Friday, November 21, 2014

Leuchtenbergia principis is my favorite plant crush

"Cactus, party of one"  describes Leuchtenbergia principis best.  It's the sole species of the genus Leuchtenbergia which is a species of cactus.  The leaves, known as tubercles, are triangular and resemble agaves which is why it's commonly known as Agave Cactus.  I'm joining Loree at Danger Garden to post "My favorite plant" and Hoov at Piece of Eden who asked this week about our current plant crush.  This Leuchtenbergia principis is the one for this week.

Leuchtenbergia principis is native to North Central Mexico, specifically the state of Chihuahua which borders Texas, and is also found a bit farther south in San Luis Potosi.   The dried grassy looking spines at the ends of the tubercles provide a disguise in its native grasslands.  This is mulch in the background but you get the general idea.  The redish tips are a common look for the plant.

 It's not cold hardy so it goes inside for the winter.  Like most cactus it prefers full sun and it should dry out between watering.  It grows and flowers on a central stem and will spread slowly over time to look like these at Paul's Desert where I recently purchased mine.

I've wanted one of these since seeing it on tour in 2011 right after I began blogging.  It looked so good in the tall square pot that I'm currently shopping for something similar to show it off.  This would be a great look for the front porch (minus the flag).

The tall pots were quite picked over at the nurseries this fall so for now it will stay in the nursery pot which makes it much easier to move around.  Besides, I seem to have a tradition of not waiting to plant my favorites before featuring them.

This cool looking, one of a kind Leuchtenbergia principis is my favorite plant.... this week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let's Go To.....

"Haven't been there in years.  We're going right by we should stop."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Preparing for the big freeze

Will it freeze or won't it?  We've been playing that game for the past few days.  The predicted Saturday morning freeze didn't happen, then Monday morning we had a light freeze that wasn't predicted.  Yesterday afternoon with predictions of a freeze headed our way I decided to go ahead and cover my most vulnerable plants.

The preparations are pretty simple.  With most of the container plants already stored in the garage we pull out old sheets purchased super cheap at the end of an estate sale.  You can see why they didn't sell early on.  The winds that blew in ahead of the cold front have died down so the sheets stay put. When the wind is blowing we have plenty of rocks available.  Sheets bring up the temperature just a few degrees but it's enough for most of our usually light freezes.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Foliage Follow-up November 2014

While I was out yesterday getting bloom photos I decided to go for two and capture the mist on my foliage plants for Foliage Follow-up sponsored by Pam at Digging.  Those of you who live in perennially damp climates are probably laughing yourselves silly by now.  We average about 30 inches of rain a year which usually arrives in downpours just a few days a year and within a few hours it's dry out there again.  A series of rainy days or a light mist/drizzle day is rare.  Even if you find my misty wonderment hilarious I hope you will enjoy these views of my garden.

The shiny droplets on the Yucca recurvifolia look almost frosty in the chilly mist.  A predicted freeze last week never arrived.  We have another freeze warning for Tuesday morning and it might happen this time so the tender plants are protected.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Rainy Bloom Day November 2014

It's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day and we have rain!  It's a light rain but the forecast was for only morning drizzle so we'll take it and join Carol at May Dream Gardens for a damp and chilly GBBD. We've been about 20 degrees below normal for most of the week but we haven't quite reached freezing yet so let's see how the blooms are faring ahead of a predicted freeze next week.

The inflorescence from ornamental grasses are standouts when droplets from the light mist make them shine.  This unknown Penstemon seeded over from the neighbor's landscape several years ago and has made itself at home.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Touring the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Exploring San Antonio is one of my favorite things so I jumped at the chance to tour our new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.  In my Veteran's Day post I wrote about the history of the original Spanish Colonial Revival style Municipal Auditorium built as a WWI memorial.  For this post we'll tour more of the outside and also head indoors.