This was one of those days when I could have used an I Brake For Agaves bumper sticker.
Every town in every climate has its repertoire of plants suitable for massing in civic spaces, roadsides, road medians. Here in my coastal zone 10 we see lots of agapanthus or phormium or tulbaghia/society garlic or daylilies. Big bunch grasses are beginning to be more frequently seen. For obvious reasons, agaves are not usually candidates, unless it’s the soft-leaved Agave attenuata. But the designers of the plantings around this industrial lot saw the perfect opportunity to let loose a multitude of variegated Agave americana.
A regiment of agaves, for the agaves en masse were also en garde, defending a boundary between public area and trespass
Agave as guard dog
Guard dog in bright, undulating stripes. Nobody does stripes like an agave.
At the corner the dangerous brutes were ringed in by a length of heavy chain.
Like junkyard dogs, they were living in formidable conditions.
Equipment-compacted soil and god knows what chemical runoff from the machinery.
Maybe it’s the years of training, but I must have spent a half hour among them, stepping in, crouching next to, reaching over, and came away without a scratch.
Good boy. Nice
In these numbers, it’s difficult to discern where one agave ends and another begins.
That perfect specimen is swallowed up in a sea of writhing, offsetting agaves.
It’s one of those horticultural ironies that a prized specimen plant or container focal point in one climate grows like weeds
in somebody else’s home town.
I once tried to keep a single potted hosta alive for an entire summer (and failed).
And then there was the winter I applied a mulch of ice chips to a doomed peony…