Man, I acquired manifold mangaves!


March 11, 2024

In February I posted on Instagram a summer-memory photograph of a mangave I like, and @plantsplantsen messaged me about it. “Good to fulfill one other mangave fan,” he wrote. We chatted, and he provided to ship me some mangave pups within the spring. “Whaaaat? Are you a mangave Santa Claus?” I requested. Naturally, I don’t look a mangave reward horse within the mouth. I gave him my delivery tackle after a cursory look by means of his Insta to persuade myself he was a legit plant particular person and never a bizarre stalker.

After which I forgot about it. A month later, two giant bins arrived on my doorstep. I assumed it was a plant order I’d positioned, however after I opened up the heavy packages, a mass of fleshy, speckled and striped leaves greeted me. Oh my god, take a look at all these mangaves! It was like Christmas in early March. The mangave Santa Claus had certainly delivered!

Every mangave was fastidiously potted and packed in a nursery tray and wedged tightly sufficient that only a few of the delicate leaves had damaged. I pulled 18 completely different cultivars from the bins, exclaiming with delight over every one.

I confess I didn’t know who @plantsplantsen was till I Googled my mangave benefactor and discovered he’s the esteemed mangave (and different crops) hybridizer Hans Hansen (I see what he did there with @plantsplantsen) at Walters Gardens, a wholesale grower in Zeeland, Michigan. When you can’t purchase their crops retail, yow will discover them by means of on-line retailers like Confirmed Winners, Plant Delights, White Flower Farm, Bluestone Perennials, and extra.

I quickly had my mangave haul potted up in terracotta pots and top-dressed with fantastic decomposed granite. Flip up your sound just a little on the video for accompaniment by Neko Case singing — appropriately, it appeared — Man. For those who’re curious, the pink irrigation flags within the background mark newly planted crops, so I bear in mind the place to spot-water. Additionally, it’s reside oak leaf-drop season, therefore the brown leaves in all places.

Mangaves are hybrids of agaves and manfredas, crossed into colourful, fleshy-leaved, noticed and striped perfection. They’re far much less spiky than agaves and usually smaller too. A only a few have confirmed to be (semi) winter hardy for me within the floor in Austin, like ‘Macho Mocha’, ‘Espresso’, and ‘Moonglow’, however even these maintain harm throughout winters just like the one we simply had, usually dying again and getting back from a pup hidden beneath the mom plant’s leaves. I’ll must deliver these potted pups indoors throughout freezes subsequent winter, so we’ll see how lengthy that lasts. However for now I’m in love with this enjoyable assortment to get pleasure from.

The 18 mangaves Hans despatched embrace ‘Silver Fox’ (pictured above), ‘Black Magic’, ‘Man of Metal’, ‘Catch a Wave’, ‘Spotty Dotty’, ‘Pineapple Categorical’, ‘Crimson Wing’, ‘Aztec King’, ‘Everlasting Wave’, ‘Navajo Princess’, ‘Praying Palms’, ‘Inkblot’, ‘Unhealthy Hair Day’, ‘Snow Leopard’, ‘Wavecrest’, ‘Kaleidoscope’, and ‘Lavender Woman’. Plus Hansara ‘Leaping Jacks’, a three-way cross between mangave, manfreda, and polianthes (tuberose).

Try the Mad About Mangave Assortment at Walters Gardens for information about every one.

Shaggy-leaved ‘Unhealthy Hair Day’

Darkish-leaved drama

Purple spots

Enjoyable, proper? Thanks a lot, Hans — or ought to I say, Mangave Claus? And thanks too, Walters Gardens!

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Digging Deeper

March 16: Attend the third annual Budding Out Plant Sale & Competition on 3/16 on the John Fairey Backyard in Hempstead. Uncommon and distinctive crops from the backyard’s nursery and from choose plant distributors can be on the market. Further choices embrace artwork, ceramics, jewellery, meals, music, and displays. Admission: $5 for members, $10 for non-members, youngsters beneath 12 free. Hours: 10 am to 4 pm; members get early admission at 9 am (memberships accessible on day of occasion).

March 30-31: Come see the Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Present at Zilker Botanical Backyard on 3/30 and three/31, from 10 am to five pm. Features a plant present with specimen cacti and succulents, handcrafted pottery, every day silent public sale and hourly plant raffles, and skilled recommendation. Admission is included with paid admission to Zilker Backyard, $5 to $8 for adults, $3 to $4 for youngsters (beneath 2 free).

April 6: Come out to Austin’s Mayfield Park on 4/6 for the Mayfield Park Gardening Symposium & Fundraiser, 8:30 to 11 am. This annual profit for the park features a raffle, plant sale, and backyard audio system.

Could 4: Discover “good backyards, good swimming pools and pergolas, and out of doors rooms and gardens” on the ATX Outside Dwelling Tour on 5/4, 10 am to three pm. Panorama architects, designers, and builders can be available to reply questions. Tickets are $33.85 for adults, $17.85 for teenagers age 10-17.

Could 11: Save the date for Austin Dwelling’s Nice Open air Tour on 5/11.

June 1-2: Take a self-guided, 2-day tour of ponds and gardens in and round Austin on the annual Austin Pond and Backyard Tour, held 6/1 and 6/2, 9 am to five pm. Tickets are $20 to $25.

Come find out about gardening and design at Backyard Spark! I set up in-person talks by inspiring designers, panorama architects, authors, and gardeners a couple of occasions a yr in Austin. These are limited-attendance occasions that promote out shortly, so be a part of the Backyard Spark e mail listing to be notified upfront; merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Keep tuned for more information!

All materials © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized copy prohibited.

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