Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

“Life, when it was good, was indeed pink. La vie en rose.”
― Lydia Michaels, La Vie en Rose: Life in Pink

for Life in Colour: pink and Squares: bright

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.

for Six Word Saturday, Squares: bright, and Life in Colour: pink

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

I promised you more of the Desert Botanical Gardens and I aim to keep that promise. If Jo’s walking today, this is my walk for her. Although the desert is mostly about cacti (the plural of cactus), and cacti have beautiful flowers, if there’s enough water and the temperature is right, you can get other flowers as well. Outback Steakhouse has their Bloomin’ Onion, but the bloomin’ desert is prettier and has way less calories!!

Although flowers can get up close and personal with cacti, I suggest you keep a respectful distance and always watch where you walk. Here you just have to stay on the path, but if you’re elsewhere, keep your eyes open. As it warms up, you always have to watch for rattlesnakes, not here probably but elsewhere. My husband’s seen several on the path along the canal where he rides his bike. I, fortunately, have yet to have that wonderful experience. I can wait.

We weren’t the only ones appreciating the flowers. The netting’s in place as protection from birds and critters of various kinds who might wish to express their appreciation for what they consider edible flowers and plants in a more destructive way.

It was wonderful to see all the color, but just all the green, whatever its source, was a joy as well. To have both was perfect.

for One Word Sunday: opposites

Spring in the desert isn’t exactly like spring in most other places. There are no swaths of wildflowers, no green grass everywhere. Spring comes early too, already on its way at the end of February/beginning of March, when it can be not much above freezing at night and by late afternoon be almost 80F. There are flowers, but quite often they’re on plants with thorns that will stab you if you aren’t careful. Still, they are flowers. The sunrise has moved from after 7 am during the winter to before 6 am and we’re off to the Preserve to seek out some signs of spring for Jo’s Monday walk (whenever the next one is.) We’ll see a variety of colors and even a hint of two of softness but always be careful because desert can so easily become dessert. 🙂

These flowers are actually quite tiny, but they’re abundant.

And these aren’t large either.

Happy Monday and welcome to March!

for Jo’s Monday Walk

for Life in Colour: Yellow