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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.)

 

Let’s take a look at what’s blooming in and around the casa:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Inside, the Echeveria on the kitchen windowsill continues to bloom its funky flowers:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

A Haworthia bloom stalk photographed from above:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

You can’t see Gus in this photo, but this is the Gasteraloe’s bloom stalk:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Crissy, one of the Schlumbergeras, is still blooming:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

As is one of the Euphorbia miliis:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Both Chlorophytum comosums are blooming like crazy:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

And the Orchid has been blooming since my birthday at the beginning of March:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, May 2014 Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

It just sits there day after day prettying up my windowsill. Love it.

That’s what’s blooming around here. Thanks to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day around the 15th of each month. Check out her blog to see lots of other pretty flower photos.

If you have flower photos you’d like to share, but you don’t have your own blog, you can send your photos to me and I’ll post them for you in a few days.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an all-new Ask the Experts Panel. I’ll also have a new puzzler for you.

You still have time to guess the current puzzler, in which I asked if these plants were real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Not an easy puzzler this week. The deadline is tonight at midnight MST (that’s 2am EST). You can leave your best guess in the comments section. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after the Experts Panel tomorrow. Imaginary prizes will abound for all who play.

I hope to see you back here.

The big news for the plants this weekend was the windy weather in Albuquerque:

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

Most of the plants in my container gardens are growing at a harsh angle now, thanks to the wind gusts:

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

Oh dear – my poor Gaillardias!

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

They’ve been taking a beating from the wind!

The Penstemon and the Gazania flowers are faring better:

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

I love the blue Penstemons. Here they are in the afternoon light:

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

It’s going to stay windy for probably another month. Hopefully the plants can hang on in the meantime.

The little Allium azureum flowers are doing well:

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

I’m mostly posting these pics for Tom at Midwestern Jungle, as he expressed interest in them a few weeks ago. He’s got good taste – they’re adorable!

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

Tom thinks he lives in the windy city. But I would argue that Chicago should have some competition for that title. Haha, Albuquerque’s coming for you, Chicago!

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

Aaaahhh, I felt like sharing some photos of pretty flowers. Some are new to the casa, others are returning from last year.

This Allium, opening in one of the container gardens, is a newcomer:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, flowers around the casa

Much smaller than the other decorative onions, but no less charming.

The ever-fabulous Gaillardia is back:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, new summer flowers

Bright showy flowers from May through November. I’d be thrilled if the flowers reseeded themselves all over the place. It doesn’t bother me that some people associate Blanket Flowers with weeds or dismiss them as too commonplace – I love them. I love their cheerful little faces greeting me every morning. Their consistency is a great quality in a flowering plant.

Another of my favorites, this Penstemon is back (I planted it last spring):

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, new flowers around my house

Gorgeous flowers! The hummingbirds love them.

And the first Gazania is back!

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, new summer flowers

Woohooo! Everybody knows Gazanias are cause for celebration.

These flowers open the gates to summer blooms here in the Southwest. I’m excited to see the plants that follow them.

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

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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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