I was hoping to have a few ripened prickly pear fruit this year to use for a vinaigrette, but it looks like the cochineal insect beat me to it. Every one of my prickly pear plants has the cochineal invasion. I lost a prized prickly pear last year to this insidious insect, and it looks like I'm headed for the loss of a few more. I spray with a strong stream of water to expose the bug (under the white stuff,) but so far it hasn't helped. Next, I will try insecticidal soap, and if that doesn't work, I'll just have to have them removed. I noticed that many neighbors also have the infestation, so even if I could get it under control in my own garden, it won't be long before it will be back.
Desert Petunia, a drought resistant summer bloomer, puts out short-lived flowers every couple of days. The shrub will be covered with flowers one day, then they dry up and there will be nothing for two days, and then it will be covered again. This goes on about 10 months of the year!
In mid June I found an old, half used packet of sunflower seeds and decided to plant them, as sunflowers do well even when planted in July, according to the planting schedule. Although the plants are still small (perhaps it is just the variety) the first flower bloomed this past weekend. The packet said mixed colors, but all the buds appear to have the standard yellow color.
My poor roses just keep trying! The 115 degree heat is just too much for them, and the buds they put out are tiny and they dry up before they can open. No matter how much I water, nothing will help them except lower temperatures. No chance of that for another couple of months.
Here's another reliable summer staple, the ubiquitous Red Bird of Paradise. I have about eight of these shrubs in my landscape. They provide brilliant color from early June until early September.
Another spot of color is this yard art lizard. He moves around to various places in my garden, depending on the season.