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A couple of months ago, I carved out an area of the back yard for a flower garden, and planted lots of seeds, mostly different varieties of Zinnias. I carefully planted one little portion with Cosmos seeds only.

I waited a couple weeks, and nada. No sprouts.

So then I pulled out all the seeds I’d collected the last couple of years in Albuquerque – my Penstemon, Agastache, Gaillardia and Hollyhock seeds, and more. I threw them all into the bed together willy nilly.

A couple of weeks later, still nothing. (Except for the Cosmos portion of the bed – lots of encouraging sprouts there.)

Then I decided to pick up a few seed packets – Portulaca, more Zinnias, some wildflower mixes. Planted ’em all with no thought to straight rows or neat little bunches of flowers. I stood over the main portion of the bed and scattered them with wild abandonment like I had beforehand. I felt like the wind. Or a flock of birds.

A couple of weeks later, the Cosmos portion was thriving, but the rest of the bed was disappointing. A handful of sprouts that I could identify as Zinnias, a stray Cosmos sprout or two. But pretty much nothing else.

Then last week, it rained – poured – for nearly two days in a row. I should mention, the bed isn’t on drip irrigation, but I was very good about keeping it moist so the seeds could germinate.

But I had nothing on the rain.

Suddenly, I had dots of green galore. Yay!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, flower sprouts galore

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, flower sprouts galore

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, flower sprouts galore

My takeaway here isn’t that I should’ve been more diligent about planting in an orderly fashion. It wasn’t that I’m going to need to thin those when they get a little bigger. And it wasn’t that perhaps I should’ve exercised more patience from the beginning.

Nope. None of the above.

My takeaway from this is that I love rain in the desert.

One thing I don’t like about the desert? The spring winds. I thought I’d escaped the ones that hit New Mexico by living in the low valley of Arizona. But I was wrong. A few days after the rain, we had 45-50 mph gusts of wind for a whole weekend.

Which brings me to another first in the garden: First major cleanup of spring.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, backyard cleanup

(I know, this doesn’t look too bad, but it’s only the tiny area by my back door. The entire back yard is littered with leaves and trash. Also, to my amusement, the welcome mat by the front door somehow ended up in the back yard. Not sure if it flew over the apartment or went through a series of turns and flights.)



My garden in its current state:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, backdoor container garden oasis

Not a lot going on. No summer crops, for reasons that will become apparent later this month.

The maroon container has oregano (flowering), some garlic, chives, and some parsley. The orange one has Zauschneria, or California Fuchsia, which has already started blooming. It’s supposed to be a fall bloomer, but no one told the plant. That container also has a blue Penstemon, thyme and some sedum.

The purple container had some garlic until I accidentally harvested it today:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, backdoor container garden oasis

I thought I’d killed all the garlic by not watering it enough – I haven’t used the drip irrigation because the timer froze over the winter and I haven’t replaced it. But when I went to pull the garlic, I found that there were some bulbs in the soil after all. So that was cool.

Also pictured growing: Lemon balm and more oregano, vinca, hollyhocks, plus a handful of garlic shoots and onions.

Seems strange not to have tomatoes and peppers growing, but that’s just how it’s working out this year.

How about you? Is your summer garden in full swing?

I’ll take any excuse to post photos of pretty flowers.

And indoors:

Thanks Carol at May Dreams Gardens for suggesting we post photos of what’s blooming in and around our homes on the 15thish of each month!

I’ll be back on Monday, hope to see you here.

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!

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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.