Saturday, June 6, 2009

June Desert Garden

This is as green as my desert garden gets. The flowers are gone for the season except for a few cactus flowers, the Red Bird of Paradise and Orange Bells shrubs, and the Texas Sage in this photo. It bloomed because we had a light rain about 10 days ago. No one is quite sure of the process this plant uses to produce this barometer effect. The desert trees are at their best as far as foliage. Notice that the kinetic wind sculpture is completely still. This is a rare occurrence.

I was right! The flowers on this early-blooming Barrel Cactus were especially large this year. Both buds and flowers on this cactus are beautiful, but I have several other Barrels that will bloom in August, and they have orange flowers that I like more.

Container vegetable gardening is fun! This sweet pepper plant has 21 peppers on it right now. They're supposed to be red, so I guess I need to wait awhile. Since this is my first attempt at something other than tomatoes, I'm not sure if they turn red on the plant or after they're picked. Maybe I'll pick a few and find out. Looks like we are in for a lot of pepper dishes.

I've harvested about two dozen pattypan squash and a dozen cannonball zucchini so far from my two squash vines. I never tire of eating steamed squash with a bit of butter, salt and pepper, however, I do prepare stuffed squash, and a New Mexico favorite, Calabacitos Con Queso on a regular basis. I don't enjoy cooking--never have--but I refuse to let these veggies go to waste after all my work!


Jenn said...

The texas sage has been looking beautiful all over town. Wonderful plant, it even looks good when it's tortured into hedges. But then you lose a lot of the bloom.

Phoenix C. said...

I confess the only squash I eat is tinned Butternut Squash and Red Pepper soup! Like you, I'm not into cooking, therefore don't grow veggies. If we could grow bananas here, I'd do that, as they are great healthy 'fast food'!!

Aiyana said...

Phoenix C.,
You CAN grow bananas here if you want to water a lot, plant in the right place, protect from frost, etc. See for growing info. I've thought about trying various tropical fruits, but it's more work and watering than I want to get into.

Vireya said...

The peppers should go red on the plant. They look great! I've never had 21 on one bush.

Claude said...

The peppers should go red on the plant, but if you really want a green pepper, you can go ahead and eat one!

I love the look of your garden, as it's so different from the gardens here.

Pudgeduck said...

I will have a few squash if the bunny will go away! I have one plant in the ground. I do love the Echinopsis flower in the last entry!

Laurie and Joshua said...

Little Squash with cheese sounds really good.
I have never had that many peppers on one plant either, and the peppers are supposed to go red on the plant, but as Claude already said you can pick some green and eat them.

Aiyana said...

When traveling through New Mexico, I noticed all the Mexican style meals came with a side of this dish.I tried it and loved it, and now that I have squash to fix, I have it often. We have plenty of Mexican places in Phoenix, and I never saw it on a menu before. Definitely regional!

Calabacitos Con Queso

3/4 cup onion, diced
3 cups zucchini or other summer squash diced
1/2 cup Anaheim chile pepper; roasted, peeled, diced (I use canned--it's easier)
3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
1/4 cup fresh diced tomato
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbl. minced fresh garlic
salt & pepper to taste

1. Saute onions until they begin to soften.

2. Add squash and Anaheim chile, sauté until they begin to soften.

3. Add garlic and corn and cook until everything begins to soften--about 5 minutes. Don't overcook.

4.Add tomatoes,cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

5. Place in casserole and bake at 350-375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Lythrum said...

Your garden is so beautiful. I love that windmill.

Diane C. said...

Looks like your sweet pepper plant is doing great! Our bush only produced one small one so far. We're trying zucchini this year, just saw the first blossom today. I'm not into cooking much, but I'll try making your Calabacitos Con Queso. :)

beckie said...

Actually, your garden looks greener than I would have expected. It seems to be a very peaceful place to enjoy. I love the cactus blooms. They are always so charming. Your peppers look huge! And I'm with you on squas. Nothing better in the summer.

Carlos said...


Claude said...

I am so snagging that recipe! We're in full zuccini season here... everybody plants them, forgetting that nobody knows what to do with all the darned things every summer!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

21 peppers on the one plant? I'm impressed. You can pick the peppers green or wait for them to ripen on the plant to turn a very nice red. They taste sweeter when red.

And I'm pleasantly surprised by how green your garden looks at the mo.

Dee said...

Love your garden- it looks so peaceful! Your veggies sound and look great! My two little pepper plants have only 4 peppers between them but the peppers are about half the size of the plant! They did turn red on the plant so I just picked them yesterday.
And I am looking for a banana plant- anyone know where they have them? I am always trying to push the envelope on what I can get to grow...:)