Welcome to my Garden Blog

Nature: wild & untouched. Photographing it, preserving it, taking walks and drinking in the landscapes as they unfold.

Gardens: touched by loving hands. Cultivated, nurtured. Drinking in those landscapes is wonderful, as well.

In my garden one enjoys some of both. Generally unpruned & wild, my plants reshape the garden as they grow.

Beyond the garden borders, natives from the Santa Monica Mtns await. Oak trees with their shady canopies. Cactus & Sage in the sun.

Always there are animal creatures to join in the fun.

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you as they unfold.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Agave's Amazing Journey

Agaves (Agavaceae) are abundant in Southern California. Their natural habitat is chaparral below 1500 ft and from San Diego south to Baja California. They are drought tolerant succulents, adapt easily to sandy soil, and take sun & heat. There are different varieties, but most form new rosettes at the base of the plant before they bloom. Over the course of years, a single plant may create a whole family.

I have enjoyed watching my Agave families grow over the many years I have been in my Topanga Canyon home. One of the most exciting times is when a plant becomes "pregnant" and begins to grow a center stalk full of seeds. This happened recently in my garden and I decided to get some pictures of the process for you.

As you can see, the center has begun to open. This was November 11, 2009. This is one Agave in a family, and the only one that is "pregnant".

Okay. Now we have some growing going on! This has taken two weeks (11/24) .

And, just one day later (11/25), you can see how long the center stalk has gotten. Also, if you look closely, you can see it has started to "unravel"!

I check back a couple days later (11/28) happy to see a lot more growth.

This picture was taken 6 days later (12/4/09). Again, you can see how long the stalk has gotten. But another exciting development, too: seed pods have formed.

Finally, January 27th, 2010, Agave gives me flowers. Small tubular white flowers that attract Hummingbirds and Bees.

That is where I have to leave you, as far as photos go. The rest has been captured as Video! I will post a link soon. Hope you have enjoyed watching the Agave's progress as it unfolds. How I wish I was set up for time-lapse photography!

You should know also, that after this amazing journey, with many babies added to the family, the Mother Plant will die. So, I enjoy the wonder of her amazing journey now.


  1. Wow a great set of amazing photos. Where I live agaves are grown as houseplants, if you are lucky to find one. I've never seem one flower.

  2. What an outstanding set of photos and great agave story. I use agave as a sweetener. I wonder if it would grow this far north on Mayne Island. We have dry summers but very wet winters but temperatures are seldom below freezing for very long.

  3. I was looking forward to seeing what the flower looked like at the end. I've never seen one of these so I enjoyed learning.


Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns