I am a lover of horticulture, gardening and the environment. At age 8, I sent away for a package of Zinnia seeds for 10 cents and I've been hooked ever since. After 25 years of being self-employed, I retired. That only lasted 4 years and I now work in a water conservation program: I buy grass from homeowners who are willing to convert to desert landscaping and lose that thirsty green stuff. I pursue what interests me and you can blame my sister for getting me into this blogging thing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Oh my aching back!

I've spent the past two days cleaning up my yard and planting fall flowers. We had all our garbage cans full and I didn't want to face the garbage man with all the stuff we put out. There was a lot of debris out there.

What's the reason for all this activity? Tomorrow a photographer is coming to see my yard. There is some software being developed to help people design their yard in the desert style. One of the yards that may be used is our yard, so as usual I work myself into a frenzy cleaning up. It's worse than when I have people over at the house. At least it's more physical.

I bought 24 purple stock plants to add some color by the front door and the side flower bed. That's one of the fall plants that should last the winter, barring freezing weather. I've had some reseed for several years. The yard is looking pretty brown and tan except for some small desert perennials called dogweed and paperflower. They are both yellow. My whole concept when I designed the front yard was to look like the edge of the desert. I used elevational changes, natural rock and lots of native cacti and perennials. This lovely plant is Mexican tarragon. Crush a leaf and it smells distinctly like licorice. I've been told they are used in Day of the Dead wreathes in Mexico.

I also like to use various agaves, this one is called Queen Victoria agave. I have Parry's agave, Weber's smooth edge agave, Century plant or American agave. The little succulent plants are aloes. I forgot which ones they are but I like the way they get reddish on the tips in the fall.

The last plant I want to show you is my screwbean mesquite. It has these interesting seed pods that sort of look like screws. It was 15 inches tall last spring when I planted it. It was in a one gallon pot. Now it is over 8 feet tall after only 18 months. That's what planting an appropriate plant with the right kind of irrigation will get you. And those kids I work with were teasing me last year. One of them asked me if I thought I would live long enough to see it grow up. I guess I showed him.


Blogger Motherkitty said...

I told you to get a lawn chair and "direct traffic" but you didn't listen to me. And now your back is giving you fits. Ya never learn.

Hope everything goes well with the film crew and they select your yard for inclusion in the program.

November 06, 2006 7:15 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I love the mesquite we have here in Texas. They are really beautiful when they get large. The leaves drape down and it has a bit of the character of a weeping willow. Very graceful.

Congratulations on being considered for the project. You really do have an outstanding garden.

November 07, 2006 5:10 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

One of these days I'll have to become better acquainted with the plants and shrubery in my yard. I have a couple interesting, and as yet unidentified, trees. Let's hope they're local and not alien, like the pods from Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

November 07, 2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Amazing! I would imagine this took a HUGE amount of work. I have my brother in law coming to visit for a brief stop over on his way home from a conference in Kalamazoo. He lives in Sydeny, Australia. My son and I have not seen him for 6 years and this is his first visit to our American home. I have been in manic mode for days. My hubby keeps reminding me (as he does with all house guests, not just this one) ... it is unlikely they will go open all our drawers and closets ... you would think I was clearing out for Pesach - proof alone that I am leaving this comment at almost 3am on Thursday morning. Good luck, I hope you get chosen - you deserve it! Have a good Shabbas. xox

November 08, 2006 11:59 PM  
Anonymous jackie said...

I enjoyed visiting your blog - love gardening and love the desert. It's my third winter visiting here and I was wishing I had as long a growing season at home where we spend our summers - but guess you have your problems, too. I bought some annuals here yesterday, hope they make it through the desert winter. Thanks for sharing.

November 11, 2006 10:45 AM  
Blogger Franny said...

Wow, you totally are a gardening celebrity! Seriously, though, I could learn a lesson from you. We don't water our garden, partially b/c we want to conserve, and partially b/c we are just plain lazy. So maybe a desert garden could work in Canada?

November 13, 2006 8:56 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I hope the photographer's visit went well. Thank you for coming to visit my blog. Have a good week.

November 13, 2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger Alipurr said...

I hope your yard is chosen, too. That sounds very exciting.

November 14, 2006 4:12 PM  
Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I hope all went well with the filming and that your yard is chosen.
I know you put a lot of hard work into your yard, but let's face love it!

November 17, 2006 6:08 AM  
Blogger Wystful1 said...

Boy this makes me 'miss our home in Arizona'!!

Looks like you did a lot of work.

(I'm new here--at least I don't think I've ever visited!!!)

November 19, 2006 11:26 AM  

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