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Gardens

Saw it, wanted it, got it, needed a nap

Wrapped and ready to dig up

Browsing craigslist the other night I saw someone offering up a 7′ wide Dasylirion longissimum free to anyone who would dig it up.

Actually, the ad described it as a “large yucca succulent like thing” but I knew right away it was one of my favorite plants – the Mexican Grass Tree – a species of flowering plant native to the Chihuahuan Desert and other xeric habitats in Northeastern Mexico.

I emailed the owner and he replied right away saying he’d love for lots of people to enjoy it at PG, so we arranged to head down to San Carlos today at 9am to dig it up. I was pretty sure he’d overestimated the size of the plant, as most people do, but brought along lots of tools and of course Matt to help.

Digging bar bouncy action

The owner and his wife watched as we wrapped the plant in plastic and started digging… and digging… they kindly brought us some water, and no doubt congratulated themselves on not having to DIY this task.

Eventually we had a moat dug through the rock hard clay dirt around the plant, and it was time to start using the 25# digging bar to pry the darn thing out of the earth. It did not want to come.

Three punishing hours later, it was out of the ground, wrapped in a tarp, and we had to get it down a dozen stairs and a log driveway and up into the truck. Less fun than it sounds – in other words, negative fun.

Body bag?

At last we got it in the car and drove home with the back door tied shut with a rope because the plant is too big to close it. It’s literally 7′ wide and a couple hundred pounds and we are both utterly shattered. Too tired, in fact to get it out of the car, so it’s just gonna stay there.

Tomorrow John and Josh have agreed to help us plant it at 10am, so if you’re around and want to help, PLEASE DO!

Thank you everyone who makes donation to the gardens – be it plants, time, or actual cash money: we are all making Potrero Hill a better place to be.

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