Sunday, June 17, 2007

Not Mellow About Yellow

Yellow is a ubiquitous color in the Arizona desert. It seems as if 80 percent of the plants are either a yellowish shade or produce yellow flowers. Yellow is not a favorite color of many gardeners, especially newcomers to the state, who decry the abundance to the point that a local landscape designer holds a popular seminar at the Desert Botanical Garden, entitled, Anything But Yellow!

I've tried to design my garden to include a minimum of yellow, but regardless of the advice given in the seminar, yellow still dominates, even though I’ve added various plants and flower colors to complement all that yellow. Sometimes the shape of a particular plant can be as important as the color choice and I think that has counterbalanced the preponderance of yellow in my garden.

My yellow-flowered Parodia magnifica bloomed today--the second yellow cactus flower in my garden to bloom this week. Although I, too, am getting a bit tired of the yellow in my garden, this is such a pretty cactus flower that I'm glad to have it, even if it is yellow. In addition, the flower is long-lived, lasting about a week. Mid-May is its usual flowering period, but as with many of my specimens this year, it has had several flowerings starting in early April.

If you look closely at this cactus, you can see it needs a good soaking because of the wrinkled appearance of the ribs. After snapping the photo, I gave it just that.

Arizona. Mellow, golden, sustaining, beautiful...
I tell you, this is a wonderful country.
~ Zane Grey

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