First up is the cornerstone of my front garden, the Agave ovatifolia. Inspired by "Moby" on Pam Penick's blog Digging, it was planted spring of 2010 after we had finished our big construction projects--replacing the roof and building a new garage. A very important point since it's a good idea to get big projects out of the way before adding specimen plants.
The A. Ovatifolia in early October of 2010 newly planted and still showing the effects of the 3-gallon grower's pot. I'd guess it was about 24 inches diameter at this point. This was planted Before Blogging (BB) so you can tell it was a big event in the garden because I have photos.
Even in our hot, relatively dry climate we mounded up the planting area and mixed decomposed granite into the soil. That turned out to be a good idea because we have had whole weeks of rainy days and received about 10 inches of rain in just over four hours a few weeks ago.
Forward to August 2013 and how it looks three years later. By keeping the photo the same perspective you can see how much the plant has grown. It has added about three rows of leaves in three years and now measures 37" diameter on its way to about 48" according to most websites although they do get a bit larger here.
Because it does have good drainage I water it every two weeks during droughts. For the most part we have had mild, dry winters and pretty good summers since it was planted.
It grew a lot in its third year. The big picture from March 2012
Just under a year and a half later in August 2013
The next agave on the list is one I'm guessing to be Agave americana. I'm not sure since it was purchased without tags from Jean the cactus guy we found on Craigslist. A. americana is native to parts of Texas and, while it is not native to San Antonio, it has been naturalized on ranches and homesteads all around the area for decades.
Here it is newly planted in the Fall of 2011
And now two years later. That is the same yucca in front of it. One of these will be moved in the fall.
The agave was "antlered" by a buck shortly after planting and is recovering quite well. Even with our good agave weather it's not easy to keep them pristine.
No plant shows the difference more than the agave behind the garage. I don't know the name of this one, it is a spineless agave with very sharp leaf points.
It was probably about 30" when planted and now is 58" at the longest point on the bottom leaves. The bed is 8' diameter for perspective.
Agave americana grows so well in this area that we just plant them and walk away. They pup prolifically and the deer love to chew on the pups. This one might get a bit more water than the ones in front as it is right next to the hose bib.
The thing I notice most in reading blogs from the Pacific Northwest region is how many agaves can be planted close together in a small space because they don't grow nearly as fast. I've also noticed that gardens like Ruth Bancroft and Lotusland allow the plants to bunch together as you would see in the wild and I might just clear out this bed and let the agave fill out with pups for a large display. Not much else will grow here anyway.
That's the Agave Report from my South Texas garden. If you read Friday's post you'll know there will be more agaves to report on as I follow through on my plan to cut down on summer watering.