I added (that is, moved) three agaves to the front bed to add instant impact. These were planted by the front sidewalk, and I worried (a little) that someone might fall into them, or run over them, and the other day, when the dog (who should know better) walked right into them while they were covered with snow, I realized they were in the wrong place and needed to be moved. If I had known that this would be the fifth winter in a row with snow cover for over three months, I wouldn’t have planted these things in a place where snow gets piled on them.
The damage to the poor things is visible in this picture. The “self-watering” system described by Gentry works against agaves when it snows, melts, freezes, then snows again, melts, freezes, and so on. Ice gets caught in the rosette and this is what happens. The plants will recover.
There are three agaves here, Agave parryi, but two are from one seed collection and the third is from another, so the feng shui business is slightly off. (Odd-numbered groups are supposed to be the best. This is a fake odd-numbered group.)
I did decide against buying rocks for this little garden. I thought it would look a little pretentious to have fancy rocks instead of a whole bunch of plants crammed together, screaming for air. The pea gravel, though, is just the base; larger-sized gravel will be added later.
The distinctly plebeian effect is what I wanted. No one would confuse this with the entrance to an ancestral castle. I never even finished painting beneath the front window.
The aluminum screen door almost cancels out the feng shui (however fake it might be) and dramatic statement that the three agaves make. The plants were carefully placed so as not to be equidistant from each other. Note the gently undulating surface of the pea gravel. This relieves the awful straightness of all four sides of the little garden.
There’s someone staring out the window, too.