New plants in the ground

Over the last week or more I scavenged from what was growing in my backyard, mini nursery and planted out roughly half of the new front yard space - affectionately known as 'Hillside Phase One'.

Laying out some new additions

The Octopus Agave were happily growing in my backyard in these 15 gal buckets but it was time to give them a new home (plus it's really nice to free up the space in the backyard!) They are meant to act as a sort of bulwark and notice to visitors "You are entering a landscape of succulents". Also in the background on the lower crescent are several Aloe striata + three barely visible Agave guiengola on the upper section.

Northern end of bed looking South

The Aloe 'Blue Elf' above were originally planted in the backyard. I dug them up, separated the pups and spread them out to create a sea of blue ... you might say it's an 'octopus garden' :) The splash of red is a mass of Kalanchoe luciae. I'm leaving plenty of room for future purchases - hopefully lots of mid-size aloes that will produce a of mass of flowers next winter.

Southern most end of planting bed
Meanwhile at the other end of the bed, in the third convex section of the serpentine wall, are a collection of agave. Several of these Agave celsii have been growing in 5 gallon pots for almost 2 years.

Cleistocactus ready for it's new home
I did buy a few plants. I cut away 1/2 the pot to make planting this specimen a bit easier.

Next step - slide the cactus into place
Once the Cleistocactus was in place we slid out what remained of the plastic post, and re-positioned the plant.

Last step - step back and admire

I really like how the upright form of the Cleistocactus compliments the agaves. My wife had the brilliant idea of adding several Senecio which you can see snaking around the rock edge. 

Eventually (after the rainy season) I'll add a top dressing of rock mulch. I'm also keeping my eye out for a deer resistant ground cover - unfortunately they love sedum.

Sneak peek at phase II

I couldn't help myself. I just had to spend a sunny morning carving out a path that roughly marks the next chunk of work. I plan on retaining both sides of the path with a combination of boulders and gabion baskets - but more on those plans some other time.

This shot also shows just how much room I have left to plant in the original bed. I'm pretty sure this will keep me busy for most of 2019. What do you think? Aloe chabaudii? Aloe castanea?

Bottom of trail that will define Phase II planting

This lower slope is where I have tentative plans to plant tree aloes ... some day.


  1. Wow, the new plants and planting area looks fantastic!

  2. Great progress! Very prescient of you to have tucked away all those large specimens for use in a scheme like this. I've generally relied on small specimens and watched my succulent beds develop all too slooowly for my taste. I love Aloe castanea (there's one in my local botanic garden) but I'm not familiar with the other species you mentioned. Happy plant hunting!

  3. thanks - and one of the best things is *not* having all those potted plants taking up space in my backyard any longer! I'm looking forward to planting the empty spots. One of the main reasons I have a job is to support my gardening habit.


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