Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Garden Evolves

In looking back through old posts about my gardening attempts here in the Chihuahuan Desert, I am reminded of just how many plants didn't survive. Perennials and even cacti were in the wrong place at the wrong time, getting either too much heat against a south-facing wall, or too much or too little water.

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!


Margie's Musings said...

Your flowers are lovely even if they are for hot weather! It is good to see you posting Clair.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Clair! So lovely to see you pop up on my feedly -- and you must have the greenest thumb in all of New Mexico.... beautiful varied garden for that not exactly garden-hospitable place. I remember your hollyhocks, but had forgotten about how much else you have there in your Paradise.

Margie's Musings said...

I know exactly what you mean, Clair. I live in an apartment and have to have raised beds. The location of the fourplex where I live used to be a graveled parking lot. I love flowerbeds too. Every home I have lived in, had flowerbeds that I created. I can hardly wait until the end of April and I can plant again.

Owlfarmer said...

I finally made it back to your blog, after much too long an absence. Since the last time I visited (can't even remember when), I too have retired and am now contemplating a move to the desert (Bisbee AZ or Abiquiu NM are tops on the list). My main reason for writing though is to express my abject envy for you gorgeous flowers. I can only dream of sweet peas and lilacs. I do have some nice irises, and mounds of wild gladiolus, which help--but sweet peas and lilacs don't do well here because of the lack of winter and the humidity. At any rate, now that I've rediscovered you I'll be back. Thanks for the lovely photos.

Margie's Musings said...

I think you do very well, Clair! Your garden looks lovely even if it is in the desert. You work at it...I can tell!