Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blossoms, Birds and Bees


All my Palo Verde trees are just starting to bloom and the strong wind gusts are blowing the flowers everywhere. Usually, I have a golden carpet an inch thick around and under the trees all spring. This year, they are going to be all over my yard, and I'll have to have the blow-and-go guys over a couple of times to clean it up. If we get any rain when there is a lot of debris on the ground, it forms a hard crust that has to be raked up. I learned this lesson the hard way last year and had to peel away chunks of the crust from around all the cacti and succulents planted under the trees, and then clean up the plants as best as possible with tweezers and kabob skewers.





These coral colored Gasteria acinacifolia flowers remind me of flamingos for some reason. It's more than the color. Do you see any resemblance, or am I dreaming again?




Rosa 'Red Intrepid'
has just started to bloom. It has suffered wind damage like all my other roses have this past week. The new leaves look like they've been through a threshing machine, and the flowers all have sun and wind burn. I have a lot of tattered roses on each bush. It is such a disappointment to see them all beat up like this, as this is our peak rose time here in the Phoenix area.



The flower stalk on this Coral Aloe is now a month old with no sign of wilt or drying. I really should have several more of this Aloe species, all planted in the same location. I think a display of multiple flower stalks like this would be quite striking. Maybe in the fall....


Rosa 'Gold Glow'
is in a more protected area and has suffered less wind and sun damage. This flower opened Sunday after the strongest gusts passed through.


My one Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) shrub is in full bloom right now. Unfortunately, it doesn't look this good any other time of year. Most folks use Spanish Lavender in groupings or as border plants, but I like them one at a time. In this photo you can also see several Bush Morning Glories in bloom in the background. They are now a bit past their prime.



Bees are buzzing everywhere in my garden, enjoying the blooming Creosote bushes, Spanish Lavender and Palo Verde blossoms. So many bees are a welcome sight, and provide hope that the bee population is increasing after its decimation these past few years. I also have more birds this year, especially hummingbirds. However, one bird species that I wish would show up now and then is Gambel's Quail. I've never had one visit my garden, and I miss seeing them, usually with their babies, walking in a line behind the mother, with their little topknots bobbing. They were a common sight at my previous residence, and I blame the roaming neighbor cat for their non-appearance at my current residence.

21 comments:

Pudgeduck said...

after I saw you picking weeds at night with a flashlight-why do I think its funny you clean your hundreds of cacti with tweezers and skewers? I love the yellow rose!!!!!!! You garden is soooo beautiful---

GardenJoy4Me said...

Aiyana .. it isn't just you girl .. those flowers DO lokk like flamingos ! amazing
There is so much blooming in your garden : ) Love the roses .. that red is such a hard colour to shoot , it just glares at the camera I find. I can understand the mess with the fallen flowers .. tweezing them ooff other plants is not a job I would want either ! LOL

Claude said...

The Gasteria flowers are definitely flamingo-ish... although why the flamingos decided to perch on a stem and hang upside down like bats is beyond me.. I like the aloe too... does it produce pups or off-sets?

I have a couple of miniature roses here, which do very well, and one single hybrid tea "blue girl" They're just now starting to put out buds. I like roses in other peoples gardens, but I've never been a fan of growing them. These were all given to Mom on various holidays, and ended up here.

Too bad you're not seeing those quail... I used to live where there was a covey of bob whites, they were a lot of fun to watch...

Darla said...

Your gardens are beautiful! Any tips on Aloe?

Paula said...

I love to come each week and see all the unique things your garden is doing! Your rose is lovely. I can't imagine cleaning up with tweezers!
Thanks for the share, Paula in Idaho

Sugarplum Cottage said...

As always, so many unique plants. Just look at all these blooms, wonderful. Hugs, Rosemarie

Phoenix C. said...

Those Gasteria blooms do look like flamingoes! The jade vine is currently blooming at the Botanic Garden here, and the blooms remind me of jade coloured lobster claws!!

What is the tree or shrub on your photo with the Spanish lavender, please? It has lovely markings on the trunk.

perennialgardener said...

Your garden is full of color right now Aiyana! I love the deep yellow blooms of the Palo Verde and you're right the blooms on the Gasteria do remind me of Flamingos too! ;) Spanish Lavender is one of my favorites, I've grown that as an annual in my own garden in years past.

Kim said...

Gorgeous! My favorite time of year is when the yellow Palo Verde blossoms blanket the ground. It's like living in a happy world of yellow.

I wish you could enjoy Gambel Quail in your yard too! I think that is one thing I will miss if I move back to Phoenix. I live in central Tucson and we have quail running around like crazy. They are so fun to watch and listen to.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

You have some beautiful blooms going on there. I love the green bark of the tree, what is it? The lavender is beautiful.Desert gardening can be beautiful.

Carla said...

Well that explains how your yard is to tidy! AND lovely-I have seen aloe in mass planting, and it is something to behold. Your yellows/oranges are something to see today!

Jean said...

I totally agree about the flamingos! I also agree that a cluster of the coral aloe would be stunning! So sorry to hear about the damage to your roses. Most of our spring flowers will hold up to some snow, in fact they say it has to snow 3 times on the daffodiles before spring really arrives. Jean

Lythrum said...

The yellow rose is so beautiful, I think yellow roses are my favorite. :)

beckie said...

Your gardens are lovely now. Everything looks so fresh and lush. And all the colors-you must be enjoying it very much. Flamingos is exactly what they remind me of!

Suzanne said...

You garden is so lovely. I love seeing your photos of beautifully bright brilliant flowers.

Aiyana said...

Claude,
Coral Aloe (Aloe striata)is solitary and doesn't produce offsets. Many Aloes do, but this isn't one of them unfortunately.


Phoenix C. and Hocking Hills Gardener, the tree is a Desert Museum Palo Verde. The markings on it aren't natural. Those are scars from previous staking and bracing heavy or damaged branches. The bark on these trees are soft and smooth, and they scar easily. Non-scarred trunks are a very unusual sight, and highly valued.
Darla,
Aloe facts:
Most like light shade and do not take much frost. There are over 300species of Aloe, and the leaves contain a gel. Aloes don't die after blooming as do most Agaves.

Aiyana

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Viewing your beautiful photos is like taking a mini vacation! Thanks, Aiyana.

Barbara said...

Just today I had to throw away my lavandula stoechas. The plant didn't like the very cold temperatures of this winter. But I am going to buy a new plant as I like it very much. You have a great variety of colourful and unknown plants. It also seems that you have roses blooming almost the whole year through. Lucky you!

Gardeness said...

I totally see the flamingos. And they are beautiful!

Grammy said...

Oh I love all your blooms. The yellow rose is gorgeous!

Jenn said...

Quail:
Do you have any cover for them? They favor tree canopies that sweep the ground, and other forms of open underbrush.

Without that, they won't come round to visit or to live. The pictures of your place look very 'groomed'...

Flamingos:
Yes! That's a perfect description!