Sunday, June 7, 2009

Water-wise Gardening at Mindowaskin Park

One of groups that I volunteer for is the Friends of Mindowaskin Park. Several times a year I plant the overlook at the front of the pond. One of the more frustrating parts of this task is that whatever I plant in the urns is subject to the whims of mother nature. I've planted them up before, and after a week of Summer weather, I'd return to find crispy plants.

This year I decided to work with what nature has to offer and plant them with plants that are normally used in xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is the use of plants that require little or no external watering. In the urns this year I used three different agaves. I tried an Agave in my container at home last year. I watered it once when I planted it May 16th, and it grew, and didn't require any watering for the rest of the Summer. For those that are familiar with Tequila, I'm sure your aware that they are made from agaves. The varities that I used in the urns are related, but are way to small to be used for Tequila. There's a closeup of Agave Happy Crown. The smaller agave in the third picture is Agave ' Victoria-Reginae'.
Along with the Agaves I planted a few Desert Rose which are in the Aeonium family. They look like giant hens and chicks, but have a longer stem.
The complete list of varieties are:
Aeonium arboreum atropurpurium
Aeonium arboreum
Agave 'Victoria-Reginae'
Agave 'Happy Crown'
Agave desmettiana 'Variegata' - This is the large center piece of the urns
Aloe 'Silver Ridge'
Graphtopetalum paraguayense- Ghost Plant
Kalanchoe thyrisflora 'Flapjacks'
Sedum nussbaumerianum - Golden Sedum
Sedum hispanicum 'Aureum'
None of these should require water, and the urns should be happy until its pansy season in the fall.
I should also mention that these plants are look but don't touch. Although they don't have thorns like cactus do, they still have sharp points at the edge of their leaves. Its part of the plants natural protection that keeps them from being eaten by the animals.

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