March flowers/Corvallis Agave check-in

Oh my goodness. Suddenly it is sunny and 70°F. I was hoping for another month of cooler weather, but now everything is exploding into growth – especially the weeds. Time to go out into the garden. There’s actually quite a bit in bloom out there. Hellebores, daffodils, snowdrops, etc., but I only took pictures of Narcissus bulbocodium and Scilla sibirica for this post. Priority was on gardening, not blogging.

Ended up mowing the lawn, cut back several shrubs that were killed or damaged badly by the winter (Rosemary, Callistemon subulatus ‘Dark Red’, Phygelius x rectus ‘Devil’s Tears’), tossed several potted plants that died, general winter cleanup (removing dead stems and leaves), digging up and moving plants (that Yucca flaccida I tried digging out last year came back with a vengeance from all the roots I missed – moved to road, also moved floppy native honeysuckle vine and Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Summer ‘Wine’ to the deer fence), dug out that Pleioblastus distichus bamboo that was starting to spread too quickly (took some effort as it was really entrenched), started pruning the apple trees, and started weeding. This time of year is impossible to feel caught up. 

While cleaning the vines off the side of the wood shed, I found the poor female Anna’s hummingbird that had disappeared during January’s ice storm/cold snap – she had died while clutching the wire trellis. I suppose it was somewhat sheltered there and perhaps the nearby heatpump blew some warmer air in that direction. The male is still bopping around so I cleaned the feeders too. Saw our first rufous hummingbirds of the season on Monday, March 11th and the robins returned sometime around the end of February.

At work, I have a few orchids blooming in the greenhouse.

Yellow and brown flowers of an Oncidium orchid
Oncidium
Purple orchid
Something purple
Phalaenopsis

Plus, the goldfish plant (Nemanthus gregarius) is blooming too. This one makes me happy. I love the orangy blossoms against the dark green shiny foliage in the sunlight. Happy colors.

Brought home some kimchee stew Thursday night from a local Korean restaurant in Corvallis. Since it was nearby, I revisited the agaves I found exactly one year ago in the Citizen’s Bank parking lot (here). It still strikes me as a very odd mixture of plants – desert agaves and Hesperaloe, cheery daffodils, and tropical Phormium.

Winter wasn’t kind to the agaves. Here’s one at the base of the Phormium on the left..

Elsewhere in the parking lot there’s a very unhappy agave front and center.

Of course the Hesperaloe parviflora and daffodil were completely unfazed.

Some of the other plantings.

Not a single agave seems to have escaped. I don’t think they will make it.

To be honest, I didn’t think any of them had a chance. They weren’t the usual, hardier species like A. parryi or A. bracteosa, so the result is hardly surprising. I wonder what they will plant next? Or did their “plant person” move on?

Ok, heading out for more sunshine and gardening. See you next time!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. danger garden

    Yay for gardening time, you’ve been busy! Those sad agaves, and it looks like the phormium were zapped too? (hard to tell with that glorious sunshine)

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      The phormium actually looked okay, I think they were just one of the variegated forms.

  2. Tracy

    That is quite a list of things done! That’s awesome, love the orchids and goldfish plant. Those are some beautiful blooms.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      It does sound like a lot once I wrote it down. Nice to see the sunshine for a bit.

  3. Kris P

    Best wishes with the cleanup! I love the Scilla sibirica of course. The fact that you lost rosemary to winter weather conditions speaks volumes of the differences in our climates. Rosemary is truly indestructible here (except probably to wildfire). I have lost Phormiums this year but that was the fault of a blankety-blank gopher.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Spring is here and there is lots to do! Ah, gophers. Glad I don’t have any at the moment, but I noticed the moles are getting active again.

  4. hb

    Sad about the Agaves. They couldn’t stay dry enough to survive, I guess. Perhaps just Hesperaloes would have worked better.

    The color of that Scila–wow!

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Yeah, I think all the rain followed by ice and cold did the agaves in. It will be interesting to see if they put anything else in. Scilla is a nice, long-lasting clear blue for us so early in the season. Definitely a favorite.

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