Archive for the ‘flowers’ Category

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.

And bright glorious light for today’s “Square” entry, once again from Descanso Gardens in southern California.

We’ve been walking at the Desert Botanical Gardens, but let’s take a moment to look in our own garden. A year ago, the flowers of the torch cactus welcomed us to Arizona with three different rounds of flowers. Now it’s blooming again. My parents have an enormous one with huge flowers. Ours is small, but also beautiful. Torch cactus come in a variety of colors, which you can see if you click here.

The one on the right will likely be full-blown tomorrow morning. It makes every day an adventure. Until they bloom, the flowers have a rather sci-fi look.

Bees love flowers and this bee was having a good time. But when I tried to get close for a better shot, it would go just inside, then zoom away. This was the best I could do. You can see him at the bottom right, looking a little fuzzy, but then bees are. Just FYI, his antennae aren’t curly, those are dark lines in the flower. It would look pretty cool, though, if they were.

also for Cee’s Flower of the Day

for Life in Colour: Yellow

Fleur jaune = yellow flower. I’m not sure what type of flower this is, possibly broom of some sort. If anyone knows, feel free to let me know. In the meantime, just enjoy the flower and your Friday.

for Life in Colour: yellow

for Life in Colour: yellow and FOTD

Pre-Thanksgiving at Descanso Gardens wasn’t as verdant as spring or summer, but the rose garden was, if not in full bloom, at least in blooming health. There was a choice of colors but today’s color is yellow, just for Jude and the flower is for Cee’s FOTD.

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”
― Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Thanks to Arthur Conan Doyle, The Naval Treaty for the quote in the title.

It’s sort of spring in the desert already or at least we’re getting some flowers again. I think we really have two growing seasons with a “winter” of hot weather between the two. I’m still trying to figure that out. At any rate, I was happy to see a plethora of yellow flowers during my last visit to the Preserve, just in time for Jude’s challenge this month of “Yellow.” I love yellow everywhere but in my clothes. It makes my skin look sallow, so I enjoy it from afar or not so far, just not on me. While I’m at it, I might as well link to Cee’s Flower of the Day challenge as well. 🙂

I’ve been dreaming about winter in Illinois. I know you think that’s crazy when it’s cold and they have lots of snow. But I do love winter and you know what comes after winter and all that snow melts? Spring and summer and flowers. And it’s Friday, which means flowers, so I time-traveled back to a summer not long ago in Illinois. Here’s what I found.