Agave on Ice: GGW’s Picture This photo contest entry

“Winter’s Beauty” is the theme for January’s Picture This photo contest over at Gardening Gone Wild, with photographer Alan Detrick judging.

I submit this photo of my Agave ovatifolia, each thorn cradling a bubble of ice.

Note for those worried about this agave: Agave ovatifolia is a cold-hardy species (to zone 6b and -5F, according to High Country Gardens). It does require excellent drainage to avoid root rot.

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

24 Responses

  1. Katherine Culleton says:

    Nice picture! I thought about going outside to take some pics..but it was way too cold for me.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting, Katherine. Stay warm! —Pam

  2. Love it, Pam! Will the agaves survive this continuing cold weather?

    Some will and some won’t. It all depends on their cold-hardiness and exposure. I’ve lost two Agave desmettianas already, but the A. ovatifolia is said to be cold-hardy even in Dallas, several hours north of Austin. —Pam

  3. Janet says:

    How absolutely cool! Well done.

    “Cool” is quite right, cold even. ;-) Thanks, Janet. —Pam

  4. Les says:

    Your photo is very telling. I know you didn’t, but it looks like the ice was carefully placed on those spines. Good luck!

    I promise that Mother Nature did all the staging, Les. ;-) —Pam

  5. Phillip says:

    Great photo Pam! Good luck in the contest.

    Thanks, Phillip. —Pam

  6. Nice. Guess if I want to compete I’m going to have to take my agave out of the back bedroom and stick it outside for a couple hours on a warm day here. ;-7

    Don’t sacrifice your agaves for a photo op, Craig! I know you’ll have lots of other winter shots available at a moment’s notice in your upstate NY garden. —Pam

  7. lynn says:

    This is my favorite of many beautiful images entered thus far, Pam. Stunning and so unique. Best of luck.

    Thanks so much, Lynn. —Pam

  8. ESP says:

    Great picture Pam,
    very unusual subject matter. We might be in the south but we still have winter beauty. Stunning.

    Thanks, ESP. Ice like this doesn’t happen in Austin too often, thank goodness. Though this shot fits in with our recent cold snap, it’s from my archives. I took it after the ice storm of mid-January 2007. —Pam

  9. Very “cool,” he said. Winter comes in different flavors, and this is a tasty one. Your photo looks like a finalist to me!

    Thank you, James. This flavor would have to be an agave nectar ice pop, wouldn’t you say? —Pam

  10. Nice…reminds me, I need to plant MY Agave ovatifolia, as it has been sitting in the plastic pot from Mtn States for 2+ months. Too busy w/ work…

    Enjoy your new ‘Whale’s Tongue,’ David. It’s a beautiful agave. —Pam

  11. Susie says:

    That is one beauty of a shot…good luck. Hope the agave is alright.

    Thanks, Susie. The pic is from 2 years ago, and it came through that (warmer) ice storm with no problems. This year’s dry deep freeze shriveled a few of the leaves, but I am hoping it will bounce back quickly with warmer weather. —Pam

  12. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a wonderful photo of an Agave dressed up with crystal beads all ready to attend the Winter Ball.

    It does look ready for the dance, doesn’t it? Thanks, Lisa. —Pam

  13. Gail says:

    Great capture. Once again you showcase the beauty of the agave. gail

    Agaves are very photogenic, Gail, and can hold still for long portrait sittings. —Pam

  14. I just commented on Cindy’s blog (My Corner of Katy) that there is a bright side to all this – Texas gardeners can now participate in Gardening Gone Wild’s contest this month. Your entry is fantastic, and I hope it helps a bit to make up for the wicked cold.

    Thanks, MMD. The cold is retreating, and this morning I went out to uncover everything. With luck we’ll be back in the 50s this afternoon, and no freeze is predicted for tonight. —Pam

  15. Denise says:

    Beautiful — hope you don’t have to pay the ultimate sacrifice for your art! My A. ovatifolia is a tiny thing in a 4-inch pot. Did you grow yours on to this size? If so, it must have withstood many Austin winters by now, but I’d guess none this cold. Best of luck in the contest.

    I bought this Agave ovatifolia in August 2005, as a small plant in a 5-gallon container. It grew to its current size (about 4-ft in diameter by 2-ft tall) fairly quickly, which I attribute to regular summer watering along with the rest of my garden (every 7-10 days). Agaves will respond to judicious irrigation with a faster rate of growth, but you must be sure to provide sharp drainage. Also, they do not want any supplemental water in winter. This is the coldest winter it has had to withstand since I planted it, but they are said to be winter hardy as far north as Dallas. —Pam

  16. Helen says:

    What a fab pic

    Thanks, Helen. —Pam

  17. Wow, that is a lovely shot. The light on the ice bubbles is terrific. I hate to ask this, but what happens to an agave like that after it warms up when it has been decked with ice? Hope it didn’t get burned.

    Thanks, HMH. As I mentioned in reply to earlier comments, I took this photo after an ice storm in January 2007. The cold was not as severe as what our plants recently endured, and this agave came through the ice storm with no damage. It all depends on the species and exposure. Agave ovatifolia is fairly cold-hardy (to zone 6b and -5F, according to High Country Gardens), so it should be fine. —Pam

  18. Hello Pam,

    What a beautiful shot. I love agave and Agave ovatifolia is one of my favorites. I hope you win :-)

    Why thanks, Noelle. No matter who wins, I’m always impressed by the quality and diversity of the images in the GGW contests, and it’s a pleasure just to be part of it. —Pam

  19. Perfect! (especially because you have assured us the agave isn’t going to suffer for this piece of art)

    I thought you’d like this one, Loree, you agave-crazed woman, you. ;-) —Pam

  20. What a great photo. Good luck.

    Thanks, Linda. —Pam

  21. What a dramatic photo! Can’t believe the cold spell you are having. When that happens, there is really no way to protect an entire garden; a few plants maybe — but mostly just pray that it goes away fast.

  22. Garden Lily says:

    That’s neat. It’s not a plant which looks like it should have ice on it.

  23. John says:

    Very nice photo. Using the cold weather to good advantage. Having poked myself with Agave’s enough as a child I can never imagine letting them grow in my yard. Those points are sharp!