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I have much affection for this container at work:

Good To Grow, Portulaca, Liza's photos

I took this photo this morning. The blanca portulaca is so pretty.

It hasn’t minded Phoenix’s triple-digit temperatures. The container gets unrelenting full sun against that hot wall.

That’s amazing, isn’t it?

 

 

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Hey, look who’s alive and kicking, and definitely hasn’t croaked yet, haha. It’s our beloved National Treasure, Dottie.

Dottie and me, Good To Grow, Liza's photos

92. Can you believe it? She barely can! Still wearing purple, because it’s an awesome color.

We both live in Arizona, and during her birthday party yesterday (her birthday was Tuesday), we learned that Arizona Senator John McCain passed.

I didn’t agree politically with McCain on most subjects. But he was an honorable man in the sense that he was American first and foremost.  A veteran, a war hero, a father, a brother, a Patriot, he fought for our freedom. He mentored newcomers in Washington despite differences of opinions. He could agree to disagree with people without hating them. He seems to be the last of that breed, and that is heartbreaking to me.

I’ve been very upset about the divisiveness in America. It’s frustrating. It’s not helpful. It’s distracting from the genuine problems we face as a country and as humans.

We’re Americans. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard than everyone else. McCain did that. Dottie continues to do that. It’s all about doing what’s right.

What’s right? Making sure everyone has clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. Clean oceans to enjoy. National parks to marvel. Not treating women as property. A living wage, food on the table. A fulfilling job. An honest wage for an honest day’s work. Not going bankrupt because of medical costs. Not being homeless. Kindness. Compassion. Family. Friends. Fun and playfulness. Appreciation and awe for Nature and this planet. Love of animals and birds and the stars and sky. Sunrises and sunsets.

We are so lucky!

But sometimes it’s hard to feel lucky. When we’re stressed, when we’re depressed, when we’re emotional. When we’re pushed down again and again. When we’re human. When we work so hard for seemingly nothing.

And when we have people addicted to power trying to strip all of those qualities from us to pad their own wallets and egos. I’m sick of it.

You folks, my friends, my dear people, I want to reach out to every single one of you and ask, what do we do to fix these problems we face? I personally have no idea. It’s complex and befuddling. I’m just one person, a white girl from Indiana – what can I possibly do to make the world a better place?

I think the answer is to showcase people like Dottie and others who are much smarter than I am.

Dottie has dedicated her entire life to making the world a better place. I want to be just like her.

There are others on the same mission. It’s Sunday. Football day. And there will be controversies. Here is one man’s response to a valid concern that many Americans have about black athletes taking a knee during the National Anthem.

This is Beto O’Rourke of Texas:

Sorry for the ads, I don’t know how to avoid them.

He is thoughtful and considerate. I respect that.

I’m privileged by being born in America with the correct color skin. Many of my friends don’t understand the plight of everyone else, or care, or think about it. Some of them do care and they are as frustrated as I am.

One man cannot solve these complex problems. It’s going to take all of us, voicing our opinions without fear of hatred and death threats.

Don’t believe the hype, don’t believe the lies. We are Americans. And we are good. There is no need to make America great again. We’re already great.

We can do better and we will. I believe that.

Thank you.

 

For Nancy, in particular. The flowers are doing great!

Portulaca, Good To Grow, Liza's photos

The Portulaca have sailed beautifully through this Phoenix summer, which has been brutal. Triple digit temperatures for all of July and so far in August, including plenty of humidity (so you can throw that “it’s a dry heat” saying in the trash – it’s bunk during monsoon season).

My beloved Portulaca flowers have been shining stars all along. They are in containers at work that I water every other day. Unceremoniously, I might add, haha, with water in a bucket because the hose doesn’t reach.

Portulaca, Good To Grow, Liza's photos

All that color! Swoon!

The new Lemon Twist Portulaca have also done well, although the stripes aren’t quite as distinct as they were.

Portulaca, Good To Grow, Liza's photos

They’re still adorable!

 

 

Ah, June. Probably my least favorite month in Phoenix. 106 degrees today, 110 all next week. Last year, it got up to 120 degrees in June. On my thermometer outside, I remember that the red went all the way to the top and looked like it wanted to explode!

Haha, still wouldn’t trade it for humidity.

I spend every day thinking about what will grow in this type of heat. Everyone knows Vincas, of course, and sweet potato vines. But lots of plants can take the heat.

My current favorite? Portulaca. (In my head, it’s a little song, Port-u-la-CA, Port-u-la-CA.) Known as moss rose, or desert rose.

I’ve loved Portulaca for many years. Traditionally, you would have a mix, so pink flowers and yellow flowers and orange flowers – all on one plant. Lately, I’ve been using a lot of white Portulaca for borders and for spillers in certain containers. Whether it’s multi-colored or single-colored, Portulaca rarely disappoints.

So I already loved the plant, right? Then some breeders went out and made me fall in love with it all over again!!!

Look at this!

Portulaca lemon twist

How stinkin’ adorable is that flower? White with yellow stripes. I can hardly stand it!

It’s Colorblast Lemon Twist Portulaca. I ordered some 4″ plants from Armstrong Growers. It looks like BloomIQ.com patented it (maybe?).

The tag says, “Full sun. Features: Vibrant flowers bloom on ground-hugging plants with thick, succulent foliage. Tolerates heat and dry soils. Uses: Excellent as a seasonal ground cover, in rock gardens, or in containers.”

Portulaca Lemon Twist

“Grows best in full sun. Grows 4-12″ (10-30 cm) tall, space 8-10″ (20-25 cm) apart, water weekly during dry spells.”

Grows best in full sun? In Phoenix? Yes, please! I’ll take a thousand!

Looking pretty good for March.

Living in Phoenix is weird, haha!

Ha! I’ve been having trouble with my blog for the last few weeks, so I haven’t been able to post anything. Today it works!

I was getting really sick of seeing that Christmas candy photo. It reminded me that I’ve been negligent with the blog, that I still have lots to explain on how I ended up in Phoenix, and what I’m up to now.

I’ll get there. Thanks for your patience.

For now, I thought I’d share this photo from my backyard – I’m absolutely in love with those Lobelia flowers.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Liza's Lobeila

So pretty!

I hope each of you is well and happy. I’ll try not to let so much time go by before posting again.

Happy Holidays to all of you. May your season be merry and bright.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Merry Christmas

And may there also be delicious candy!

My eyes!!!!!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, blue Poinsettias

 

 

 

I planted this little cutie at work today and it made me happy for multiple reasons.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Gazania flower

For one, I’m planting flowers in late October, because that’s life in Phoenix, Arizona. Another reason is that it’s such a cheerful flower – I love Gazanias! So cute!

Also, most importantly, Gazanias remind me of mr_subjunctive at Plants Are the Strangest People, because they are the official celebratory flower of that blog. I like thinking about mr_s, and I realized it’s been too long since I blogged myself or read other people’s blogs.

So thanks, little flower, for reminding me that it feels good to share the plant love.

…hear it for baby leaves. They’re amazing, right?

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, baby leaves are adorable

Grow, baby, grow!

You’re the most adorable thing I’ve seen all day! (Even cuter than the baby quails I saw today. Although it was close – baby quails are super sweet.)

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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.

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