Wednesday, June 11, 2014

May 30 -- botanical garden conservatory 1


I get email from the University about the Botanical Garden and the Arboretum.  They let me know when important flowers are about to happen, like the peony garden at the Arb, or an agave in the conservatory at the garden, which lives 80-100 years, and blooms at the very end of its life.

On the 30th, we went to see the agave.  It's an amazing plant.  It's large.  It's stripey.

Its flower stalk goes up, and up....

And up.

Through the roof.

Doesn't it remind you of asparagus?  Someone told me it is actually a relative of asparagus....

I was disappointed that it wasn't actually blooming.  Buds, but no flowers, on the 30th.  Perhaps we'll make another trek over to the other side of town and try again in a week or so.

Did I mention the agave is large?

Every time I go to the conservatory at the Botanical Gardens, I think I should go more often.  The conservatory is a treasure trove of wonders.  I bounce from one thing to the next -- "Look at this!"  "Look at that!"  "Wow, what about *this* one!"

Just here in the desert room, I could tell stories about spikes.  I could tell stories about habit.  I could tell stories about stripes, about flowers, about size......

But I would have to go more often.

When I only go once every year or so, it's sensory overload.  I skip and jump from one thing to the next, without any thought at all to coherent story-telling.

Until I get home and start editing all those pics...............

I have a houseplant that has a fat base like this one.  Only mine is about 6" across, at the bottom, and this one is well over 2'.

Look what's going on with the leaves of that sort of grass-ish thing in front of the fat-bottom thing!


When you visit the conservatory, you keep seeing things from different angles, at different times during your visit.  It never occurred to me, on the 30th, to try to get distance shots that would let me be more organized later.........

I *think* this may be the top of the fat-bottom plant (taken from another part of the room, many minutes later than the above).  But I am not sure.  My houseplant doesn't look anything like this at the top.

Another agave.  My daughter said its leaves were bigger around than her thigh. 

The agave wasn't blooming, but a lot of other plants were.  These flowers remind me of the plumeria we saw in Hawaii in 1974, but I think plumeria's habit is nothing like this.  Note spikes on trunk.....

Not all the plants in the conservatory are large.  Some are very small.  I think the largest of these green clusters of leaves were about 2" across.

I wonder if this is a volunteer.  It is much more delicate and much less substantial than most of the plants in this dry room.

Here's something else I could go on and on about -- fuzz............

This tiny one doesn't look too happy.  Shriveled.  I wonder if this branch is near the end of its time?  Its leaves remind me of the much-bigger "stone plants" in the conservatory....

I wonder if this is supposed to be this color, or if it may be on its way out?

More flowers.  That purply gray at the top is its stem, and it's got some good-sized spikes.  The flowers are little -- about half an inch across?

Isn't this the cutest?  Its a comfortable handful-size.  It looks like something someone sewed from hand-dyed stripey fabric, with tarnished brass beads on the ridges.

From another angle -- and look, it has a baby.  Or maybe that's someone else's baby?

More flowers.  I'm happy with the contrasting shapes, and with the colors.  That blue sky is nice, with the green and red.....

Actual leafy-looking leaves, but not arranged in a way that is familiar to Michigan eyes.

And check out the spikes!

This may be my favorite plant in the garden.  Love the shapes, textures, colors.........  One of these clusters is about 12-15" across.

It can't be a coincidence that the patterns on the leaves are just like the spiky edges of the leaves....  I wonder how these patterns are printed on the leaves.......

Something sort of tree-shaped.  Sort of.

Love the colors, and the repeated shapes...........



thecrazysheeplady said...

Love the round one with the "baby" and the patterning on the leaves on the one at the end is fascinating. Great post!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Too funny - we were commenting on each others blogs at the same time :-).