's the deal. He (the neighbor) was embarrassed and all apologetic because his dog was getting out and coming in my yard a couple months back. I didn't really mind but he was all over himself apologizing so thats why he fixed the fence. Me, I'd rather deal with the dog getting out into my yard than be locked out from weeding like this and I went into a state when I saw the fence being fixed---OH NO! Not that!

    I am going to talk to him coming up, explain the situation, because I do need to weed those out sooner than later to keep the seeds from falling so bad. The thing is, one session of weeding won't cut it, not with those Cow Pen's. Barron was right, they seed prolifically and lots of new ones keep sprouting all spring and summer. He already thinks I'm weird, if I wrote a note like that he'd really think I was a weirdo.

  • texasranger2

    Barron, I liked those two women, they were fun gals who laughed easily, the kind you feel like you've known forever after just meeting, seemed like a perfect pair to go garden shopping with. I had a good time that day.

    Come anytime Barron.

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  • texasranger2

    Camps, come on----tell me thats England. It looks like it could be up north by Pond Creek (pronounced 'crick') up north in Oklahoma with that gate. My mental pictures of England come from movies and OETA (public television)

  • dbarron

    Hmm, well when do you feel your garden typically looks the best? Nowish? Spring? (lets forget midsummer for obvious reasons)...I liked sitting out in your garden.

  • texasranger2

    Right now it looks overgrown and the grasses are lodging. I'm really going to have to get things thinned out. I'm blaming all that August rain but then, I did want to see what would happen if nature kind of took its course which was OK last year but this year its a bit much. Now I'm looking through old photos through the last several years and planning my attack. The driveway is covered in crunchy, bleeding oak nuts with black nasty looking ugliness running downhill from each fallen nut, looks like we've been slaughtering cows out there. The most descriptive word is messy unless the light is just right in late afternoon.

    It looks best after I've spent a lot of time on it and thats the problem. I've been lazy all summer.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    That was an adventure. I WAS WORRIED SICK between Henrietta and Jacksonborro on 281 with pouring rain and ponding water on both sides for as far as I could see in the wet dusk , In Jacksonboro It got better so I called my husband because it was better and there was a gas station.. He said that I was in a crack between two moving storms, both with tornados and I better " step on it" to shoot between the two storms. WELL< every one must have been listening in on our conversation because everyone started to step on it. So now I was on a wet twisting 2 lane strange country road with everyone doing 80. The internet has introduced catastrophizing into the car. No motels on this road to whole up in . Wild ride. I pulled off that road many times too let people by.

  • texasranger2

    Don't worry about it Jay.

  • texasranger2

    Mara---it was SCARY. I was so glad when you got home. What a night that was.

  • Skip1909

    Re: Piet Odouf, if you like his designs, try the book Planting in a Post-Wild World by Claudia West and Thomas Rainer. It offers a fresh take on the meadow/prairie and other types of "natural" looking plantings (forest, open woodland, savanna, wooded edge, prairie), but rather than trying to recreate these habitats, which would basically be a restoration, it explains about picking plants that fit a niche. All the niches work together to form a semi-stable community. It offers some design advice to avoid getting that crowded overplanted look while still covering the ground. A lot of the planting and site prep is similar to a restoration, but its geared toward landscaping and the world we live in now.

    I think Piet Odouf uses these ideas, because his "prairies" will have plants from the horticulture trade and from all different parts of the world. Its a little different than recreating the american prairie in europe, even though it might somewhat resemble the american prairie and use some of the staple plants.

    A couple other good reads in the same vein are Garden Revolution by Larry Weaner, and The Living Landscape by Doug Tallamy. If you want your mind blown look at pictures of Tallamy's garden.

    If you try to plan it all out, it brings into perspective what an undertaking creating these "Odouf style" plantings can be. One neighbor with a hackberry can basically destory all your site prep. Or in my case having these giant silver maples and black locusts dropping a million seeds and sprouting in every corner. Even if I cant get it quite right, I enjoy it more than formal gardens or contractor-grade work with a few foriegn foundation shrubs in a sea of mulch. I dont have the unlimited budget, but I do have time, patience, and the willingness to try to grow my own landscape plugs and start things from seed.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    I laughed when I saw an "American Prairie" in Germany at the Palmengarten. It was full of snapdragons and many other Northern European plants. Living in Texas makes most of his plants for his palette not applicable. If he uses american prairie plants , most are norther prairie plants and those often don't correlate to Central Texas. I do like his visuals. His colors are very northern European too. NICE. Painterly.

  • Campanula UK Z8

    Yep, Tex - that is England. I am sure I have mentioned the surprising similarity between fen and prairie, even though one is entirely man-made. Fens are wetlands (reed beds and alder carr) which have been systematically drained, leaving behind extensive peat cuttings, now reflooded (the Broads) and the finest agricultural soil in the UK (where intensive farming is destined to repeat the ecological dustbowl disaster of the 1930s. Huge empty fields, stripped of hedgerows and natural margins, dominate the eastern landscape. An evocative sight, especially after Dutch Elm changed the english countryside forever, is a single ash tree in the middle of an enormous field of winter barley or sugar beet. While we have the driest climate in the UK, we also have extensive waterlands for irrigation. So yes, like you, I am alive to the deep environmental changes being wrought on our landscape...and determined to garden in a less artificial, post-colonial system of avoiding sterile hybrids/named varieties and keeping to a simpler palette of appropriate plants...for this specific eco-system, bearing in mind it is not, in any way 'natural'.

    Skip, I think we are singing from the same hymn sheet here...although the distance to my land limits the amount of specific prep I can do...and I certainly cannot stay on top of weeding....so yep, it is a long process of growing stuff from seed, planting in autumn and hoping for a natural colonisation to broaden the diversity in a landscape which has been systematically denuded of wild flora through herbicides, fertiliser, intensive ag and human activity. In the 5-6 years since owning my wood, I have had to throw out so many treasured ideas and concepts so basically, doing a completely different sort of gardening...with radically altered ideas of the possible.

  • texasranger2

    Camps, the picture of the area you plan to work on looks like it has very thick growth that would cause a lot of competition. Do you have to clear areas first before trying to introduce desirable plants? I look at areas like that and feel a bit overwhelmed and frankly lost--out of my depth, the prospect seems daunting. My tendency is to want to start with a clean slate. Around here, we see lots of places like this that are filled with undesirable plants and grasses (along with vines, scrub and trees) that have come in and taken hold of large areas. I've always thought a plowed field or infertile rocky hill or sandstone outcroppings look less intimidating.

    skip, I looked up Thomas Rainer & Claudia West. He seems to have a realistic and balanced view, interesting pictures and comments. I get inspired looking at pictures of the natural looking gardens of Oudolf and ones like I saw checking these two, who are new to me, out. I first got inspired looking at grass plantings by John Greenlee and the photos taken by Saxon Holt when his books first came out. Before that I was trying to emulate a desert SW look in Oklahoma which means a lot of weeding out here where nature really does hate a vacuum. At first I was just wanting grasses and ordered many non-natives but quickly moved on toward prairie grasses and some muhly types from Texas and got rid of the imported grasses like pennisetum, miscanthus etc which don't have 'the look'. With Oudolf, I'm not interested in the plants so much, I am more inspired by some of the types of textures & contrasts he uses, like seedpods against soft textures, the way you see in a painting.

    One personal observation I've had is you need to create a lot of neutral area to set off the bright lively colors of the native wildflowers. It has gradually dawned on me that that is what makes for a prairie look compared to a garden filled with bright, saturated colors like you see in a conventional garden. A garden or yard is not a prairie, obviously, the best you can achieve is a prairie look or feeling. The problem with creating a prairie even if you have a big acreage is space, you will never be able to really do it right, the best you can achieve is a remnant. Its doubly difficult to create one or even the feeling of one on a small scale because the 'frame' is so tiny you cannot achieve the proper layers and repetition and depth. I think the key is keep it simple and don't turn into a plant collector who needs one of each kind----well you can add new plants---- just don't go overboard and end up with a specimen garden (unless thats what you are after).

  • dbarron

    I resemble that remark (collector), TR.

  • texasranger2

    barron---- I'm mostly just cheap. I can pretend its self control but its not. A swath of easy, self sowing plants also have perks that appeal to my lazy side. Next year I expect to have lots of purple Horsemint increased by 50 fold to add to the yellow Bitterweed, Mexican Hats, Liatris, Prairie Clover and other self-seeding stuff along with the cactus & Agave which require NOTHING BUT NEGLECT TO BE HAPPY--- then I will sit back and 'umbly' accept the compliments on my gardening skills from the people walking toward the park commenting on "gee it must take a lot of work to grow such a colorful yard". (Yea, and its hard on my budget too)

  • Skip1909

    I think I am a collector too, but you can make it work by having repetition in some species, and the placing the plants to look like they were planted intentionally.

    We dont have prairie here, but there are (temporary) meadows to draw from. Im always looking at how gardens, roads, paths, clearings, fields and lawns transition to woods.

  • texasranger2

    skip, one of the visual problems I have is how dull my yard looks compared to the green lawns surrounding me except during drought years and winter. I can stand in my own little world and pretend but from the street, saying it doesn't quite blend in is an understatement.

    We were out and about yesterday and I saw another prairie front yard. That makes three within a short distance from me. This was one of the swells yards up in Crown Heights which is a pretty uptight place with nice old homes where people do expensive landscaping and most don't mow their own lawns. I'm curious what the neighbors think. It looked quite nice but was definitely at that end of summer time where its a bit wild with more spent stuff than blooming stuff, but in full sun and well defined so you know there is a plan and not just an overgrown yard. I'll have to go back next year and look at it earlier in the season.

    The ones that don't work are when they take out the lawn and fill it with lots of shrubs, big leafy plants, some vines, and trees, with maybe an arbor over the sidewalk---too much green and too much shade and too much mishmash variety with no real focus--just dense looking and over-grown-jungly looking after a few years. That seems to always look awful, at least the ones I've seen do.

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    Sorry Barron, technical problems. I read a report by a botanist saying that storing Asclepias seeds dry for a year actually enhances viability. :) It was due time for another pureanal rince!

  • texasranger2

    I was going to start a new thread but I can't figure out how to do it since they changed the site. Barron is right, that other thread is so packed with pictures it makes it hard to scroll down and it bounces up and down making it hard to read the posts. Anyway thats why I'm posting on this thread.

    I ordered one time on e-bay, some cactus pads at a very cheap price. I called it the 'Mail-Rape Cactus' until it finally died, it was too desert-y for these parts. I didn't realize the shipping/packing cost until finalizing the order and gasped when I saw the amount. The shipping was ridiculous compared to the ones I'd ordered from Kelly Grummons in Colorado (Cold Hardy Cactus) or shipping costs of any I'd gotten in trades or sent myself. Kelly Grummons worked for Timberline Nursery in Colorado and started a website selling various agaves and cactus, I don't know if that place still exists. He has a great selection of cold hardy cactus.

    I have those change of heart moments too. I think its just the novelty or need to get something new as opposed to having and keeping with a plan or really wanting it after the new wears off.

    Zach--I'm jealous of anyone who lives in the desert, its the most appealing and beautiful of all landscapes to me. Exploring beats a computer screen any day. About the sand, I'm ordering some Bush Morning Glory (Ipomoea leptophylla) and some Desert Marigold from PoSW along with some others. The Desert Marigolds used to fill the front of my property and reseed each year but year before last they got crowded out by native grasses which I've culled out so my seed stock was gone this year. The blue foliage with that flower color of soft yellow and the sheer bloom power of the plants can't be matched by anything else I've ever grown + they glow at night because the plants are so light colored. They love sand but then just about anything with a tap root does. Years ago I started a Bush Morning Glory but got bored with it after two years (like barron was mentioning) thought it took up too much space but now I miss it. It loves deep sand and the flowers are wonderfully large. Unlike another SW native-- Desert Four O'clock it did quite well here. The Four O'clock's I tried survived but they don't thrive or bloom so I threw in the towel and gave up. I plan to replace a large pink Muhly that the cats insist on using as a bed making it look like a pile of thatch with a B. Morning Glory.

    The thing that got me about the Prairie Dog town was they sounded like children during recess. They are so cute which is kind of bad because I hear some people have them as pets. Its hard to imagine such a social animal being raised isolated from the others as a pet but maybe it works out OK. Its better than the red-necks around here who go out and shoot them for sport.


  • Jay 6a Chicago

    I'm cutting back big time on the photos. Sorry for the hastle. I've been quite trigger happy as of late. Please come back. People are calling for you TR! I never thought this cobwebby antique would ever see the lught of day again. Tex, you should start a thread. It's not hard. If you need help( without pics) I'm here. :)

  • texasranger2

    I'd forgotten this thread comes up on the Perennials site. Thats another new houzzz feature.

    I doubt people are "calling for me to come back" because I never really left. Actually, long lines of pictures from online don't get comments from me because I have nothing to say but then I just haven't had much to say lately about my own garden lately either. I do find myself overwhelmed with long-long lists of botanical names which take up most of a post or several posts----- there is no way I am going to spend hours googling all those names.

    I understand the need for botanical names for accuracy but I always try to include both the common name and the botanical name. Its better for discussion purposes to keep comments about specific plants as opposed to posts that contain overwhelmingly long lists of botanical names which sometimes take up paragraphs. I scroll by those kinds of posts.


    dbarron thanked texasranger2
  • Jay 6a Chicago

    Zach wanted to talk to you. Everyone loves taking to you!

  • texasranger2

    What the heck are you getting at?

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    ? I'm not following you?

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Hahahahahaha, we miss you Tx. LOL

  • texasranger2

    Thank you wantanamara, I've been pouting and feeling insecure.

    I'm so frustrated, I finally got motivated to place an order, most importantly for more Desert Marigold seeds from PoSW today and they don't have them on the website. I gotta have them year so I plan to call them after the New Year's holiday. They've always had them and I simply refuse to believe they are out or not selling them anymore. None of mine have sprouted indoors so I'm suspicious they are no good. Plan #2 I'll to order from Native Seeds SEARCH. I spent hours clearing out all those grasses to make spots for them. I want those seeds.

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    Ebay has 500 Baileya multiradiata seeds for $1.50 + $3.50 s&h. Just trying to help, no ulterior motives, really! ???

  • texasranger2

    Thanks Jay, but I think I'd rather support Native Seed or PoSW. I don't trust e-bay.

  • dbarron

    I kinda knew you were going to say that (and though I've had pretty good experiences on Ebay), especially with seeds I think I agree (lots of people get scammed with seeds).

  • texasranger2

    You'd never know the conditions under which they've been stored, how old they are, if they are correctly identified and other possibilities. Something like the cactus pads are a bit different, you can see the merchandise. I'd be especially leery of any so-called rare seeds on e-bay, especially if they were expensive or if it seemed like a cheap price.

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    TR, you must have a reason for liking the PoSW Baileya multiradiata, ( desert marigold!!!) better than others?

  • texasranger2

    Jay I don't know what others you are talking about unless its common marigolds like the annuals sold at garden centers which I think are often called French marigolds or Tagetes (I'd have to look it up) which I also think is in the genus Calendula. I might be wrong.

    I'm talking about an entirely different plant ---Baileya multiradiata commonly known as Desert Marigolds. I don't think there are others, not that I know of anyway.

    I lost most of my picture files some time back so this is the best I can do. The Desert Marigolds are the light colored plants with yellow flowers on the other side of the sidewalk straight back behind the big paddle cactus and in front of the bluestem grasses and smaller cactus. Its a biennial that gets about 2ft wide with massive amounts of blooms and light blue foliage. As far as why I like them, I'd have to say: Whats not to like?

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    There were other sources of Baileya mutiradiata seeds online that sounded more family owned. I thought maybe there was a certain ecotype you preferred or something. I'm not in the least familiar with this species. For all I know it could have a few subspecies like some of the Gaillardias. Anyways, it's all just talk lol.

  • ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado



    Looks like Native Seeds Search has B. multiradiata- https://shop.nativeseeds.org/products/wf016a

    These guys would light up the roadsides along with lupines, desert bluebells, poppies, and globemallow. If we had gotten the winter rains while I was there there would have been more all over the hillsides and in the desert but the drought never lifted and the flowers never showed, Roadsides get all the runoff from whenever it does rain, so there were some good flowers there, but I had to risk life and limb along Highway 85 to get pictures (the above one though I took in the much safer Desert Botanical Garden).

  • texasranger2

    Zach, have you ever noticed how they glow on a moonlit night? Well, for that matter so do all the sages but the only SW Sage I have luck with is Fringed Sage, the others are short lived--- 3 to 4 years and then we get a couple wetter years and they slowly die. I'm calling PoSW after New Years to see if they have it because I also want to get Paperflower and Bush Morning Glory, I've ordered seeds from them for years. I'm teetering on ordering Cleome (Rocky Mt. Beeplant) too. I've never grown it. If they don't have the D. Marigold's I'll order from Native Seed SEARCH because they also seem like a 'concerned for the environment group'.

    I've been going through old garden pictures and reviewing plants I no longer have since I went more prairie and I find myself wanting to veer back toward more SW species. Here is a closeup picture I took of my favorite penstemon I grew from seeds from PoSW --the gigantic monster of penstemons 'palmeri' aka Pink Wild Snapdragon:


  • dbarron

    I've tried cleome for 3 years running (different sources) and I don't think I've even gotten a sprout. I don't think it like the low lands.

  • texasranger2

    I was wondering if it was difficult to get them to germinate. Instructions from PoSW says sow in fall or soak in hot water and sow in spring, needs light, cover lightly or not at all. I use a thermos to soak seeds that call for a soak in hot water and its worked pretty good in the past. You could grow Clammyweed. I call it 'Poor Man's Cleome'. I've got a lot of seed sent to me by a woman in NM who had them growing wild on her property but they are about 3 years old. I never planted them but I was considering it.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    I put out a bunch of the common bee plant, clammy weed. in the fields and slopes. We will see. I am building a house and unfortunately trucks are driving over my field.

  • texasranger2

    Mara, that wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't wet. The timing is not too good for having trucks squashing your field, you will probably be needing some serious sympathy come spring but that project is so worth it. In a dry summer the tires probably wouldn't be able to make a dent and would just smash the plants. I didn't know it was called common bee plant. They looked really nice in the pictures that woman who used to post here who had them coming up wild on her property, I've been wracking my brain to try to remember her screen name, it was a type of precious stone---- jadeite I think.

  • dbarron

    Jadeite DOES sound familiar.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    It is a mess out there and we are forecasted another 2" tomorrow.. I am needing to find ways of treating compressed clay. That was where your (TxR) gaillardia seed was germinating like hell with all the fall rains.



  • dbarron

    I would say you need some Texas Horse Crippler out there...but you actually want the trucks..lol

  • texasranger2

    Oh no! That's a ROAD. Rats, and I tossed all the gaillardia, If I'd known I could have sent you a couple big grocery sacks stuffed with balls to top and a stuffed sack of Liatris and one with Mexican Hats. I hope the grass comes back, I bet it will.

    I'm going through my seed stash and cleaning stuff up, so disorganized. I found one labeled 'Mara Texas Liatris' which is one you sent me a long time ago, the kind that has the flower things spaced out widely along the stems. My 5 yr old plant died and I've never had more, it was in a low spot where water collects during rains, too wet I imagine. I found a few I'm going to plant like a baggy of Rudbeckia hirta, because I didn't have any volunteers last year. I'm going to scatter some seed outdoors when it warms up a bit. Its so cold today.

    The agaves look gorgeous.


  • ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

    I love your agaves! The closest thing we can get here is Yucca glauca. Cool plants, but I like agaves better.

    Yes, it does indeed glow! I don't grow a lot of Artemisia sages. I had fringed sage, but it got swallowed up by blue grama eventually. It's still there, but hard to find haha. Native Seeds is a cool outfit. I was at their store in Tucson last year and I used to be a member. They certaintly focus on the vegetable crops grown in the area (I love their pepper varieties) but it looks like they have some good wildflowers too.

    I love my Rocky Mountain bee plant. However, it is found out on the prairie rather than in the mountains... Anyway I just threw seeds of it around at my "old" garden right out into the snow one winter and it reseeds wonderfully every year. The "patches" move around from place to place, wherever there is a lot of bare ground. Like sunflowers, they are "quick colonizing" annual species that take advantage of disturbed areas before the more permanent plants get established. Grow a good patch of bee plant and you will see it definitely earns it's name. It is constantly buzzing with all kinds of pollinators. The hummers love it, too. I'm trying to find a good source for a lot of seed for it to get it established out here where we are now.

    From work a couple years ago

    Bee plant and sunflowers I found driving through NE Colorado (shared this one on the other thread the other day, but I like it haha)

    Hunt's bumblebee from the ones I grew at home


    Western bumblebee also at home (IUCN lists this guy as threatened, so it's cool they showed up in my garden!)

    We have clammy weed but not as much as bee plant which is a common roadside "weed." I have seen patches of it growing in vacant lots in Denver even. Clammy also isn't as "impressive." I have seen bee plants get to be as tall as I am, the clammy weed only gets maybe a foot tall.


  • texasranger2

    Zach, those are beautiful pictures.

    I can't grow those big ones this far north. I have parry agave which have started to colonize a bit too aggressively, from 5 plants I got in a trade I now have wide area of them growing as tight as chicks and hens which are sending up pups in the paths and among grasses and other plants several feet from the original plants, it's getting a bit dangerous. They are painful to weed around and when they hide among other plants its makes for some unpleasant surprises. I ordered Utahensis from Kelly Grummons up there in Colorado and it only produces a pup or two every now and then.

    Here is a picture from a couple years ago. the larger agave is Utahensis. Its the largest of the cold hardy types.



    and this is from last summer, taken from a different angle. You can't see all the pups but there are a lot.

    I've been thinning out a lot of the grasses. I find I like the earlier garden pictures better which is why I'm concentrating on plants like the Desert Marigolds, I think they got crowded out by the grasses. The grasses are nice in winter but the situation is getting out of hand out here. The grasses by the agave are Blonde Ambition. I'm taking them out because they get way too big. I like the regular type better, its not such a space hog.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    Yea, it is becoming a road. The clammy weed is not as pretty but it is what we have that does well.

  • texasranger2

    Zach, do you know what the white flowering plant is at the bottom right hand corner? The R.M. Bee plants are stunning!

  • ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

    Your agaves look different than the A. utahensis I'm seeing, the leaves are wider and more uniform, is it a specific variety? HCG sells A. u. var. kaibabensis which is supposedly hardy to z5. That wouldn't surprise me, the Kaibab plateau is some 7-8,000ft if I'm remembering correctly. But that one has much more narrow leaves and has more of a yucca look to it than an agave to me. Wonder how hardy the one you have is and how much you'd charge me for a few of your unwanted pups ;).

    Blonde ambition did nothing for me. It declined from the first year I put it in and eventually I just tore it out. The regular seed grown blue grama does great for me though, especially in sand. Buffalograss is a better species for heavier soils, but its a sod forming grass that doesn't get much above a few inches high. It makes a cool, drought tolerant lawn but not much for gardens.

    The white flower is bractless blazing star, Mentzelia nuda. It opens in the evening and closes usually before sunrise. Its a spectacular plant, another one common on roadsides. I have some good pictures of it fully open on my computer, which I am away from of course...

  • texasranger2

    Whoops my mistake. The larger agave is A. havardiana. I pulled up Kelly Grummons 'Cold Hardy Cactus' and he's still selling online. I can't get the link thing to work but if you google it, you will find him, he's got some great cactus too. He sells pups for $10. I don't have pups of A. havardiana, its the A. parryii pups that are coming up all over the place. I lost the big one in that picture in an ice storm. It and everything else got coated in thick ice, I lost lots of stuff that year probably due to rot from the ice melting slowly into the crown. I have another one which was a pup from it but thats the only one.

    From the website 'Cold Hardy Cactus'. Pretty impressive size.

    I grew the biennial Mentzelia decapetala several years ago---big plant. It was gorgeous but when it finished blooming it left a very ugly large carcass. I noticed I have a small one that volunteered out back so next summer we will be counting numbers of blooms again. I guess that seed had been in the ground for some time and finally decided to come up. Once it gets going it gets up to 30 or more blooms at a time which turn into big mean looking pods.

    I really like that smaller one.

  • ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

    My birthday list is getting expensive now, TR! I love Kelly Grummons work with cold hardy cactus and succulents. He used to own a nursery here in Denver that sold a lot of native and xeric plants but he sold it to focus on the cactus. I have a list around here somewhere that I made a year or so ago of cholla and prickly pears that he was selling that I wanted. Cactaceae is probably my favorite plant family but theres not a single place here in town that I jave ever seen sell any of the hardy varieties. Theres at least 3 opuntia species and one cholla that is native to the Front Range, plus a host of nipple and ball cactus. You would think SOMEONE around here would sell SOMETHING!

    Now that you've got me looking at hardy agave and cactus my mind is filling with my new desert landscaping beds I want to put in. Fill in the spaces with penstemons, salvias, agastaches, and annuals... Off to the drawing board! If only I had the bank account to back me up.

  • dbarron

    Been there, sorta done that Zach. I figured in Oklahoma (NE), I could do that. I didn't realize until the spring that my property was seasonally weeping water. The cacti and agave slowly declined...oh well :)

    It did make me decide I was going to observe my next property at least a year before planting things that needed certain conditions. I did that..and mostly have made wise choices.

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