Color in April is different in Arizona than in every other place I’ve lived, starting from ground level up. Except for Steamboat Springs where April was mud season, April almost everywhere else starts with a carpet of green grass covered or at least dotted in many places by innumerable wildflowers. Not so in Arizona where in populated areas grass is replaced by a layer of rocks with individual or small groups of plants dotting it, and in the desert, not much of anything with the same individual or groups of plants. There is grass, but it requires large amounts of water, something I find irresponsible when you live in a desert.

Be that as it may, we were blessed in our rental house because we have a great variety of plants. Most of the other rentals I viewed had nothing in the backyard and I mean nothing, nothing but “dirt” and “dirt” here is a cement-like thing called caliche, nothing like in the Midwest where you can easily sink a shovel into the earth almost anywhere. One of the nicknames of caliche is “hardpan” for a reason.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t beauty and color, such as this yellow trumpet bush which just showed up one day in a corner where it appeared nothing was growing, a welcome surprise! We have another much larger bush of these and an enormous one with orange flowers.

Red yucca isn’t really yucca (go figure) but its flowers are beautiful. There are streets with a row of these along the side which makes for very attractive landscaping.

As far as I can ascertain, this is Britton’s wild petunia, one of the flowers the bees love but one that can be invasive.

You can’t have a colorful April in Arizona without the spectacular flowers and fruits found on the cacti that are everywhere. There may be thorns on many plants but there’s also luxurious beauty and sometimes food, as in the case of the fruit of the prickly pear cactus you see here. These will open up.

Finally, there are these short-blooming, one day, flowers found on the trumpet cactus. Our cactus is small, but welcomed us with three rounds of gorgeous flowers when we moved here just over a year ago and has already has two flowers this year.

Now that we’ve seen some of the April color in our backyard, have a seat on the patio and just relax for a bit. I’m always happy when you stop by and I have some delicious jasmine green tea if you’re so inclined or some iced English breakfast.

Comments
  1. Amy says:

    How wonderful to sit on your patio enjoying these bright and colorful flowers.
    Thank you for introducing Arizona flowers to us, Janet!

  2. Sue says:

    Nicely colourful, Janet!

  3. restlessjo says:

    We have that yellow trumpet one here, too, Janet 🙂 🙂 Happy weekend!

  4. Resa says:

    I’ll have some iced English Breakfast tea, please!
    What beauty, and you have captured it well, Janet!

  5. JohnRH says:

    Very beautiful photos. 👏

  6. Teresa says:

    Oh wow, wonderful beauties…thanks for sharing your garden with us!

  7. Thanks for sharing a bit of the beautiful Arizona flowers! 🙂

  8. billgncs says:

    beware the pods….

  9. Beautiful beautiful! Janet, you have some great flowers in your yard! We currently have a Texas Rosebush flowering (It smells good too), and lantana. I am seeing more and more plants flowering out and about. But some rain would really help. That bottom cactus flower is awesome ❣❣❣

    • We’re very fortunate in our yard, Lisa. I tried planting lantana when we first moved here but it died. I may have to try it again because I think it’s pretty nice. Right now I’m trying to keep a rosemary plant alive. But yes some rain would really help!

  10. solaner says:

    I love cactus blossoms. It such a strong contrast to the shape of the plant. I love especially the last one.

  11. Look at you with all this beautiful color – who knew. 🙂 You certainly must smile when you look out at this. Enjoy – no color here yet except for the forsythia.

  12. peggy says:

    Steamboat Springs. Have been there, but have not thought of that place for a long time. We grpw the purple petunia in our yard – It is a Mexican Petunia. At least that is what we call it here. Lovely flowers – thanks for sharing.

  13. susurrus says:

    You had me at ‘yellow trumpet bush which just showed up’ – I should be so lucky. I don’t think there is a more beautiful yellow flower.

    • It must have been planted there at one time, but there was no evidence of a plant there at all. When it started coming up, I had no idea what it would turn out to be. It was great that it turned out to be something so beautiful. 🙂

  14. It’s interesting the way nature adjusts to climate.
    I’ve always enjoyed the beauty of the cactus plants when visiting the southwest.
    But, seeing the variety of your other plants is fabulous. The yellow trumpet bush
    is my favorite. I can almost hear them playing a lovley song.
    Be Safe … 😷 🙏🏻 😊 Isadora 😎

    Lens Artists Photo Challenge – Colorful Spring

    • The trumpet flowers must be playing with a mute, as I haven’t heard the yet. But that’s fine because there’s enough noise from the barking dogs nearby and the loud pickup trucks and cars that go by. 🙂 I love the beauty of cactus flowers, especially contrasted to the rest of the plant.

      • It’s so true. Cactus are very unusual in that you don’t expect them to flower. I know I was surprised the first time I saw one with a pretty floral top. It’s also amazing the varieties of greens they come in. LOL
        We have new homes popping up near by – a construction boom here due to Covid – people coming down from NY. If I hear one more nail gun stapling today I may need to run outside screaming. LOLOL

      • We’re in an established neighborhood, but there’s building everywhere here! It’s kind of depressing actually.

  15. Jet Eliot says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your narrative and photos of April in the desert, Janet. I don’t have a lot of experience with living in the desert, have only visited for a week here and there, but I find the landscapes so interesting and beautiful, and the wildlife equally as lovely. Thanks for sharing these magnificent flowers and a cup of tea on your patio.

    • Glad you could stop by, Jet. The desert appears so dead and harsh but there’s also great beauty. It can be harsh, of course, but there’s much more to it than first meets the eye, just very different from the rest of the country.

  16. Tina Schell says:

    A beautiful display Janet – especially the yellow flowers which were a complete surprise – how great is that?! I know what you mean about AZ flowers being so different. I always enjoy seeing my gardening sister-in-law’s results out there. And of course will never forget being there during the desert superbloom, which was incredible. My favorite, I think, are the overnight blossoming cactus flowers – so short lived and so gloriously beautiful.

    • The torch cactus is my favorite as well, but the others are much longer lasting, so I enjoy both. I’ve seen pictures, including yours, of the superbloom and with any luck we might be here when there’s another one. Right now I hope to see the saguaros in bloom soon. Just have to figure out how to find out when it is.

  17. You have got got a nice variety of flowers and colours in your garden, Janet!

  18. Ingrid says:

    Lucky you to find a rental with some plants. As much as I enjoy the flowering cacti, I still occasionally miss spring in the Midwest where the landscape is lush and colorful.

  19. Su Leslie says:

    Love the vibrant beauty of these Janet.

  20. Those are lovely yellow trumpets, and the color variety of the flowers are wonderful. There’s color in the desert one just needs to “see” it! 😀 You do!! 🥰🌼

    • There is a lot of color although some needs watering whereas the cacti flowers don’t need nearly as much. I think we may have over-watered initially but thankfully we didn’t kill any. 🙂 So much to learn.

  21. Ohh. Those cactus flowers are gorgeous

  22. Leya says:

    What beauties, Janet! What can I say – we have almost no colours yet…but they will come!

  23. pattimoed says:

    Wow, Janet. The trumpet cactus flowers are gorgeous! I had to smile about your comment on the lack of gardens in places you’ve rented. I agree 100%. One of our landlords had a clause in her contract (it’s nuts if you ask me) that tenants were not allowed to do any yard work, including raking leaves. That barren yard bothered me for months! I love the yellow trumpet bush, too. I hope you’re having a good week–

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