It's been almost two years since the six Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa 'Boxwood Beauty') ground cover shrubs practically froze to the ground when we had a hard freeze. They can't take temperatures under 28°F. Surprisingly, they all recovered nicely, and now they've grown enough that they are mounding in their characteristic manner.
My lone Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) has not done well at all in the three years I've had it in my garden. I love the color of the tubular flowers, and so do the hummingbirds. I really thought this plant would do well as it is closely related to Tecoma stans, a plant that loves our desert climate.
Many of my garden plants did poorly this past summer. They did not look vibrant, the blooms were sparse and the foliage brown on the margins. I've come to the conclusion that they really need more water than recommended by local sources. Next summer, I'm going to water every three days in July, August and September instead of the recommended every five to seven days.
One of the rules when using drip irrigation systems is when changing watering schedules, up the watering frequency rather than changing the length of time at each watering. The length of time should be based on how long it takes for the water to penetrate the soil to the proper depth. This won't change, regardless of the weather. Many folks I know lower the watering time when they up the frequency. This causes salt buildup, shallow roots and weak plants.
This unidentified Agave species was a freebie offshoot that I acquired at one of the local Cactus and Succulent Society meetings a couple of years ago. I love the bright green spikiness of it. My guess is that it is an Agave lechuguilla.
This Emu Bush, (Eremophila maculata v. brevifolia 'Valentine' ) has started blooming. It won't be at its peak until mid-February, but there will be plenty of little fuchsia-like flowers on it until then. This trouble-free Australian shrub is sometimes called Native Fuchsia. This is another hummingbird favorite.