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sprig to twig » Blog Archive » the dry berm then and now

the dry berm then and now

ready for planting

This berm is actually quite far along in the above shot. I’ll spare you the mounding of divots and debris leading up to the mulching with newspapers, etc., to get it ready for planting. The two lonely little plants failed to survive. Since then, I have learned to dig deep holes and supplement the soil with sand and gravel. Results are much better…guess one really does make his/her own luck.

planted and graveled

Here is how it looks today, planted with sedums, yucca, opuntia, hesperaloe, horn poppy, orostachys, sempervivum and agave, and mulched with gravel. That beam sticking out at an angle is a device R came up with to prop up the eucalyptus tree, which was tilting at an alarming rate. It still has a lot of filling in to do, but the ‘Bright Edge’ yucca has already produced several offshoots, and the sedums are beginning to spill over the rock edging, just as they were intended to do.

Agave neomexicana

Speaking of offshoots, the Agave neomexicana that I got from Joy Creek in June was originally placed in a deep pot. Before very long, I noticed that it was already making babies. I consulted Loree, the Agave Queen. She advised that the best time to separate babes from mother plant was when they were small. When I unpotted it, I was amazed at the root growth that had taken place in a very short time, and decided that it was time to liberate it from the confines of a pot. If you look very closely, you may be able to see that it has already produced a new baby some distance away (the spike pointing downward is pointing right at it).

A neomexicana in pot

My insurance policy in case A neomexicana fails to live up to its billing as fully hardy, is this newbie potted up in a dish garden that will come inside for the winter. Unless the winter to come dashes my hopes, I may need to start up another dry berm come spring. The kinds of plants in there tend to be habit-forming.

5 Responses to “the dry berm then and now”

  1. Loree/ danger garden Says:

    Nice work! You’ve got the bug for sure. And how exciting that you’ve already got another pup! It’s a happy agave.

    I’m wrestling with whether or not to dig up the 3 A. americana from the in-laws that I planted in the front garden. From everything I hear this winter will be a bear and that means certain death…yet how will I ever know if they could have lived through the winter if I don’t let them try. Augh! It’s heart-wrenching.

  2. jo Says:

    YOU were the berm lady.
    Now I remember.
    A year or so ago, when I first came across your posting on it, I was digging over a patch. I sifted the soil, and what I didn’t need got slung in a heap on a stretch of landscape fabric, to keep the soil clean for later use elsewhere. No containment: just a pile of soil.

    That same pile of sifted, clean soil is now a dense patch of growth. All by its little self. Five foot Honesty (Lunaria), two Buddleya shrubs, complete with flowers, Forget-me-nots, Lillies of the valley, Campanula persicifloia, Dicentra spectabilis alba, to name but a few. An island on this 20×20 foot of black plastic.

    A berm, without me ever touching it. And this purely out of spite, because these plants know full well that I don’t want them there.

    Your attitude is wrong: tell them to shift themselves. Plants are so perverse that they then will get a spurt on and grow like anything:-)

  3. ricki - sprig to twig Says:

    Loree~Sounds like you could bring one in for safe-keeping and leave the other two to fend for themselves. I know…it’s sort of like sending grandma out to the ice floe.

    Jo~That’s how I started on the berm thing too…a load of topsoil that didn’t get used up. I agree: the plants are laughing at our attempts to control our environments…but what’s a poor gardener to do? The less cooperative the plant, the more we WANT it.

  4. Wendy Says:

    that is so pretty! I have a self-selected spot that could be turned into a berm too! ha ha!

  5. ricki Says:

    Wendy~I think you would be surprised at how much happier everything is in a raised bed of any kind…but maybe you have nicer soil than the clay here.

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