unacceptable behavior

Another agave rescued this morning. Now that I’ve become a second Stanley Kubrick, I could have filmed the process, but, believe me, digging up a ten-ton wimp of an agave and carrying it to its new home, slipping and sliding in mud and snow, and trying not to step on, or fall onto, a cactus just waiting for me to do exactly that, is not a whole lot of fun.

This particular specimen is pretty battered by the weather. One night of four below zero and you’re like this? (It’s the one in the back, with all the white, barely visible in Denver’s blinding sunlight.)


My patience with such bad behavior is extremely limited. I’m tired of all these wimpy, whiny plants that can’t take it.
You come from a mountain in Texas?  What’s that? You got some snow on your leaves and you got all cold? Suck it up.
The third one of these agaves is in even worse shape. The regular Agave havardiana visible behind it put it to shame. I might rescue it, and then again I might just let it die, and be a warning to any other plants that might go into the garden. Maybe hang its corpse from a post, or something.


I mean, come on. Here’s Agave ovatifolia from much further south and half as high in the sky, and does it look like you do? It’s not totally happy, but happier than you. No, the white on its leaf is sunlight. Nice try, though. And look, it has dirt and gravel in its middle.


I had to go out this afternoon, and on the way back I “decided” to stop and get some cactus. I could hear them calling me from a long way off.

Couple of Echinocereus knippelianus, and the first thing I did was put them out on the patio table to take their pictures. It was cooler there than in the greenhouse where they grew.

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As I went back inside, I heard two little voices say “Please, sir, don’t put us outside in your garden; we’re far too squishy for that. Please, please, no, I beg you. We’re not really hardy so please please don’t try to grow us outside.”

For crying out loud. I know where you grow in the wild. A little cold never hurt anyone. And what do you think this is?


Suck it up.

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6 Responses to unacceptable behavior

  1. Alison says:

    This post made me smile. I spent part of my morning taking pictures of my pitiful Agaves, which suffered from our recent 2-week stretch of below freezing temps. I’m glad you didn’t fall on a cactus. I once sat on one, and it was no fun.

    • paridevita says:

      I saw them. They mostly recover, coming back from the roots if the tops are killed, but they could save themselves all that trouble by not wimping out in the first place, couldn’t they? If you get a whiff of artichoke or even tequila (seriously), then bad things are happening. Just keep your nose well away from the spines….

  2. Peter says:

    I never had you pegged as a cacti sadist. It’s always enlightening to learn more about others.

    • paridevita says:

      Yeah, the Big Meanie. Just because a cactus has been growing in a greenhouse doesn’t mean it can’t go outdoors at some time or other, and anyway, Echinocereus knippelianus is perfectly hardy here. If you look at it realistically, the cacti aren’t going to get any weird bugs crawling all over them or be sprayed by gross chemicals now, just get a little chilly during the winter. (They won’t go outside permanently until April or May, though.)

  3. I love that you hear little plant voices. Me, too. Sometimes.

    • paridevita says:

      Can’t hear their voices any more. All the plants in the pictures, except for the two new Echinocereus knippelianus at the bottom, have passed on.

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