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My eyes have been treated to the following scenes for the last three mornings:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Land of Enchantment

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Land of Enchantment

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Land of Enchantment

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Land of Enchantment

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Land of Enchantment

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Land of Enchantment

Good for the soul.


Hey tacos, Happy Monday!

So I thought I’d take you with me on a trip to a cool place here in New Mexico. It’s near Cochiti Lake, which is north of Albuquerque but south and to the west of Santa Fe. It’s a National Monument because of the funky rock formations, which are called Tent Rocks but look more like cones, mostly anyway – they’re really varied.

Anyway, I was going to give you some history. Like how right before he left office, President Bill Clinton designated lots of pieces of wilderness as National Monuments and that this is one of them. And that he also bought for the American people that which is now the Valle Caldera Nature Preserve – a stunning 95,000ish acres of land also right here in New Mexico.

But I didn’t want to invite any political discussions.

Then I was going to talk about how the rocks were made 6 or 7 million years ago when the volcanoes exploded and spewed pumice and ash everywhere. Wind and water (New Mexico was once underwater), and erosion, formed the rock formations we see today.

But I didn’t want to invite any batshit crazy discussions about how God put the Tent Rocks there 6,000 years ago to fool us.

My handful of regular readers are smart, they’re adorable, and they love Nature. So I can’t see any of them wanting to debate politics or evolution, and if they did, they’d be polite about it, and open to actual discussion (rather than trying to force one’s opinions down someone else’s throat).

But sometimes I worry about newcomers. What if they’re one of *those* people and decide to tell me I’m going to straight to hell? I find that unkind.

So as a preemptive strike, I’m just going to post a bunch of pretty photos without commentary. You make your own conclusions how or why these became National Monuments.

One quick note, I did not make any changes to the colors of these photos. The sky in New Mexico is almost always a delicious blue, but the sky in the mountains, particularly that day, the day after Thanksgiving, well, it looked just like it does in the photos. The variations depended on high we were (the photos are not in chronological order because I think they are more interesting that way).

Ok, a little commentary, because I can’t keep my mouth shut for more than about 5 seconds. This is the view the other direction, those are the Sandia Mountains off in the distance:

A cave where an ancestor stayed. You can see the soot from fire on the roof:

Some people say that rocks used to be sacred. Now we call people “dumb as rocks” as an insult.

We don’t have plants in the house because they clean the air. We have plants in the house to remind us that we’re a part of Nature. We’re interlocked, biologically, humans are animals.

Instead of embracing that, we collect rocks and seashells. Diamonds and pearls. We bring plants inside. We tell ourselves it’s important for the clean air, but that’s missing the point. We miss Nature.

For this last picture, I was going to make some cutesy remark about how I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. But that’s ridiculous. I know where I’ve been, and I know where I’m not going, and that’s plenty good enough for me.

I may not know exactly where I’m going, but I have a pretty good sense of it.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be back with another post manana, so I hope to see you here.

Cochiti Lake, NM

I’m very amused by this road. Each time I drive it, I’m like “oh no, here we go, off the edge of the wooooooooorld.” Haha, yes, I’m easily amused. And a little weird.

Hi petunias, and happy Tuesday. Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here!

Remember when I took you on a secret tour of Kitty’s farm? And when I snuck my camera into Tiffany’s apartment while she was out of town?

Heh, heh, well, a few weeks ago, I went to visit Mom at her house in Cochiti Lake, New Mexico. That’s just under an hour north of Albuquerque, not quite as far north as Santa Fe. She’s an EMT and when I arrived, she was out on an ambulance call.

So I had some fun while she was gone. You see, no one is safe when I have my camera!

I took photos of some of my favorite things around her house. Starting with where it’s located, near the water:

The town of Cochiti Lake is located at the base of the Jemez Mountains. It’s gorgeous country:

I had the whole house to myself, so I wandered around looking at her beautiful landscaping. So many things were blooming, like this butterfly bush:

And the potentilla:

She’s got some great ornamental grasses as well, although I don’t know the specific name of them (sorry, I’m really bad with grass names):

Her yard is so colorful. Here’s her cherry sage:

Which looks nice near the red trim of the house:

I’m not a huge fan of hollyhocks, but they sure are cheerful looking flowers:

The mint is growing like crazy:

As is the honeysuckle in the back yard:

I love the smell of honeysuckle! It lines the wall in back of the house, so it smells divine back there.

Inside, there are lots of beautiful things I love. Like this pothos with giant leaves:

She’s got quite the green thumb. She has a variety of succulents that are so adorable:

My favorite things aren’t limited to the plants. I love her new clock:

I love her crowded windowsills:

She has the most adorable butter dish:

There’s so much artwork that I love, but in particular, this painting by Scott Momaday paired with this exquisite lamp makes me happy:

I love everything about these curtains:

Also a favorite, the barn swallows that have nests in the front of the house and the back. Here are the babies:

Every time my camera clicked, they shot up and screamed for food. Which was hilarious for me, but not so much for the nervous parents who seemed plenty annoyed at me:

I’m sure they were happy when I finished teasing the babies.

Of course, my favorite thing about Mom’s house is Mom, so I was happy when she returned from the ambulance and we could have lunch.

On my way back to Albuquerque, a huge storm developed over the town of Cochiti Lake. I took this photo on the drive home:

That’s why her garden is so lush – they get lots of rain in the mountains.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite things about Mom’s house. She’s got great taste and a green thumb, and hopefully a good sense of humor about being surprised in a blog post. I love you, Mom! Thanks for letting me show off your stuff! Haha, not that you had much choice!

I’ll be back manana, until then, happy gardening!

Hi raspberries, and happy Tuesday!

Today I’d like to show you how a certain small town celebrated America’s birthday on Sunday. The town is Cochiti Lake, New Mexico. That’s where my Mom lives. It’s got about 400 residents. It’s north of Albuquerque but south of Santa Fe, at the base of the Jemez Mountains.

I’ll warn you: The following shots of the parade are themselves a parade of adorable small town Americana. If you’re grouchy, prepare to smile.

Haha, see, I told you – you’re smiling already, aren’t you? I know, it’s cute. I was riding in the lead fire truck.

This young man, Casey, had a grand time.

Uh-oh. One minute, you’re riding a bicycle built for two, the next minute, the back tire is shaped like a hexagon. I have no idea how that happened. We offered them a ride, but they declined.

Seriously, this made me laugh out loud. Someone was like, “I know, I’ll cover this wire garden trellis with patriotic paper plates, and it’ll look gorgeous.”

So, the parade started at town hall, and snaked through the little town (on roads with names like “Hoochaneesta Blvd”), then returned to town hall. The funny thing about the parade was that most everyone was already down at town hall when the parade began – we saw only a handful of people on the actual parade route. Those people got showered with candy.

Here we are at the end of the parade. That’s my brother making lots of noise behind the wheel.

I hopped out with my camera, they continued joyriding.

Who doesn’t love a hayride? I mean, other than people allergic to hay, that is.

This was funny – in their quest to get the most candy, the kids were oblivious to the gigantic trucks rolling by them. Luckily for everyone, the drivers were paying attention.

After the parade, there was a feast and live music. And a fairly frightening clown from Santa Fe. I’m not including any photos of her.

My thought on grills: The bigger, the better. As long as I don’t have to clean it. Ever.

I wonder if the tree felt ridiculous all dolled up like that. Or if she felt beautiful for the first time since Christmas.

Hahaha, people pouring out of the fire truck like it was a clown car. That cracked me up. Then, I’m easily amused.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. I’ll be back manana with another edition of the Plant Lady Chronicles. Until then, happy gardening!

Hello cherry tomatoes, and happy Monday!

I really enjoy seeing other people’s plants and gardens. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their plants. Whether they are indoor houseplants or vegetables in the garden, plants require care, attention and love. So generally speaking, healthy beautiful plants tend to have owners who are detail-oriented, attentive, compassionate and skilled.

Sounds like Mom to me.

A few months ago, I showed you the plants at Mom’s house. Today seems like a good day to revisit them.

Her Norfolk Island Pine is sooooo happy!

Mom lives in a little town called Cochiti Lake, New Mexico. The town sits at the base of the Jemez Mountains, about 30 miles south of Santa Fe, and about 40 miles northwest of Albuquerque.

I love the red leaves on this Euphorbia.

She claims her Crown of Thorns plants have been blooming continuously for about 15 years! She might be pulling my leg.

I don’t know what this plant is called, but I love it!

Her giant-leafed Pothos. Seriously giant leaves.

Oh wait, how did that get in here? That’s not a plant, that’s a dog with an Easter egg hidden in her collar. Oops!

Mom’s had a green thumb as long as I can remember. I always thought I inherited my green thumb from Dad, but I must’ve gotten some of it from Mom as well.

I love this. On her kitchen windowsill, Mom constructed this stand for her Christmas Cactus. It’s a little saucer with an upside-down jar. She did that so the plant wouldn’t touch the sill. Pretty cute.

That would be three new stems of buds on her Orchid. Three! Unreal! To say that’s a happy Orchid is quite the understatement.

If this Orchid could talk, it would probably gush “Thank you Mrs. Wheeler, for taking such good care of me!” It even looks like it’s smiling!

So tell me, what would your houseplants say if they could talk?

I went up to Cochiti over the weekend, camera in tow. Mom lives in the town of Cochiti Lake, which is a little community at the base of the Jemez Mountains, south and west of Santa Fe. And I mean little – there are only about 400 residents.

I really enjoy looking at other people’s plants, especially Mom’s. Her thumb is super green.

Look at how beautiful her Norfolk Island Pine is! Gorgeous! My Norfolk, Peach, looks pretty sickly in comparison.

I just repotted her last week, so hopefully she’ll grow up to be big and strong like my Mom’s Norfolk.

I don’t know what the name of this is, but I love it. It’s growing toward the window!

Look at the size of those leaves on her Pothos! It’s some weird strain of Pothos I found a few years ago – it’s like a regular Pothos but on steriods.

Mom’s really proud of these little guys. Apparently, my sister inherited a funky Jade plant after Dad died that she was killing. Mom told her to bring some cuttings of it when we met for Thanksgiving. They’re thriving! I don’t know how parent plant is doing (Molly?), but it’s nice to know its children are fine.

I said to Mom that I always thought I got my green thumb from Dad, but looking at her plants, maybe I was wrong. She said no, she learned her love of plants from Dad, too.

I think if he could see this plant blog and how his influence has spread, he’d be happy. Thanks Dad!

There’s one very special plant at Mom’s house that is stunning. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see it, though. In the meantime, this is Parsley she keeps on her kitchen windowsill. According to her, it’s the best thing ever for bad breath. “You could eat an entire onion, then eat a little Parsley and you won’t smell the onion.” I guess I never knew that about Parsley! Cheaper than Altoids, so I’m a fan!

Tomorrow is Flowers and Flowering Plants, hope to see you back. Until then, happy indoor gardening everyone!

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About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in Arizona, after many years of living in and owning a plant care business in New Mexico.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.