Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Desert Garden

My garden is at its best right now--the Palo Verde trees and Mesquite trees are in full bloom. All the plants are lush, and many of my cactus plants continue to flower. The garden will stay this way until mid-June, and then it will start its dormant period in July through mid-September, our hottest time of the year. It's hard to belive that three years ago this month, this was a barren piece of land.

This dove and its female counterpart had the wherewithal to build a proper nest and they have been taking turns incubating the eggs for almost two weeks. Dove eggs hatch in 14 to 15 days, so I should be seeing some babies very soon. The male incubates by day and the female by night, so this is the male. Doves are notorious for building very poor nests as I noted in a previous post, so the fact that this nest is still intact is a small miracle!

The Chilean Mesquite tree flowers, called catkins, are in various stages of their life cycle. Soon, these will become Mesquite beans, suitable for drying and grinding into flour. Not that I do this--but many people in our region do it every year.

Echinopsis x 'Los Angeles, an early morning bloomer, produces numerous flowers that wilt within hours. I usually set my alarm to get up early enough to catch these flowers at their peak. Getting up early is no small feat for me, but a glimpse of these flowers makes it worth a couple of hours of lost sleep.

A Mammillaria sp. is flowering in the typical Mammillaria flower ring on the new growth. The tag got lost on this little cactus, and I won't hazard a guess as to its species.

This cactus was labeled as Echinopsis pentlandii longispinus, but now that it has flowered, I have to wonder. The buds look more like Gymnocalycium buds. However, the flowers open only at night, making it hard to get a good shot. I don't know of any species of Echinopsis or Gymnocalycium that bloom at night, so maybe it's another genus altogether.

An unidentified cactus (another lost tag!) that produces small flowers that are more green than yellow. The flowers are a nice contrast to the red spines.

This Sansevieria suffruticosa v. longituba flower stalk has sticky droplets all over the flowers and stalk. This is the first time I have ever seen the flowers. I have no idea if the droplets are normal--but I believe they are because the flower stalks on two of these plants have the same substance on them. Either it's normal or they both have the same problem!

Bryophyllum 'Crenatodaigremontianum' is making its little plantlets on the leaf margins. It is one of the "Mother of Thousands" plants that I keep potted to avoid having a crop of this stuff.

The Creosote bushes are in full bloom, with thousands of tiny sweat bees swarming around them. The small fuzzy seedpods form after the flowers are spent.


Karen said...

You have such beauty in your garden! Hope to see the dove's offspring soon!

Pudgeduck said...

WOW!!!!! What a great spring-time tour! I am on your blog more than once a day! "Best of the West" award just went to you!

Julie said...

I love your little birds nest! I just found one in my ponytail palm, of all places, last night!!!
Your garden is gorgeous!!!

Cheryl said...

What a beautiful garden you have. It is stunning.
The dove is the icing on the cake, what a pleasure to have the pair in your space.

Sioux said...

Your garden is beautiful. I love all your plants! That mesquite is much nicer than our little ole Texas mesquites!

Pam/Digging said...

I love the long shot. Your garden is really pretty. That palo verde tree arching over and dropping yellow petals on the ground---surely you didn't plant that three years ago too? It looks so big.

I'd love to see before and after pics.

beckie said...

What a pleasure to see some of your garden-at last. You've done so muchin only 3 years! Of course, I love all your cacti but the 'Mother of Thousands' is stunning.

No Rain said...

Thanks for your comments! Yes, the Palo Verde has grown that much in 3years--all my trees came as skinny sticks in 24" boxes. I should have settled for 15 gallon plants--by now they would have caught up and I'd have saved a ton of money. I have posted photos of different views of my garden. There are before and after and progress photos with various views found under the label "Landscape Design" on the the right side of my blog. The before photo is located at

-AG- said...

I agree now is our peak time for our plants here. Everything is so beautiful and I really like how the Palo Verde's add an almost magical feel to the garden with their broad canopy drenched in yellow blooms that fall down and drench the ground in color. I have two in my back yard One I got the week I moved in as a 24" box and the other a year and a half later as a 15 gallon. The smaller younger tree has almost caught up in size. I'll have to post some pictures on my blog later on. I love the bridge you had your husband build it really adds to the look and feel of things. I hope the Dove Family survives and prospers!


chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

Your garden looks beautiful.
I love this time of year.
I like doves, but they are really stupid.
They have 5-6 clutches of eggs a year.
I think this is a survival thing because they are
so stupid, it's a wonder that any of them survive.
BTW, when they build their nests, the female sits on the nest and the male stands on her back and hands her the sticks and she attempts to weave the nest.
No wonder their nests are so poorly built.

Green thumb said...

Hi dear Aiyana!
Your garden looks very pretty, in fact the first photograph appears to be of an almost fairy tale setting; no wonder the doves decided to extend their family in your garden!

kate smudges said...

Your garden looks so inviting. I'd love to spend time wandering around - it's hard to believe your garden is only three years old. It looks as if it has been there for a longer time than that.

Barbara said...

Unbeliveable what a great work you did in your garden in three years. Your beautiful garden has opened my eyes for those special plants which were quite "new" to me. The colours are quite different to the ones I am used to. Amazing!