Home

One Day in Spring

1 Comment

Not just on one day, but on one trip into the yard with the camera this past week, these different flowers all smiled at me, asking to have their picture taken.

P1000957Purple mat is a small flower which, this year, is here, there and everywhere in my yard, after some years of scarcity.

P1000954The iris came with the house.  That is, a few flat leaves showed up in unexpected places.  I’ve transplanted and fed them.  They seem to like being against the wall.  They take much more work than native flowers, and don’t last as long, but they were an accidental gift, so I keep caring for them.

P1000955No, these are not the same poppies I’ve shown before.  It’s a good year for them, they keep appearing in new spots.

With so little to smile at on the news these days, it’s a good thing we still have flowers.

Still Spring

1 Comment

I spent the equinox thinking about clocks.  One week after we went to daylight saving time here in New Mexico, we went to Tucson for the weekend, where they don’t do daylight saving time; wisely, since they are at the western edge of the time zone.  It was nice to have light when we woke up in the morning.  Coming back and getting up on Monday was like starting the shift all over again.  Meanwhile, some volunteer plants have shown up in my yard.

P1000726

This autumn sage chose a sheltered place.  Whether it can root deep enough to survive remains to be seen.  Its parent plant, on the other side of the wall, is doing well.

The volunteer autumn sage gets shade from the neighbor’s tree as well as from the wall and it may get some water from the neighbors watering their tree.  The tree is putting out many new cones, which will eventually drop in our yard.

P1000729

This past week, the iris bloomed.

P1000747

The iris plants are a symbol of irony for me.  They came with the house, but they’re certainly not native.   All the native plants I’ve acquired since are younger than they are.  They were down to a few straggly leaves when we moved in.  I haven’t grown iris before, but I’ve been learning, and they are now abundant, though the blooms are sporadic. This year they’ve provided wonderful Easter color.

Summer’s Green and White

2 Comments

Summer rains have brought grass to my back yard.  Wild grasses most people call weeds, I admit. P1000616Here the green shows against the new brown path.  The landscaper who put in the path for me couldn’t understand why I didn’t want mulch – wood or stone – around my plantings.  This is why.

One day last week (time has flown by) I took my camera with me on a walk around the neighborhood and captured some white blooms.  The first is in a neighbor’s yard.P1000617The others are wild or weedy.  Datura is blooming grandly in the arroyos after the rain.620daturaI would love to have some of these next flowers, wee morning glories, in my yard, but others don’t like them.  Between the day I first saw them and the day I went back with my camera most of them had been pulled out.P1000618I don’t know if these are truely morning glories because I haven’t been by after noon to see if they close up.  I’m looking forward to cooler weather, when going out to walk in the middle of the day is a pleasure again.  That’s at least a month away.

More Spring Color

1 Comment

About two weeks ago, the blue iris burst out.P1000417

These came with the house.  That is, I found two very small clumps of leaves.  I didn’t know what they were.  When someone said they looked like iris leaves I transplanted them and they began to expand.  Only this last year did I get a lesson in when to feed them.  They appreciate being looked after.

Another plant which came with the house is Indian Hawthorn, now in bloom.P1000418

In the space vacated by a very overgrown sage plant (why would anyone plant something that wants to get six feet wide in a less than two foot wide strip?) I put this small cactus.  Its blooms, photographed last week, are already spent.P1000432 cactus bloomThe mesquite tree leaves are filling out.  That pale green color is appearing all over the desert areas: there’s a lot of mesquite in the area.P1000434One of the two little iris clumps turned out to be a white iris.  It is now in full bloom – but only one – while the blue ones have faded.  Obviously, this color is more finicky.  I’m hoping more attention will increase the blooms.  This one is planted outside my study window.P1000435

The Old and the New

4 Comments

This post is about what’s new and what’s not so new in my garden.penstemon 2This past year I added two Penstemon superbus plants.  One did not make it through the fall and winter.  This 50 percent ratio is typical of my efforts in the garden.  But the one that has survived makes me want to try again.

Chamisa, Fall, 2014

Chamisa, Fall, 2014

This winter I cut back the out-of-control chamisa, as close as I could get to the ground.  I thought perhaps it would give up.  As you can see, it did nothing of the kind.  chamisa

I can only hope this growth will be thicker and sturdier than last year’s, when I did not cut it back far enough.  The plant growing around the stumps is Mexican primrose, which has spread as if it, too, thought the chamisa was not coming back.  mexican primroseBut what is this little blue and white flower?  pansy

It’s a pansy from a seed that wafted from another part of the garden.  I am delighted when nature adds its own touches to my efforts to work with plants.  I can pretend we are a team, though I know I have much still to learn.

The Bad Guys

5 Comments

In case anyone imagines that I like everything and anything that will grow in my garden, I decided to devote a post to the nasty weeds I’d like to get rid of.  There are three.  P1000217

Nutgrass is a very attractive grass.  The deep green leaves are a contrast to most of the paler greens of the desert.  But it is terribly invasive, sending its roots deep and out in all directions.P1000218

Bermuda grass is known in many places, but wasn’t a problem where I lived in the east.  It too is attractive when it is young, and it can – almost – be kept under control as a lawn.  When it matures, however, it sends runners out, long and strong.  they appear spreading out over sidewalks looking for places to root.P1000216

Goathead, as the name may suggest, is the worst of all.  It is also the prettiest, with delicate leaves and a pretty little yellow flower.  Its seeds stick to everything, are a danger to bare feet, and can pierce through gardening gloves.  I may get lazy with nutgrass and Bermuda grass, but this plant I pull on sight.

I’ve recently realized that I’ve been taking more pictures than I’ve had time to post this fall.  This is a first step in correcting that oversight.

Happy Equinox!

2 Comments

It’s the midpoint on the sun’s journey from south to north.  I know it is really the earth’s tilt that causes this apparent journey, but it is hard to think in those terms.  We humans have always seen it as a shift in the sun, not in the ground we stand on.  It’s the first day of spring, and in the garden, the plants are already ahead of me.

100_0768

The large grass plant has made a big start.  It has far to go, since its seed heads will reach seven feet or more.

100_0770

The chamisa, which will also grow large, is nagging me about the sloppy pruning job I did on it this winter.  I couldn’t decide which branches to cut down to the ground.

100_0769

The pansies, which provided a bright spot through the winter, also are happier with the warming weather and longer days.  They’d look even better if I got out to rake out the old weeds around them.

That’s how it is with gardens.  There’s too little to do until suddenly there’s too much.  If you’re still waiting for spring to reach your yard, get those tools ready and replan your days.  I didn’t do that.  I should have seen this coming!

Older Entries