Thursday, March 25, 2010

Flowers Are Wide Awake Too!

My desert landscaped front yard is in bloom! The Brittle Bush is in it's full glory and the Red Yucca stalks are opening up and will bloom throughout the summer. I have five, and this is the only one in bloom to date.

If you look close you can see the beautiful green Hummer hovering over a Blue Elf aloe flower near the bottom of the photo. I'm still waiting to capture the one great Hummer photo like Aiyana had on her blog in 2008.

The record rainfall we have had this year has the Bush Morning Glory blooming profusely.

I planted a variety of Penstemons, but only the pink Parry's Penstemon ever shows up in the garden.

The first Thistle flower of the season...don't you love the blue color? So rare here.

Still waiting for the Blue Flax to bloom. This Scarlet Flax is all over the front and back yard. This is one of my favorites in the garden!


Hubby is half-way through his chemo treatments. We should get a report soon and we're hoping for a positive one! I still can't sleep, so I will finally ask the Doctor for a prescription, as much as I hate to do it. Not sure how long one can go on with two or three hours of sleep each night. It's really taking its toll.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Results Of My Garden Experiment

Wide view of my back yard.

My experimental winter vegetable garden area has been successful. I'm hoping the artichoke will last the summer--I know now that I planted it too close to the wall. Oh well! Gardening is a series of trials and errors. Although it can't be seen, there is a purple cabbage growing very well behind the only nasturtium plant that was planted in the ground. Never has bloomed! I picked a few more carrots and the kale is still producing! The one on the left is a cauliflower. I planted a few squash and cantaloupe. I know there isn't any room to roam but maybe they find a way.

I found the sweet pea variety that has long, strong stems! They came in a mix of colors. I only dedicated one wall to sweet peas this year as the remodel last fall wasn't finished in time to plant more. But...I have lots more blooms even though it's one wall. Each day I cut a large vase full. All my small vases have gone back to Goodwill! Also mixed in with the long stemmed sweet peas were the early flowering, very fragrant variety.

Zinnias are mixed in with the daisies.

This little March angel promised another beautiful spring for Arizona!

A field of African daisies! I have so many flowers in this bed--I just over-seed everything! Peeking through pansies, you can see alyssum, and zinnias, and somewhere in the mix is the pineapple sage that was planted last fall. I will limit my sowing of seeds next season though, I can't even get into the bed to cut the flowers!

Love the potted nasturtiums! I have pots and pots of these.

Snap dragons going strong.

Monday, March 15, 2010

In Search Of Flowers

Spring break, and enough time to repair our old truck. Hubby replaced the plugs, wires, cap and rotor and voila--runs like a champ . After record rainfall this spring we were hoping for lots and lots of wildflowers! The mountains are a beautiful green, the temperature in the 70's, and we can't wait to drive the back roads again!

A few miles out we came across this patch of flowers. Unfortunately, we couldn't get any closer.
We were heading west to the Saddleback Mountain.

I came across this lone poppy, and next to it hidden between two rocks this beautiful little Mammillaria engelmannii. I found the quarter earlier on my hike.

The poppies were sparse and there's not much chance of more blooming. The record amount of rain didn't start until January--about a month late for the seeds to get a good start.

I feel like this decrepit old cactus--and I'm beginning to look like it as well! This is what happens when you don't get enough sleep!! If you look again, you may see a cowboy riding his horse backward--see the tail raised high is a prancing pose?

This is the next step up from decrepidness when you add stress to the mix!
I am trying to be a better blogger and post more, but the lure of Farmville on Facebook has a hold on me. It's worse than drugs! I have five farms that I farm and I truly love them. I hope that soon it will lose its appeal. I wonder if I need an intervention.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sock Puppet Cactus

This Saguaro cactus is in the median on the drive to my home. I have waited for years for the top of it to break off. It must have been damaged in some way to even grow like this, but it just keeps getting stronger.

It recently developed eyes and a mouth. Now it looks like a sock puppet. Not sure if birds or man did this. Some sense of humor! Hopefully, it is natural. Bird holes in Saguaros are considered natural as woodpeckers drill the holes to nest, then the nests are later taken up by elf owls and/or cactus wrens. All part of the natural cycle of life in the desert.

My hubby is still receiving chemo twice a week. Unbelievable as it may sound--he is feeling fantastic!
Luckily, he started working again a few weeks ago-we need the added income to cover the expense of his nonstop eating! This is a completely different reaction than expected!


We spent the past week in Georgia for my grandson's graduation from boot camp.We had two days with him--he could not wait for the ceremony to end. He had been craving a hamburger and a Dr. Pepper! After finding a good place to eat we explored the area then crossed over to Alabama. We experienced "boiled peanuts". (Ugh!) and fried cornbread and grits. None of it to my liking! It was very cold and I wore gloves, layers of clothing, a large coat, boots and ear muffs! All borrowed of course-- I don't own this kind of clothing! I am so thankful that I live in sunny Arizona. We paid for non-stop on US Airways and ended up having a 6-hour delay--mechanical problems--so we chose to take a small commuter plane to North Carolina with 2-hour layover instead. We finally got home and it was glorious to see the sunshine and all my flowers in bloom! Can't get any better than that! Yes it can--I only gained 4 pounds!