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.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Deep Freeze in Vegas

We've been having the worst weather since moving to Las Vegas. They say it hasn't been this cold for 19 years. I wore my 40 below zero Eddie Bauer down jacket for the first time since we moved here 10 years ago. For the first time, I'm not enjoying my job. Being outside in this weather is no fun. The worst though, is that my plants are freezing and showing the effects of this freeze that has been going on for a week. Our pool heater froze and had to be replaced as did some of our irrigation. That was expensive to say the least.
Some of the cactus are looking pretty sad. My angel wing cactus (above) had large pieces just freeze and drop off. That's pretty resilient so I expect it will be all right. The teddy bear cholla (pronounced choy-a) dropped a lot of joints. That's a pretty nasty plant. It's sometimes called jumping cholla. I'm not looking forward to cleaning it up when the weather improves.

The aloe vera took a big hit from the cold. It was pretty spectacular and has wonderful spikes of bloom. I suspect it won't be so nice this year.

The lemon tree is really sad. I know how those citrus farmers in California feel. I should have cut them and brought them inside. I'm going to try making lemon juice and freezing it. Hopefully it won't be a total loss.

Yet there is always hope. I have stock and angelita daisies acting normal. They have suffered no apparent damage.
Mother Nature is sure hard to predict. You have to love a plant that knows no adverse weather. You can see why I love those daisies.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Phantom of the Opera

We went to see the lavish production of Phantom of the Opera last night here in Las Vegas. It is spectacular. If you're coming to Las Vegas, by all means, try to get tickets. The sets and costumes were remarkable.

The front of the theater looks like a baroque opera hall complete with box seats along the side. The boxes were populated with costumed (dummy) opera goers that were wearing period clothing.

There is an marvelous chandelier that splits into 4 parts and is flown over the audience. It was so gorgeous. The performers are from Broadway and are especially good. It is no wonder that the local paper said this production was the best entertainment in town. Coupled with a live orchestra, the costumes, lighting and wonderful lyrics, it was a perfect evening. Well done! Bravo!