May 18, 2015

Random: weather, garden, Gates sale

In the garden: Agave potatorum verschaffeltii with Lotus hybrid Parrot's Beak.

Unusual weather for May: foggy, cool, black skies this afternoon and misting a bit. More rain expected later this week! I'll take it. Down to the low 50s F this evening, humidity 92%. El Niño on the horizon? Maybe. I'm holding good thoughts — though for the most part my thoughts these days are caught up in the usual May/June maelstrom of students, school activities, finals, and other year-end concerns, oy.

Some photos:

More rain! The Gates Cactus & Succulent Society Annual Show and Sale was May 15-16 . It rained the first day. I drove over after work and spent a quick hour plant shopping. For super coverage of the show on Saturday, see Reuben's post over at Rancho Reubidoux.)

Agave horrida at the sale.

These were just a few of many tables, and many shoppers, at the sale. In the white tent, judges were making their final decisions...

Love these little guys. Someday, maybe...

My haul. A new type of Agave titanota, there in the middle. And at lower left in the small box, my find o' the day: Agave x arizonica, a beautiful hybrid between A. chrysantha × A. toumeyana v. bella.

Senecio radicans near and far.

Filling up. The pot in the background holds [you'll have to trust me on this] a new Rosa banksiae 'Lutea.'

Parrot's Beak.

Opuntia azurea.

Why I teach, reason the infinity. Reptile Whisperer C rescued this lovely alligator lizard from the Boys PE locker room — we turned her loose in the orange grove next door. I'm the bring-to person for lizards, snakes, spiders, frog skeletons, photos of dead birds... all the interesting stuff :~)


  1. I love that first image at the top, just lovely! And your Senecio radicans hanging planter...fabulous! Here's hoping you get more rain, and more rescued lizards.

    1. Thanks! More rain possible this Thursday and Friday, yay. I picked up the little hanging planter at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden's Grow Native Nursery, which is closing for the summer on May 24, yikes! They had the small size and a larger one as well. I should drive down there this weekend...

  2. I wish I could have attended. Looks like there were some fantastic plants for sale. You never seen Agave x arizonica; I finally found one at Cistus in Portland, OR last summer but had been looking in vain for a long time. It's a great little agave!

    That A. horrida is a stunner. It would have been hard to resist although it's not reliably hardy here in Davis. I also like the A. potatorum. I have so many agaves, but not that one.

    Is that cone-shaped hanging pot yours? I've been looking for something like that forever!! :-)

    1. I was so happy to see that little arizonica! It was the only one I spotted at the sale. Yep, that's my very own little cone-shaped pot -- it's about 5 1/2 inches wide at the top and a bit over 8 inches high. I've only ever seen them for sale at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Let me know if you'd like me to look for them this weekend! Last time I was there they had a bigger size, too.

  3. Gosh, it looked like a great sale. Maybe I can get out to RSA before they close to get a pot just like yours! I'm assuming ants aren't bothering your hummer setup, since you seem on top of it regarding creatures, but we've just sorted out the ant issue, hopefully! Being surprised by lizards in the garden is just the best thing, So glads the kids practice catch and release.

    1. That open space in the middle of the hummingbird feeder is an "ant moat" -- when it's filled with water the ants can't get to the sweet stuff. They don't even bother to climb the little shepherd's hook. Up at the cabin we see some ginormous ants, so we use industrial strength ant moats, something like this: link.

      Must do a post on our awesome school garden -- it's hopping with lizards. Check out the cool alligator lizard data over at iNaturalist!

  4. Lots of lovely plants--you got some good stuff at the sale. Was the lizard getting ready to moult? It looks so pale.

    Nice the kids know the value of lizards.

  5. I think she was just on the light side -- they can vary a lot in appearance: link. (Love that one jumping at the crow!)

    Have to praise this student in particular. A kid who can rescue a lizard, identify the species AND resist the temptation to take it home? A+ right there :~)


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