I've been learning through the failures, though. There are certain cacti that will thrive here, no matter what I do to them. The hollyhocks--taller than me and ready to bloom--are happily self-seeding everywhere, and so are the desert bird of paradise shrubs--all giving a reliable and dramatic show of color, year after year.
|2010, two pads only|
|2017, five feet wide and almost taller than me|
This will be the second summer for the raised beds in the back yard. With better control over the soil and moisture content, I'm still trying to grow some of my colorful favorites. Here is a sampling of what's blooming so far: The columbines are a big success, as they are freely multiplying and acting as a ground cover to shade the soil; there are three rose varieties so far, yellow, red, and a multi-color; scabiosa (pincushion flower in blue), dianthus, and Iceland poppies.
The irises I bought last year at the Hondo Iris Farm are growing well and some have started to bud. I will post pictures of them as they come into bloom. The sweet peas are up, as are the morning glories (even though our little dog Dweezil did some sunbathing in that bed). My poor little much-moved lilac is looking happier and more protected from the sun in its new raised bed home. The mint and rosemary are thriving, and the surprise lilies are coming along.
It's a small garden, but it brings me great pleasure!