Yuccas big and small give a garden the blues


September 30, 2021

I’m getting Blue Garden Lotusland vibes from this part of the garden. A loose grid of paleleaf yucca (Yucca pallida) glows blue-green amid foamy, silver woolly stemodia (Stemodia lanata) groundcover. The anchor plant, by the trio of blue ceramic balls, used to be a gigantic ‘Green Goblet’ agave, which was striking. But when it melted in the February freeze, I replaced it with a powder-blue wheeler’s sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri), a strappy-leaved native that’s as drought tolerant as the agave but won’t be as tempting a target for deer-antlering damage in the fall. Which means I won’t need to cage it from October to March to protect it. Yay!

Now this space is bluer than ever, which makes me feel the opposite of blue every time I look at it.

Blue-green and silver-green plants are cooling to look at during the hot Texas summer. And plants in those colors tend to be more drought tolerant and sun-protected as well.

Look how the straw-colored leaf margins catch the light — pretty!

A blueish-green anole fits right in with this color scheme, but I found this one hanging from a red succulent planter. Hello, little guy! I love your blue eyeshadow.

Another blue yucca that’s a must-have in any xeric Austin garden is ‘Sapphire Skies’ beaked yucca (Yucca rostrata). Look at that shadow play on the rocks below!

All it asks for is baking hot sun, and we’ve got plenty of that to spare.

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