Saturday, February 27, 2010
We got more precious wonderful rain today, probably at least an inch. Because of last week's warm dry conditions, I was ready to turn the irrigation system back on (it's mostly been off since early December), but today's rain means at least another week of freedom from our water company.
Winter 2009-2010 has been exactly the right winter weather for growing peas. Last year nearly every day of January was 80F (26 C), and February was not much better. Peas don't like 80F. They like 60F (15 C). This year, they got it, and rewarded us with some wonderfully sweet and tender peas. The flowers are identical to ornamental sweet peas, minus the bright colors and the irresistible fragrance.
I usually plant varieties that stay short, about 18" (45 cm). This year I found a variety that claimed to get tall, but not too tall, to about 36" (91 cm). They're a little taller than advertised, but manageable. I used the supports that in summer support tomatoes. They worked great. I also planted some of the 18" tall variety, but they are lost somewhere under the taller ones.
The Koi love tiny baby peas, but they don't get many. Mysteriously, most of the time the peas vanish on their three second trek from the pea-patch to the pond (the technical term for this is "finger blight"), so the fish must make do with koi food. Despite the rain, the koi were begging for food non-stop today. They like the rain, too.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
In a previous post I raved about the beauty of Agave 'Joe Hoak'. Perhaps even more beautiful is Agave 'Blue Glow', a hybrid of A. ocahui x A. attenuata. The leaves are edged with a thin strip of rich burgundy and a thread of gold. When back lit, the edges glow as if on fire. Superb!
I don't need to write much about this one; the pictures say it all. This is a solitary agave. There will be no pups. Will it possibly set seed? Will the seeds reproduce that same glory? Or when it blooms and dies, will it be gone? No matter--no matter at all: perfection is immortal.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
An unsung hero in my garden, Chrysocephalum aplicata 'Flambe Yellow'. They're out front where the rabbits can munch on them. When I first planted them, the rabbits nipped them a bit, but after the plants had a chance to harden off from their luxurious greenhouse upbringing, the rabbits moved on to other things. They've bloomed like crazy ever since with no effort on my part, given little water and no fertilizer. About 10 inches (25 cm) tall, 24 inches (60 cm) wide. I planted two of them, and regret not planting more.