Sunday, March 30, 2014


It's been a busy few weeks. I finally gave in to the nice weather and started planting last weekend. While out weeding and planting, I was buzzed several times by the resident hummingbirds, wanting their picture taken, I think.

The first one looks like the one that has been hanging around my garden all winter, primarily feeding from 'Orange Sceptre'. It must be happy now that the sages are starting to bloom again:

caught at just the right moment!

right before it noticed me and buzzed off
 I think this might be an Anna's hummingbird although I'm certainly not good enough to be sure!

The next hummingbird that showed up is definitely a Rufous Hummingbird though:

because he's orange!
 According to, Rufous Hummingbirds are "...are pugnacious birds that tirelessly chase away other hummingbirds, even in places they’re only visiting on migration". In my case, this one is also happy to chase away humans if they get to close to their nectar sources, apparently. Rofous's don't stay year round in the desert, so I will enjoy this one's visits while they last...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Yuccas All Tied Up

I didn't include this picture in this month's Foliage Follow Up, but it was too good not to share... even though the Yuccas probably wished that I didn't:

Y. rostrata in front, Y. louisianensis (according to the tag) in the back
This is what happens when I spend the whole day digging Bermuda grass (evil!) out of the planting beds, and don't want to get poked as I'm doing it! They were released from their captivity shortly afterwards, unharmed...

I'm still waiting for my Y. rostrata to grow a trunk or something, mostly so I can cut some of the old leaves off. It's only 2 years old though, so I might have to wait a while. And the Y. louisianensis doesn't really look like all the descriptions online (it has wide leaves?) I may have to wait for it to bloom to have a better guess at an ID, if the tag isn't right. It's very pretty though, and has grown a lot in the two years its been planted in the back garden.

Foliage Follow Up - March 2014

Pam at Digging is hosting Foliage Follow Up - visit her comments to see everyone else's contributions to celebrating foliage. As always, I'm late! But this weekend was gorgeous, so I spent all the time cleaning and pruning and planting...

One of my two rhubarb plants came back:

Rhubarb in the tube...
 Since this one is all the way leafed out, and there is no sign of the other one, I'm going to guess that it's done for... Do rhubarbs die when they bloom? They don't really like the desert much, but this is year three for this one, so I can eat some now!

The giant un-identified agave is showing off a variety of teeth colors:
also showing some tip damage due to the cold...
I'm going to have to dig that one out of its tube and liberate some of the pups soon... before they grow through the tube!

 Mangave 'Macho Mocha' is starting to bloom:
There are pups under those leaves too...
 For foliage though, this part of the garden remains my favorite:

A. Blue Glow (front), blue fescue, A. "Little Shark" (x2), and optunias
 All the optunias are putting out new growth - time will tell if these are new pads, flowers, or some combination thereof:
unknown Optunia - if these are flowers, that would be the first year it flowers!
 These Optunia basilaris pads are showing a lot of spring growth too:
interesting combination of green and purple-ish
Shortly after this picture was taken, they got dug out of the tube and planted out to the hill side. Hopefully they like their new home...

Thanks for visiting my garden... I'm off to look at other bloggers' contributions to Foliage Follow-Up!

Bloom Day - March 2014

I'm late, as always! But after seeing all the other beautiful flowers at Carol's May Dreams Garden, I wanted to share mine... Thank you for hosting Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, Carol!

In my garden, these two are still going strong:
'Orange Sceptre' is still going... and still has bare legs

Senna artemisioides (ID confirmed now!) is still covered in little yellow flowers
And there are also some new comers:

My favorite blooming part of the garden right now
 This is a combination of Yarrow, Penstemon pseudospectabilis, Optunia and Agave... plus some left over daffodils. I like the cheery combination!
The daffodils are already past their prime though..
 These all-white daffodils bloomed later, so they still look good:
These came back with a lot of extra flowers! Hopefully that trend will continue next year...
 I really like this combination of A. ovatifolia and penstemon, and so do the hummingbirds! Although they mostly leave the agave alone...
the leaves on both plants have little "spines" - but very different sizes!
 There are also a few other spring bulbs still blooming:
Tulip in the front garden - which I still haven't cleaned up yet!
 Tulips do not reliably come back here... I'm thinking I may want to try species tulips this fall. But who can resist those colors?
Also, the cherry tree is finally blooming, about 3 weeks behind every other cherry tree in town. Cue gratuitous close ups of the pretty white flowers:
I can't wait for the cherries!

I think I take this picture every year - they looks so good against the blue!
Thanks for visiting my garden! I'm off to explore more blooms at May Dreams Gardens