Surprise guest and a lot of plants

Hilary, Chris and Bill

I’ve been sick in bed for almost a week, so to be honest the thought of dragging myself from said deathbed and going and doing some energetic gardening was pretty unappealing. But duty calls, and what if loads of volunteers showed up and poor Josh had to show them what to do all on his own? I mean, come on…

Then I got a text from Josh saying that Mat McGrath and his wife Mali would be joining us. If you don’t know who he is, Mat runs Farallon Gardens, is a highly knowledgeable xeric plant professional, recently donated a stunning Aloe thraskii, and is an all around great guy and plant enthusiast of the highest order.

Mat and Josh

Suddenly, I had a panic and knew that the double whammy of duty and visiting guests meant WE HAD TO GO. Screamy Munch face.

I hauled myself and Matt from our unkempt lair, loaded up the truck with perhaps 2/3 of the plants we’d originally planned to put in (due to lethargy) and slowly drove our sorry selves to the garden, swigging Robitussin and eating Ricola like the candy it basically is.

Dyckias and Aloe

Happy day, we had a wonderful crew and I was delighted to see them all: lovely Bill, sassy Chris, dear Hilary, John the Cone King, Mat, Mali and of course JOSH!!! And happy day, Mat and Mali brought us some plants – some really cool ones!

So, I basically wandered around aimlessly, coughing loudly, while everyone else did the following:

John, Josh, and Hilary planted 20 Agave parryi in the new bed along the path to the composter. Added a dozen Agave desmettiana variegata to the opposite bed, along with 6 Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga.

Aloe “David Verity”

Josh put in 5 Agave celsii “Multicolor” with a lovely Aloe “David Verity” (A. arborescens x A. salm-dyckiana) that Mat donated near the bench.

Mat and Mali put in two big donated Dyckia “Naked Lady” (What!? Amazing plant!) and two other reddish Dyckias near the top of the steps, as well as a lovely Dasylirion wheeleri at the top of the garden. Mat then went berserk on an Echium behind the bench and really cleared the area so an A. arborescens underneath it all could get a chance.

Mat and Mali

Meanwhile Chris and Bill were stripping the uncool Pelargoniums and underperforming Calandrinias from behind the wrong way sign in preparation for better things, soon joined by Hilary – many bags were filled for 311 to take away.

Josh planted a nice offset of Agave difformis marginata aka Agave funkiana “Hakuro Shiro Fukurin” (Japanese for “frosty white edges”) that I brought from home, and a spare Artemisia “Powis Castle” while John took out an uninspiring Phormium and replaced it with a Beschorneria albiflora which will look much better on the lower path.

After everyone left Matt and I went home and went straight to bed, where I have been ever since and may stay tomorrow too. But it was worth it!

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