Today’s Friday the 13th, but I couldn’t care less. It’s tomorrow, Valentine’s Day, I care about. Reading this, however, you must not be misled into thinking that I’m a romantic. I do not favor hearts chock full o’ chocolates, except as fodder for binge eating. And speaking of emetics, I have no affection for stuffed animals, pink cards or candlelit dinners either. So, if I hate all the usual Valentine tropes, just what is my interest in the day? I love V-Day because I see it as the first real sign of spring … It’s usually about February 14th that I begin to notice changes in my garden, signs of growth, renewal and lots more color. This year I received another sign of that growth when the fun guy who lives at the end of our block rolled down his car window and shouted, “Hey! Nice phallic symbol!” … I was standing next to the plant with my camera at the time so I knew what he was referring to. He didn’t hear me reply as he sped off, “Thanks, which one?!”
You may remember the post before last (click here) that featured my large agave and its brand new flower stalk? Well, that’s it in the photo above; as you can see it’s lots taller two weeks later and it’s got new bud-tipped branches. I don’t think it’s yet at its full height … but it’s not alone.
My octopus agave has suddenly equipped itself with a blush-inducing pink flower stalk on the 14th Street side of the Rancho. Always a stand out — what with those undulating arms — this agave now really seems to be of the sea floor. I can’t wait for the bloom to open!
Not to be left out, the Rancho’s Redwood Avenue rear area also features a huge stalked agave. Although this specimen isn’t nearly as photogenic, it’s equally as large in every respect as my favorite at the top of the story. Everyone who sees them asks the same question: Will these plants die once they’ve bloomed? I always give the same answer: Probably they will, although I hope not. At least not before the (humming)birds and bees have had their fill … That whole “love something, let it go” thing is never easy.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I happened to be on Pinterest the other day and I saw that someone had pinned this photo of the Rancho’s front yard in 2011 … It took me a minute before I realized that in the foreground, next to the big red rock, was the agave that has stalked so spectacularly on the corner. Look back at the first photo in this post and you can see that it now completely overshadows big red, and is taller than the African sumac tree next to it. That I’ve been documenting the Rancho’s garden — almost inadvertently —is truly one of the best things about having this blog.